Kolsoum Brown—memories of Murshid Sam—6/10/76
WALI ALI: We are talking to Marsha Pavelich who is now called Kolsoum; you were Marsha once?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, a long time ago
WALI ALI: When did you first meet Murshid?
KOLSOUM: It was in October, 1967.
WALI ALI: What were you doing at that time?
KOLSOUM: Smoking a lot of dope—not very much. I had not too long ago come from graduating from college, and I was very spaced out.
WALI ALI: How'd you happen to meet him? Were you introduced by somebody, or did you look around?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, Nancy Sophia—
WALI ALI: Nancy Silver—
KOLSOUM: I was working for the Committee as a waitress and she was working as an actress, and she told me about him, but she didn't tell me very much. But she said to call him up or to go to one of his meetings, and so I called him up and he was so absolutely positive on the phone that I had never met anyone—or heard of anyone who was just—he just sort of blasted me through everything. And said, "I'd better go to a meeting," so that is how I met Murshid. And when I went to the meeting I just had the most incredible experience; I cried all the way home, and I just said, "This is my teacher," I wrote in my diary that night, "This man will change my life." And it really triggered it. He just seemed so dedicated like such a man of God, and I felt like I was home for the first time in my whole life. I was sitting there and I thought, "Whew, I'm just opening," and I've never felt anything like that in my life.
WALI ALI: Were you aware—like you are very tall and he is very short, and all that sort of stuff, I guess that came up. Did you notice all of his idiosyncrasies at that time or did you just get the hit of his spiritual being?
KOLSOUM: That evening I just noticed his being because it was so powerful and so different from anything I had experienced. I didn't notice he was short until, as many people have said, he was in the hospital and leaving his body, and he seemed like an angel—so little, and like a child lying in that bed. I never noticed, even though I danced with him so many times—and he'd look up at and you just get into ecstasy and forget it.
WALI ALI: Were you living then at that point at that house on DeHaro St.? Had that happened?
KOLSOUM: No. That was before.
WALI ALI: You were living by yourself?
KOLSOUM: Yes, in a little cottage, I was very lonely, and Murshid said that he would court me. He treated me like a queen. He would take me out to dinner, and he would help me in and out of my car. I really didn't like myself very well at that time. I was very much down on myself, and he treated me like I was the most genteel—I don't know, genteel is not quite the word, that's not quite right. He treated me in a precious way. And it was unbelievable to me to be treated that way.
WALI ALI: At that time were many people coming to the meetings? Say October of ‘67?
KOLSOUM: I think he had about ten or twelve people that used to come regularly. Of course sometimes people would show up when we had our walks, the walks were pretty popular.
WALI ALI: Tell us about the walks because I don't think I have gotten that from anybody.
KOLSOUM: He would take us a lot of times through Chinatown and have us do concentrations—like concentrations on the heart, or concentrations on our third eye going up a hill, or talk to us about Papa Ramdas and how he would walk. It was like the beginnings of Tasawwuri—very small touches. And he would take us to meet his friends.
WALI ALI: What friends? To-Lun, Ching Wah Lee?
WALI ALI: Anybody else?
KOLSOUM: Somebody who owned an art gallery there, I don't remember his name, he only took us once.
WALI ALI: That wasn't in Chinatown was it?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, it was on Greenwich, it was downstairs somewhere—
WALI ALI: In Chinatown.
WALI ALI: That was Mr. Shibata perhaps?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, he took me to meet him also but that was somewhere else.
WALI ALI: That was somewhere else, near Japanese town.
WALI ALI: How many people went on those walks?' Where did you meet? Did you meet in Chinatown, or did you meet here and drive over there?
KOLSOUM: We met here I think.
SITARA: Was this during the time of the walks in the Haight Ashbury. Did you go on those walks?
KOLSOUM: I don't remember. I mostly remember Chinatown, and I am sure there were others, but those are the ones that stick in my mind.
WALI ALI: Was that on Saturday afternoon?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, I'm pretty sure they were.
WALI ALI: Who were some of the people that you would know there in those days that were….
KOLSOUM: Of course Akhbar.
WALI ALI: Yes.
KOLSOUM: I always remembered him. There was a young couple who lived in Oakland who came for a long time, I don't remember their names, she was an artist, and he was always they were both very quiet whenever they came.
WALI ALI: Oh yes, I remember, Doyle and Diane.
KOLSOUM: Right. And David.
WALI ALI: He went on the walks?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, sometimes he did, he seemed to like it very much if there were not really high hills and stuff. He was still falling over a lot in those days.
WALI ALI: Yeah.
KOLSOUM: He had trouble with his balance. He seems to have taken care of that now (inaudible here).
WALI ALI: And then after the walk did you go to some—did you go to a Chinese restaurant—
KOLSOUM: Yeah, we always went out to eat then; he took us to a lot of dinners.
WALI ALI: Was that usually Ye Jungs?
KOLSOUM: Yeah. I remember we went to the Starview a lot, but I think that was later.
WALI ALI: That must have been later—
KOLSOUM: Yeah, I think that was later.
WALI ALI: When did you—did you take initiation immediately or was that some time later?
KOLSOUM: It was right, I believe right after my birthday, a few months after I’d met him. I thought about it a lot and it seemed like—it seemed inevitable just like marrying my husband was inevitable; there wasn't any question about doing either one. It seems like what happened with Murshid is that, I, in those days, was into running away a lot, running away from myself and away from other people, and on the inner I would feel myself running away from him and I would think about him and I would always feel him being there sort of surrounding me, taking care of me, and he never ran away from me, he never left me. So that when I realized that there was no other choice except take the initiation.
WALI ALI: When did you, when did the house on DeHaro Street start? Was that quite a bit after? I tried to—I think that was one of the first sort of—I don't know how many—whether he was drawn in to work with some of the people there or whether he took on some of the problems of that house or what happened.
KOLSOUM: Both of those things happened.
WALI ALI: That was in the early part of '68 or the later part of '68?
KOLSOUM: I think it was in the spring of '68 that that happened because in the fall I moved down to San Diego.
WALI ALI: In '68, was that in '68?
KOLSOUM: I think it was very late, or early '69.
WALI ALI: Did you—didn't live here before you went—in this house?
KOLSOUM: No, I came back and lived here.
WALI ALI: You came back and lived here. So, let me see, maybe you could talk a little bit about how Murshid got involved with the DeHaro Street thing and what seemed to be the—how did that thing run?
KOLSOUM: I don't even know about that, when I came there it was a mess.
WALI ALI: Yeah, it was a mess, wasn't it?
KOLSOUM: He helped me move. Murshid was always just sort of there when I needed him, and I must have been crazy, and I was moving and he got together a whole bunch of his disciples, the stronger ones like Akhbar, and they all just moved me. It just seems like it was done in a half an hour, and then we had a big Chinese dinner, Murshid order it. We all sit on the floor. He worked with Karen, Karen Cauble who was kind of the mother of the house; he felt—he knew she had a lot of capacity for love, and I think, I felt a need to help her to stabilize herself emotionally and she was very lonely for a man. So I think that he started, not just working with me, but working with her, and then David lived in the house also.
WALI ALI: He moved in right away—
WALI ALI: How many people lived there—did Krishnadas live there too?
KOLSOUM: No, I think there were 6 or 7 people living there, but it was just one household—
WALI ALI: The only reason I bring it up is because, as I recall, it seems to be one of the first occasions when he was working with some house groups—a couple of them were sort of a group of people living together.
KOLSOUM: Yeah, he worked sort of with the four of us there, but the rest of them were kind of avoiding him. He had such a strong magnetism that I felt that people who were not receptive to it were sometimes frightened by it. They didn’t want to be around him.
WALI ALI: Do you remember any sort of definite stories about that time, in that house?
KOLSOUM: When people were frightened by him?
WALI ALI: Yeah,
KOLSOUM: Yeah, I remember when he was lying in the hospital and he was leaving his body, and the disciples would come and stay with him, and there was one man on the other side of the room who was paralyzed in an accident of some kind and he was paralyzed. And he said, "I don't like that man, he scares me." I remember there was such power in that room, such strength; you had two ways of reacting to it.
There was one story about Murshid that I remember very well, He was trying to help Karen to relax and be calm. He had a way of going to the person right at their level of consciousness. He asked her to lay down on a carpeted floor or her bed and pretend that it was a haystack. He told her to sink into it more and more and more, just like it was a hay stack that never ended. She had a simple, direct, quality and this appealed to her more than any esoteric practice could ever have done. I also remember at that time that Murshid would never ask me how I was, but asked me many, many times, how my cats were and how the household of animals were getting along. He was very foxy.
WALI ALI: So then you went down to San Diego in spring of that year? Was that right? The fall?
KOLSOUM: The fall I think, the fall, but I don't have any definite dates—in late fall, and I stayed for about a year. And I missed the whole thing out here so much; I wasn't grounded enough then that I could take it with me. When I left I did take it with me in a sense, because I never forgot it, and it made me realize how much I loved Murshid and all the work that was going on here. But when I left I said to Murshid, "Oh Murshid I have to leave you," and Murshid shouted at me, "I don't have anything to do with geography!" And I never forgot that.
WALI ALI: What I'd like to get is some subjects you are moved to talk about, some of the incidents in the stories that you remember best and that stand out—maybe that were particularly meaningful or particularly funny or (inaudible).
KOLSOUM: One thing that I remembered about Murshid and in some ways it was a small thing that always struck me because it was a part of life that I was close to and that was Murshid's relation to his animals. His cat Nasim had been my cat, and I gave it to him.
WALI ALI: When you went to San Diego, you gave him—there were two of them, there was Martha and there was Nasim—
KOLSOUM: Right, Martha was—
WALI ALI: Martha was maladjusted—
KOLSOUM: And Nasim made it somehow. He said later on that all my sins were forgiven me for giving him Nasim. I just remember how tender he was with the animals, and it always reminds me of the saying in the Bible where Jesus says, "If ye do it unto the least of my brethren, you do it unto me." He was just a really busy man, a man with the tremendous capacity. Like he had never seemed to forget the little beings: the children, the animals, the plants. Like he would be working along and he would look outside and he would see some plants that had been neglected, out there in the front here, and he'd be out there—pretty soon he would be out there helping the gardeners, driving them really crazy. And he would be in here, and when I moved in he asked me to make a list of the foods that my cat liked to eat—of all the things that he had to worry about, he asked for something like that. And that kind of thing impressed me a great deal, because there are a lot of "great people in the world," there aren't a lot of people with deep consideration, and Murshid really struck me as a person like that.
WALI ALI: Yeah, that's' a real good observation about the animals, because I remember a number of incidents, now that you mention it, along those same lines.
KOLSOUM: Like he always used to sit on the edge of his chair when the cat was sitting on the chair—
WALI ALI: Yeah right, he wouldn't—
KOLSOUM: Throw it off the chair—
WALI ALI: He wouldn't think of moving the cat off the chair—
KOLSOUM: Things that seemed kind of absurd in a way, but in another way were very tender. I remember that a lot of people remember Murshid as being a big, booming strong character, but I remember Murshid also as being a very tender man, and having to deal with that tenderness in the world, and that it was difficult for him. I remember once that we took Nasim to a veterinarian and he wanted me to go with him because he was kind of blown out that Nasim was so hurt. His paw was all swollen up, and I saw that part of Murshid which was very human and very tender, and if it had been his choice to live his life in his own way better than that surrendering just the purpose that God had given him, he might, I think, have been a really fine and gentle person. But he had surrendered himself so much to his purpose that people didn't always see that he was really trucking through. I am not saying he was weak, he wasn't weak at all, but there was just another side to his being that people forgot about.
WALI ALI: Yeah, that's true. Like I remember once when we were going to drive to the camp in Colorado and a number of us were riding in Mansur's van, I believe. Just the way he was fussing about everybody, he sort of went like a mother hen fussing about their chicks—just such a human kind of tender concern for people—even over-concern.
WALI ALI: The kind of thing you tell your mom, "Oh Mom, please!"
KOLSOUM: Yeah, leave me alone, I can do it myself! Sam was sort of grandfather, grandmother, mother, everything … there were many things that struck me about him—
WALI ALI: Why don't you just take them up as they come up so we get it down, and then when we transcribe the tape we'll send it to you, and maybe that will also trigger some more memories.
KOLSOUM: Meeting Zeinob, too—when I moved into this house I was just so crazy. I had just had a love affair that was a total disaster for me, or I thought it was—it left me kind of smashed and pretty alone and then having to work so hard to keep up the rhythm that was here, and having Zeinob here with me, it was like having two sides of the mirror at one time.
WALI ALI: How long did you live here?
KOLSOUM: About 9 months I think—
WALI ALI: And when you left here you went?
KOLSOUM: I went to live with Jackie and Keith because I was going to school and I knew I couldn't go to school and live here too.
WALI ALI: And then I moved back down here, I can't recall, because I visited here all the time, but a portion of that time I was up there—
KOLSOUM: I can't remember, I think you were here most of the time, I remember vaguely. WALI ALI: So it was you and me and Zeinob and Murshid in the house then?
KOLSOUM: And David didn’t. No, he left right after I came, because he went to join the Holy Order of Mans.
WALI ALI: What sort of things do you remember about the—I think we ought to wait for Zeinob to get into the household sort of stuff.
WALI ALI: That'll trigger each other's memories.
KOLSOUM: I remember Murshid was just beginning to get the Sufi dances when I came to the house—just before, he was reading those things, and taking us on walks, and taking us to dinner, but the dances hadn't come through yet. And he came by—one day I was at his house and he said, "God kept me up all night, kept me up all night, giving me these dances," and Murshid was always saying these fantastic things. At that time
I just said "uh huh,” and he would say, "I'm going to, I'm going to Europe and I'll be teaching thousands of people," or any number of fantastic things, and we'd all go, "uh huh," at least I would, because it just seemed too weird to believe. And then they started coming out and we were all very stiff in the dancing. I remember that movie of us that was shown that night at the Urs,
WALI ALI: Uh huh—
KOLSOUM: Where we were so very formal and trying to do everything right—
WALI ALI: I think that was partly because of the pressure of being under the cameras.
KOLSOUM: I do too, but I do remember that we were pretty self-conscious all the time. The night that I met—not the night that I met Murshid—but right after that, I remember that he did something to me that really amazed me. He said, “Sit down next to me; I want to find out about you, what you're like." I sat down on his right and, he took my left hand, and he went into deep meditation, and I could feel him it was almost as if he went right up my arm and into my heart, it was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me, and he said, he told me some things, not very much, but I know that he understood me, and cared about me, and understood, and it was for me a very different way of working with someone; it wasn't mental, it was all deep feeling , and it just blew my mind.
WALI ALI: What about other spiritual experiences? Do you recall any kind of things that happened outside of say, class, where the way the trip came down, gave you a lot of understanding?
KOLSOUM: One of the big lessons that Murshid taught me was how to stay high and still stay here. I think he taught a lot of us that, how to function in the world and stay high also. And one time I remember that we were going to the Cost Plus and we rode down and for some reason I started telling him about a vision that I had had, and I told him that I had seen Jesus, and I started telling him what Jesus told me, and Murshid suddenly grabbed my hand and said, "Not now, not now!" because he had gotten so into the vision that he was just transformed by it he couldn’t function. But many times he would ask me to drive him home, I would always say, "Do you want me to drive you places," and it always gave me a feeling of being able to stay balanced. There would Murshid be sitting next to me after teaching feeling really high, we'd be singing, and all of us would be high, and we'd still be driving this car, and it gave me a feeling because of the preciousness of the World it was kind of a little way of seeing what we had come to do—
WALI ALI: I remember when he was riding with people, riding in people's cars, he would be right there saying, "Now turn left here, and go right up this street," he didn't want anybody to space out at all, he was just really very concerned, and "We're not going to get a parking place," serious.
KOLSOUM: Yeah, Murshid used to get very serious about things like that, and I never understood why, I knew some of them but—yeah, he did that with me also, but usually on small trips. On longer trips there was less to do. I just remembered that he was my friend, yeah (inaudible).
WALI ALI: Did you go out—when you say longer trips, I was just wondering what you meant—
KOLSOUM: When we went to Novato it was mostly when we went shopping, these insane shopping trips when we would come home with 40 lbs. of strawberries or something. Saturday afternoon he would go and buy out the place and then Zeinob and I would try to figure out what in the world we were going to do with it—with 30 lbs. of Brussels’ sprouts, he 'd say, "You have to use it all up, use it all up this week."
SITARA: Why didn't he buy smaller amounts?
KOLSOUM: Because it was there, and the guy was giving it to him for $2 or something like that!
WALI ALI: There was always a meal over here on Sunday and he would try to feed people at that. What he would serve would be some kind of rice and curry or something like that—
KOLSOUM: But he always overdid it—
WALI ALI: Overbought, yeah—
KOLSOUM: Yeah, I gained 15 pounds living here, and Zeinob came out—
WALI ALI: It must have been about 50—
KOLSOUM: Yeah, just huge. You just couldn't say no; we would sit down to eat and there were ten things on the table, and five people sitting there, so we just kept eating until we fell over—
SITARA: And he’d be happy if you ate just like a Jewish mother—
KOLSOUM: And the meals that Murshid cooked, he was a terrible cook, but he had such love in his meals; he liked to cook so much that you'd be eating them, and on one level they would taste terrible, but, on, another level you could just eat a ton of it, because Murshid was right there, and he—
WALI ALI: Some things he could cook very well, l thought—
KOLSOUM: I remember you eating jalapeño peppers and peanut butter so I don't know about Wali Ali—
WALI ALI: There is no accounting for people's tastes—
KOLSOUM: I remember when he finally left his body—that was an experience that was interesting—the evening that he left his body—when I heard it, I got this tremendous jolt, and the phrase came to me, "Gate, gate, para gate, parasamgate, bodhisvaha," and the sense of freedom was so great. That whole day, and the next day, maybe three days, it was like I was on another plane—for me it was almost like he took us with him. Some of us were on the other planes it was the strangest thing, because I would turn on the radio and I would hear music, and the music was so gross and heavy, because the music that was in my heart for that day or two was so refined and beautiful, and when I listened to the radio it was like taking in a space I couldn’t be in and I wasn't able to surrender to that space—I was frightened to be in between those planes, so I sort of drew back from it, and another part of me was kind of listening to it. And the night that he left his body, or the next night; I had the strangest experience, I haven't yet sorted it out I have I’m working I almost have it worked through, I had this terrible fear of death, and that night I was laying in bed reading a book or something, and suddenly I looked down at my hands, and my hands had become like Murshid’s hands, and I felt his Murshid’s face over my face, and I felt like Murshid had come to me and was looking at me to see how far I had gotten, what I could do. And all of us who were some of his first disciples, I felt, carried a kind of purpose about that. I have always felt that it just didn't happen accidentally that a bunch of people got together and met Murshid—and they disappeared into the ethers, or went to live in Capetown South Africa or somewhere—there was a purpose about us all being together at that time, and each of us had, I thought, something that we were going to fulfill from a—that was a special part of us, or it wouldn't have been given to us. I felt that he came to look at me, to examine me—where I was spiritually, how far I had gotten, and to show me where he was, to say where he was. And I wrote—it was like a communion with him, he said certain things to me—but I was so frightened about the concept of death that I couldn't really surrender to it. And finally he said to me, "Just be strong,” and he left. He said that he couldn't talk to me anymore, that I just had to learn to be strong! And return The Communion. That was a very powerful experiences; I was scared and Scott was in my room and I called him in to be with me, I knew that wasn’t correct and … I wondered if I was having an acid flashback or something crazy. He just didn't know what it was. But more and more I realized that when Murshid said that he and his disciples were One Being—that he was really functioning through us. I don’t think if ever told anyone else about that experience. I wasn’t strong enough but I didn't surrender to it enough. I just feel sorry that I wasn't able to take the experience that we got and just use it—
WALI ALI: Murshida Vera had a similar experience right after his fall—she didn't know anything about it—whether or not his presence was there, she called up here—it was about 2 o'clock in the morning, or 3 o'clock in the morning or something, she didn’t know what time, it was and she just called to find out what was going on, and I told her that Murshid had just fallen down the stairs, and it was the first she had heard about it. Did you have more of those types of experiences, or contact in that way after Murshid's passing, in a dream or—?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, he has been with me in dreams several times, sometimes through a veil of my own miasma and ideas and things like that, and other times—oh one time, yes, one time I woke up and I said, "Now I understand what death is," because he came to me in a dream and he said, "There is no reason for us to be separate at all, all you have to do is raise your vibration to a certain level and then I'm always there," and in my dream I had gone up to this level and I understood it perfectly and I was very glad to be here and that that whole map was just enough experience, it was real nice, real confidence—
One time I had a dream, that there was a circle of us holding hands together, like we were going to start dancing. Murshid told us that he was going to teach us hew to fly. He told us to inhale and hold the space between us steady, and we could all go up together. We all levitated, and I remember being concerned how we would get down. Then he just told us to be here, and we came down. When I woke up it felt like a real teaching in controlling our atmosphere, rather than just a fantasy.
WALI ALI: To jump back a little bit, this is, it is funny for me I always fell funny trying to do interviews, it's a little bit—
KOLSOUM: To get a good interview?
WALI ALI: Right, somehow or other one wants to get it down. Is my memory accurate—that you went with Murshid at one time when Dr. Seo came here? Did you meet an airplane with him?
WALI ALI: Do you remember anything about that?
KOLSOUM: Just that he met him and that there seemed to be a lot of love and respect between them, that's all I remember.
WALI ALI: Murshid went around him saying, "Namo Amida Fu," or something like that? KOLSOUM: That seems familiar.
WALI ALI: Yeah. Did you go up—do you recall—going back to the Chinatown period, the walks—what do you recall about any meetings with any people in Chinatown? Anything stand out, any events or incidents, anything in a restaurant or To-Lun's or anything?
KOLSOUM: No, nothing in particular except that he always hugged and seemed to love To-Lun a lot—I always remembered how much he respected and loved the old people that he was working with spiritually; I was impressed with that. He said once that To-Lun—let's see if this is right—that To-Lun hadn’t always developed intuition, that he had been duped several times by people but he loved him anyway, and he was doing the right thing in what he was working with. The trouble with quoting Murshid is that he was so immediate, that it is sometimes hard to give guidelines about what Murshid said to people to do or be or anything, because sometimes you felt that it was right for that moment right there and the next moment something entirely different would be appropriate.
WALI ALI: Exactly.
KOLSOUM: And so there aren't very many universal laws in terms of it.
WALI ALI: No. What I was trying to do was to get something of the flavor of some of the incidents—because if one is really trying to write something it is really good to have concrete things and not just observations about the way things were, but actual incidents and things which make so much more interesting reading to people that don't know somebody.
KOLSOUM: I remember more his trying to direct us and shape us more than any other detail, and he really wanted us to just function, he wanted us to just function. He wanted us to find our work and be able to do it, and to be concrete in the world in some way, and to have our place and not to float around, and I remember on our walks when Murshid would really direct us. Just like with a car "Turn right, concentrate on your feet, left foot, right foot, Allah, Allah"; he was really that way on those walks and what it means to walk—
SITARA: Did he encourage your interest in healing?
KOLSOUM: I felt like through a lot of the time that I knew Murshid, I hadn't really manifested as—
WALI ALI: We should follow through working as a dancer—
KOLSOUM: Yeah, I was dancing, at that time I was going to practice-study dance, I hadn't really—
WALI ALI: You had been studying with a number of different people: Ishvani—did you study with her for awhile?
KOLSOUM: Oh yeah, for a little bit, and I went to San Fransisco State after I moved out of the house and studied dance for a few years, and he liked that; but I felt like I hadn't really found myself yet.
WALI ALI: Oh! That reminds me. He gave a dance, was it an Egyptian dance—
KOLSOUM: Oh Yeah.
WALI ALI: He wrote it or—what was that?
KOLSOUM: That would be—no it wasn't Egyptian, it was Greek, ancient Greek—that was another experience I had through Murshid that was very interesting. It was the—what was that?
WALI ALI: Ev-O-Eh.
KOLSOUM: Ev-O-Eh—yeah, and I was Ariadne—
WALI ALI: You were Ariadne—how did that go? I have forgotten everything except "Ev-O-Eh."
KOLSOUM: I just remember Murshid, I don't remember too much about, it but I remember we were in a line and I think we were holding our hands up—like this, in a cross in front—
WALI ALI: Was it all women?
KOLSOUM: Yes. There were about six women standing around, and I was at the end of the line with Murshid—
WALI ALI: That wasn't the Bacchus dance, was it? Was that what was called the Bacchus dance?
KOLSOUM: I don't think so.
WALI ALI: See, I remember there was a Bacchus dance—
KOLSOUM: We only did it once that I remember—
WALI ALI: Yeah, but he always said the difference between the Bacchus dance and the Krishna dance is that Bacchus has all these female followers and he wants to get them to go out and recruit some males, and everybody was always so embarrassed—
KOLSOUM: “Go on, go on,” he would say, and it would never work.
WALI ALI: But that wasn't the Bacchus dance?
KOLSOUM: I don't think so.
WALI ALI: It had something to do with the Mediterranean mysteries.
KOLSOUM: Yeah, the early Greek mysteries. All I remember is that we stood in line and I believe the girls crossed their hands in front and just did Ev-O-Eh back and forth; I just remember Murshid and he….
WALI ALI: But it was all women?
KOLSOUM: Yes and just Murshid. I tried to think about it because Zeinob mentioned it (inaudible) and I got so high that day, that I wanted something from it, but I didn’t have to do anything, either did Murshid (?).
WALI ALI: Were you just next to him in the line, is that all?
WALI ALI: Was he representing something? You were Ariadne—
KOLSOUM: Oh huh—
WALI ALI: And who is Ariadne? All I know is the Ariadne and thread—that was thing that was the Minotaur and the thread of Ariadne which allowed them to get out of their caverns or something?
KOLSOUM: I read it and, I've forgotten it—she wasn't one of the gods and goddesses but was a half-breed or something—she was right behind them—
WALI ALI: A demi-God.
KOLSOUM: Something like that. I don't remember anything else about it, but that evening when I went into meditation and got insight on the Greek mysteries. It was shown to me that the “Gods” of that time were a different race of beings. They weren’t as me know God today, but beings of light from a higher evolution who were on the earth at that time on just previous to it.
WALI ALI: I just try and think it was the Bacchus, dance, wasn't it? I think it was the same thing as the….
KOLSOUM: He had a way of doing that; he would sort of thread together other things and I'm not sure what it was….
WALI ALI: I can't separate them in my mind somehow; it seems like he did it two or three times, but it may have been two different things, because I can't remember what phrase was said in the Bacchus dance, if it wasn't Ev-O-Eh, I don't know what it was. And then there was an Egyptian dance too, do you—
KOLSOUM: He showed me that one too at the Khankah.
WALI ALI: “Ra ra, keper ra, ra ra atum,”
WALI ALI: But I don't remember any of the movements to that either.
KOLSOUM: I'd have to think about it; I've thought about it a little, but I can't remember.
WALI ALI: What about other things in relation to your own dance? And contact with Murshid; and times when he particularly focused on that.
KOLSOUM: Yeah, I remember when he took us to an Indonesian dance company, remember that when he bought the whole row?
WALI ALI: I remember it was the first row in the balcony or something.
KOLSOUM: Yeah, and there were 60 of us, or 50—a huge number of us sitting in this balcony, and I was sitting right next to Murshid—
WALI ALI: He didn't pay for everything, did he?
KOLSOUM: Really, I don't know, but I was sitting right next to Murshid and and I got—I've always felt real close to the Indonesian culture, that was one of my favorite parts of the world and I could slip into that role, but my friends didn't know what it was and I had made a promise to study dancing but when I watched them dance I just got totally taken away by it, and Murshid said, as he sat next to me—he could see my etheric—“you jump up on the stage and dance with them." It was me dancing really. Certainly when I got out of there I was tired—
WALI ALI: He said that the way he used to—I recall him saying it—maybe after that performance or maybe because of it, because he said that that was the way he liked to watch dances too, to project himself into their bodies as they were dancing, so he would just really be there.
KOLSOUM: Yes, that was one of my favorite ways to watch dance.
WALI ALI: I think maybe he said that that was what you were doing.
KOLSOUM: Yeah, I didn't know enough about it to know I was doing that but I know that I was just incredibly wrapped up in it and I was very tired when it was done and Krishnadas was there to. And he said that it was real important for Krishnadas to see these dancers, not for him as a dancer, but as a musician.
WALI ALI: This was an Indonesian Kebaya that you have on, isn't it?
WALI ALI: The top.
KOLSOUM: No, I made it myself.
WALI ALI: We have in the Jerusalem Shoppe things we get from time to time, Indonesian blouses called Kebayas which are very similar.
KOLSOUM: I feel very comfortable in this one; I remember one time when he had a big fight with Banefsha about her spiritual path, and I guess that fight sort of got to be famous after awhile but she wanted to move out in the country at that time—
WALI ALI: Yeah! You were here in the kitchen that day; I was outside. And what do you recall about that?
KOLSOUM: I remember that—I wasn't trying to listen that hard because I figured it was their trip, and I didn't want to eavesdrop but Murshid shouted, but I remember that she wanted to have her own personal life and wanted to be quiet, and wanted everything what she wanted.
WALI ALI: Trying to move to Marin—
KOLSOUM: Trying to move to Marin—and Murshid said when he saw her Dharma he said, "I don't see her Dharma (pointing to me) and I don't see her Dharma (pointing to Zeinob’s somebody else) I don't know who's else it was—but I see your Dharma, and your Dharma is to stay here." And I think he wanted her to work with the House of Love and Prayer, I believe it was the House of Love and Prayer, and do the things together and there would be at least a connection going, and he just shouted and screamed at her and she shouted and screamed at him, and he just wouldn't give in. She kept saying that she needed quiet and rest. Murshid said that he saw her work to bring peace on a larger scale and insisted she stay. She did, finally!
KOLSOUM: I was here one day when he screamed at Nancy Silver's husband
WALI ALI: Ralph—
KOLSOUM: Ralph—same kind of thing. She was pregnant and he was treating her badly (inaudible) and so he would just start screaming—
WALI ALI: "No heart!"
KOLSOUM: Yeah, and a few minutes later, "No heart!!! I hear your reasons, no heart!!!!!" And he just kept yelling it over and over again. I don't remember the details of that, especially Banefsha but planted on this experience I remember that it was kind of terrifying (all inaudible).
WALI ALI: Did Murshid ever blast you?
KOLSOUM: I was so afraid at that time that I could have been blasted by his looking at me cross-eyed. No, he never blasted me.
WALI ALI: Never turned that sort of anger—
WALI ALI: That Jelali sort of force?
KOLSOUM: No, it would have been too much for me. I did feel him kind of pushing me on the inner to do this or do that—
End of side one, reel one
WALI ALI: What he saw and if somebody didn't do it, he wouldn’t necessarily say anything, but you could feel it—
KOLSOUM: Oh yeah, I could feel it right away; it was strong but he never raised his voice to me. I can remember him appealing to the part of me that was very competent and regal; he always made me feel when I was around him like I could do anything, he would like shine a light on the part of me that needed to grow and it was obviously there He saw me in a vary Jupiterian way at that time and queenly, strong. He called me the “snow queen,” so whenever I was around him I just knew and I blossomed—it just needed to be beautiful (inaudible).
WALI ALI: He was real good with people who had been spaced out on drugs somehow. What was it in his being, would you say, that made him so effective with so many people who had been spaced out? Do you think that most of the people that came around were originally very spaced out?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, absolutely. For me it was his honesty, and I don't mean the kind of honesty that says; someone who is honest to himself who really is true, because then you have something that you can look at and latch on to, there is a core of “being” there. I remember one time I had an experience, I don't know what it was, but I woke up one morning—I guess it was an acid-flashback, I don’t know, but I couldn’t see any matter—it was like everything was light for me, and I had to keep remembering and recreating matter—it was a very difficult place to be in. I could barely get dressed and I couldn’t find the floor to walk on. Matter kept dissolving in light; it was awful, and I went—I had to get over to Murshid's house right away because I wouldn't make it anywhere else. So David walked me over there right over the hill and I got there,
WALI ALI: That was good.
WALI ALI: From DeHaro Street?
KOLSOUM: Yeah. And Murshid was very busy when I walked in, all spaced out—really, I had my white dress on and I said, "Oh Murshid, you've got to help me," and he said, "Concentrate on a triangle," and I did and it wasn't doing any good at all, and he finally sat down across from, me and he said, "Alright, concentrate on me," and I looked at him and he was just like a mountain there, he was really there, and all this time I could look right through him and he was still there. And for me that was the part of him that helped me through the drug experiences—and I think helped a lot of people, because so many of us had been deceived, by our parents, by the world, and by drugs; we had just been deceived in life, so when I saw him there and knew that he was going to stay there….
WALI ALI: I think Murshid was so naturally high, his work in life was to be, to pull it down—
KOLSOUM: Stay down—
WALI ALI: Stay down on the earth. Like he would go up, the least thing would throw him right up, and he would go into ecstasy of some kind and forget about his body. Do you remember any times when things happened to his body that he wasn't aware of at the time?
KOLSOUM: Oh yeah, it was a small thing, but it just struck me as having the epitome of that quality. I was going to take Murshid for a meeting one time and he came down the front stairs and he didn't have his shoes on, and he was so tied up thinking about this meetings and I said, "Murshid you don't have your shoes on." And I was very frightened at that time wondering if I should tell him or not tell him and I was standing there going, Oh Lord, listen. And right about in the middle of that he said, "Oh I forgot something," and he went upstairs and came back down again with another pamphlet, so things like that—
WALI ALI: Did you tell him?
KOLSOUM: Yeah, I did tell him, but it was just like the epitome of all the things that I was going through in trying to ground myself and….
WALI ALI: Yeah, I think that because he was able to achieve the grounding that he had, he brought all of that with him, so people who were up on those various planes could take advantage of that magnetic draw down into the ground. A lot of people may be grounded, but they are not up here at the same time, they are just sort of down here on the ground.
KOLSOUM: That's why he was like a mountain because he was like the earth and the heavens too.
WALI ALI: What about—can you describe—you must have eaten lots of meals at restaurants with Murshid. Does anything stand out about that? What that was like?
KOLSOUM: It was always a great deal of fun. Murshid was always embarrassing about one thing and another because I was so full of pretenses.
WALI ALI: He embarrassed a lot of people; I think it was the way in which he talked, but I think that was unconscious.
KOLSOUM: I remember going into one restaurant and we were singing something in Arabic on the top of our lungs—everybody, could hear us
ZEINOB: Another Russian restaurant—Castro St.?
WALI ALI: Yeah, that one in—was that David's birthday?
KOLSOUM: It might have been, yes.
WALI ALI: I think it was, I remember that; we were singing away, “Subhan Allah, Allaho Akbar or something like that—
KOLSOUM: I just remember the tremendous gusto with which we ate and enjoyed being with people.
WALI ALI: Now I was just going to say about that evening, I seem to remember the old cook coming out of the kitchen and—
WALI ALI: Did that happen?
KOLSOUM: Somebody came out—
WALI ALI: Somebody came out of the kitchen, and old Indonesian fellah who was so moved by it. You should read Shahabuddin's interview with his account of Murshid in New York, singing in restaurants.
KOLSOUM: It was incredible. The thing I remember so much about Murshid was that he couldn't sing, and he couldn't dance you would say in a certain sense.
WALI ALI: When it got technical—
KOLSOUM: But he had such life that he manifested to all of the disciples who were such tremendous singers and dancers—he always made me realize that I had it. Zeinob is late—
WALI ALI: She sure is late, isn't she?
KOLSOUM: What I was saying was that in the technical sense, to people of the world looking at him as a singer and a dancer, there is nothing that would lead one to believe, that he could have accomplished what he did in music and dance and that made me realize that he really had the Message of God, and the all these people that became his disciples, and here's the Sufi Choir, and that anybody can do it—
WALI ALI: Do you think that anything that he shone his light on was going to be a blessing, or that he was particularly moved in music and dancing, just the way it came out, was that there was so much energy that it just didn't come out in quite the form that you could hear?
KOLSOUM: That's what I think, I think that the Message—he told me, he told us all a long time ago that he had come to restore the Message that Inayat Khan couldn't bring, or tried to bring, but never came to fruit at that time, and this to me was that Message the realization of God through music, through dance and I feel that he was just grounding that chain of beings; it had that quality to it. I think he gave blessings and shined his light on many other things too, and was able to help us to succeed but to my mind of particular quality of music and dances which came through the Chishti Sufis.
WALI ALI: What other things happened? You were talking about Murshid embarrassing you. Do you remember any other events? What was your most embarrassing moment?
KOLSOUM: I think my most embarrassing event, now that I look back at it, it doesn't seem so embarrassing, but at the moment it was terribly embarrassing. It was when we were sitting; he had been corresponding for a long time with Baba Ram Dass, not Papa Ramdas—
WALI ALI: I know Baba, yes Richard Alpert.
KOLSOUM: Right, and he was going to meet him. And one night when he first met him and Ram Dass was going to speak at the Unitarian Church—it was a big momentous occasion and all that stuff. I took Murshid there and sat next to him, and during the thing, Ram Dass was saying to be here now and about in the middle Murshid lets out this big yell, and there were about a thousand people there and he said, “I’m here!” I went, “Oh No ! I am sitting next to this man, what am I doing here?"
WALI ALI: But there was a reason why he shouted, "I'm here," there was something that Ram Dass had said, can you recall that?
KOLSOUM: I don’t remember.
WALI ALI: Because Ram Dass had been saying some of the methods and some of the things that they had done, and I think he mentioned Sufi dancing, the way he was giving a list of some of the things, and he said, "Sufi dancing," and then Murshid got up and said, "I'm here!"
KOLSOUM: And Ram Dass said, “Yeah Sam I know you are here." But really, I was about ready to go through the floor; he was always doing little things—
WALI ALI: But it is interesting to examine your emotions, not necessarily to tell you something about yourself but to understand the sort of situations that Murshid put one in—or even more clearly, what was it about—what was it that was so—why did you?
KOLSOUM: Why did react?
WALI ALI: Yeah, right—
KOLSOUM: I was into hiding at that time, and I was into running away from myself with other people. I remember one time you made me very upset, because you told me not to mumble. I didn't talk to you for two days because you told me not to mumble, because I was really a mumbler at that time and I still get in those spaces when I get upset, and he just—that one incident brought out I felt exposed to the world, and it had always been a fear of mine.
WALI ALI: With some of us I know, it was a question of—people were kind of concerned about how others in public settings would take Murshid, how they would react to them because of the way that he would come on, so out of keeping with the norms that they would expect some other—so one was concerned that maybe they would miss whatever it was that they were to get because they were so put off, by the way that he came on. I think maybe that was part of the reaction of some people, and I think the other part of it was—it was just impossible to hide as you were saying.
KOLSOUM: Yeah, and in this particular incident I think it was more of that—the impossibility to hide, because everyone around me it wasn't like the establishment sitting there—I didn't feel that he was necessarily out of the norm in that situation, just that I felt I was on a spot, but anyway, a lot of times when we would go, shopping or whatever—everyone else you could kind of put in a comfortable little niche, and you knew that they would stay there—they would go through their thing and you could always count on what they were going to do, but with Murshid I could never count on it. And sometimes it used to really frighten me. I just couldn't cope with it. It would really frighten my security in one sense because for me he was such a wonderful being, and someone else would look at him and think he was nuts and it made me wonder if I felt that way about him too.
WALI ALI: Yeah, it is real interesting because it sure came out, and it was something that a lot of people went through, not everybody—it's interesting, like Murshid didn't blast everybody, and Murshid didn't embarrass everybody, and he didn't do any one thing with everybody, and he was certainly unpredictable. And I think that that was what was so frightening to people. In some sense, were you there the night he took us to the old folks dance?
WALI ALI: He took the Saturday night class over to somewhere downtown—where all these old people were that he used to folk-dance with, and have us make some kind of a presentation—and all these old people—I can't remember, we did a couple of dances, I think we did a couple of the dervish dances, and the people were so—we had to go through so much embarrassment—it was just like it was such another world—and he was just delighted and able to…
KOLSOUM: He was always so proud of us.
WALI ALI: Yeah—
KOLSOUM: Even as funky as we would be sometimes, we would just really be proud of us. I can't remember anything else that particularly embarrassed me like that; I remember being embarrassed at regular intervals, twice weekly. I remember also how he treated people that were not necessarily part of the work they would ask him what he was doing, and like we would go to the grocery store. And this was right before the Geneva conference, and we would go to the grocery store, and he would say, "I am getting ready to travel," and the guy would say, "Oh where are you going?" And he would say, "Oh I'm going to Europe." And he would say, "What are you going to do there?" "Oh, just look around." He had ways of dealing with people on all levels—
WALI ALI: I remember once at some period we were at the check-out counter at the Big Bonus over here on 24th street or something, "I'm going to a conference of all religions, and I'm going to tell them that it is not so important to love one another, you have to respect one another," and so he would go into one of his spiels.
KOLSOUM: I guess it just depended upon what he felt people were ready to hear.
WALI ALI: Let's cut this off for now—
KOLSOUM: Rest for a second—
WALI ALI: Zeinob has joined us now; I thought that we would wait until she came here to talk a little bit about, what it was like when you were both living in the house together here. How long a period was that?
ZEINOB: I think is was about 6 months—
KOLSOUM: It was 9 months somewhere.
WALI ALI: Somewhere in 1969, right?
WALI ALI: Or it must have been—
ZEINOB: Yeah, it was 1969—
WALI ALI: And you lived down in this basement room (Kolsoum) and you—
KOLSOUM: I wanted to move up there—
WALI ALI: And you lived (to Zeinob)—
ZEINOB: I lived down here and I moved up to the first bedroom at the top of the stairs. I think it was about the same time that I moved upstairs that you moved to 120 Ripley. (Wali Ali) and then I….
WALI ALI: Marsha moved in before that, right? She moved in when I was up at Ripley Street? (children crying, inaudible).
ZEINOB: No, she, it was and then I left and Wali Ali, you moved back here.
WALI ALI: Right. I remember that very well.
KOLSOUM: Then we went, musical houses, and then I went up to live at Ripley house—
ZEINOB: I remember Kolsoum and keeping what seemed to me an extremely hectic pace—
KOLSOUM: Yes! That's right, it was really hectic—
ZEINOB: Sharing. I remember cooking for 50 people (background noises)—on Sundays, it just seemed non-ending work the house was just really changed when we were there; even more people coming through then there were when we first moved in, the house was really a mess.
WALI ALI: Were you going to school at that time? Zeinob?
ZEINOB: I was going to art school full time.
WALI ALI: You weren't going to school at the time?
KOLSOUM: I was working.
ZEINOB: And David was working, so we had two working people in the house and I was going to art school fulltime.
KOLSOUM: But then you were home; you quit after that.
ZEINOB: No, it must have been summer vacation maybe when I wouldn't have had school, and I continued school until I was pregnant.
WALI ALI: You said that when you moved in, David was just moving to the Holy Order of Mans.
KOLSOUM: I think so, wasn't it?
ZEINOB: No, the three of us lived together for awhile, but we could feel, we could really feel the change coming, but the three of us lived together for I think quite some time. Incredible, because that is when you lived downstairs for a period of time, you lived downstairs for at least 3 months—Yeah, for at least 3 months, and then didn't you go to through part of the winter here?
ZEINOB: No. You moved out, and I moved upstairs; it was very damp and dark down here. Sometimes things take a long time to change and you could just feel the energy getting ready for David to leave.
WALI ALI: Yeah, he was sort of pushing him out of the nest, for sure. Were you involved when Murshid lived with Mr. Hunt? Do you remember any of those contacts with Mr. Hunt, contact with this how he finally left and … (inaudible)
KOLSOUM: Yeah, Jack phoned me, as I remember it—Jack came up and he was going to be with me, the official heavy and he was elected to go back there and get Mr. Hunt to move, and it was very hard to do and finally agreed to—he had always gotten along well with me and he seemed to like David and he fed his birds back there, and I think he thought that some of the disciples were kind of disruptive. He couldn't really cope with the numbers of people who were coming in and out, and I think that Jack just … and it was very painful for Murshid—
WALI ALI: I know it was painful for everyone when Murshid had some sort of big gripe against somebody, and he would be talking to everybody about it, he didn’t necessarily take it up directly with that person.
WALI ALI: I know that it was that way with Mr. Hunt.
ZEINOB: I remember Mr. Hunt coming down one time to pick up some of his things, and Murshid introduced him to me because I was in art school, and he wanted the two of us to know each other, and I felt that he really loved him very much. There was a deep…
WALI ALI: He was just in the way in terms of the development of his work.
ZEINOB: Right. I don't think the unfriendliness was on any sort of personal level; he had a lot of love for him that I saw too.
KOLSOUM: When we were talking about Murshid being over concerned about people, that kind of bothered him. When Mr. Hunt was moving out it was like a combination of that and knowing, what it was that he had to do in order to, it was all these things; it had gone beyond the point now and moving into a different cycle of his work, and suddenly having all those people, it was impossible, it was just a change over.
WALI ALI: I am not really sure how to proceed to tell you the truth; we have gotten quite a bit of stuff from Kolsoum, and maybe we should just go back and start getting Zeinob's story, and if you feel like staying, maybe it will trigger some things in you (Kolsoum).
KOLSOUM: I just got to see her; I want to stay for awhile.
WALI ALI: Why don't you just tell it in your own way, Zeinob?
ZEINOB: I know I wish I had done what Sabira suggested and read David's tape, which I haven't had time to do.
KOLSOUM: And by the way, I have some correspondence which I'd like to let you use.
WALI ALI: Yeah, that would be nice, we may or may not have it, but we are trying to collect all we can. Zeinob, if you'd like to look in our safe—if you would like to wait and review that material, we can do it another—
ZEINOB: I feel that it would be more fair to Sabira as a typist to review all this material, I just don't want to say things that I have said before.
WALI ALI: I am not so concerned with saying things that you have said before. It's just that you have that you have your memory fresh, and because I know that you have a good memory and you would focus on whatever there is.
ZEINOB: I know that what you want are things in somewhat historical order.
WALI ALI: Not so much—we are only talking about the last three or four years, and it is all pretty much gathered. What I want is definite incidents, for example that were either things that were teaching situations, or situation where Murshid acted in some way that you couldn't understand, or was so mind blowing or disruptive or disturbing, that finally I am more interested in—
ZEINOB: All of those things—
WALI ALI: Those kind of things, right. What was the most embarrassing thing experience that you ever had … do you recall being embarrassed?
ZEINOB: Oh yes, yes, a number of times. I remember Moineddin talking about the time that he and I went to L.A. together, and on the way back we were driving along—and we had gotten a lot of avocados from Jelelah—and Murshid and I stopped at a Taco stand, and we would stop anywhere if it was twelve o'clock, he would take me right up to the McDonald's hamburger, or a Chinese restaurant or whatever it was—he ate! because it was twelve. So we stopped at this Taco stand, and Murshid got out and ordered a Taco and then proceeded to peel a whole avocado and eat this avocado and here was Murshid with this dripping avocado sitting in the back seat covered with it—in rust color, covered with avocado, Vermeer colors, right? He was so positive that he just didn't see little messes like that, he just missed them.
And there were things that used to annoy me too because I liked—I came in as the first woman to live in this house, with three men and I wanted the house to be clean and to be together, because that is the way I like my houses to be—being the only woman in the house, that was the obvious thing to do, and Murshid would do things like—he would put his spoon in the soup and give the soup a couple of stirs, and then take it out dripping and walk across the floor that I had just washed—and it was just he would bring in the vegetables dripping dirt, just as they came and throw them in the sink. And after a meeting when he got very high—he needed physical work to come down, to get into his body—and especially after working with you—he would go out into the garden, or after a meeting he would do the dishes, and I remember we would have a pan of soapy water and he would be throwing dishes into the soapy water, and throwing them into the drain board without rinsing them, and, "Oh please don't do the dishes, Murshid!!"
KOLSOUM: We would rush to get into the kitchen before Murshid came in—
ZEINOB: And I remember one time he made a cake—and it was when we had the Saturday afternoon dance classes. Word around very quickly that Murshid had made a cake, and he put too much baking soda in it and it was the most terrible tasting—what too much baking soda does—it was the most terrible tasting cake—and every single one of the mureeds cramming into the kitchen to take a bit of his cake—it tasted terrible but it got you so high. There was something about the food that he made, it was like he had so much baraka—his breath was in it—and it wasn't put together in a meticulous way, it was just so living, so…
KOLSOUM: Yeah, we were talking about that, I gained 15 pounds while I was here—
ZEINOB: Yeah, you did better than I did—
WALI ALI: When Zeinob came she was so underweight, she was very frail and physically weak, it was really good for her to put on weight—
ZEINOB: It was like I was starved and it took me awhile before I could really do the cooking for the house. At first Murshid did most of the cooking. As Saadia, his god daughter aid, "The cook has one of the most important jobs in the house." Whatever you feel goes right in the food, what you cook, and you take that and put it in your body, so it was good that Murshid did most of the cooking—I enjoyed the openness of the house; there was a real open attitude toward it—if somebody would come when he had a break, which he would take periodically, or if he just wanted to finish some letters with Wali Ali, he would have a break, and I know lots of times he would just open the door to total strangers who were coming up the stairs, and he would sit and talk to them for awhile. And I liked that, I really liked that, it was nice. And as we got further along we became more sensitive, especially when he was teaching, to non-mureeds being very close to him, especially at the time that he was meditating before class, or directly after a class or between classes. He got very sensitive to that—not just mureeds, but people, he needed the people then to really be where he was. I remember that he would wash the dishes, if it was Saturday or something.
WALI ALI: Right, he didn't want anybody up there.
ZEINOB: Not just a disciple, but it got to a point where it was an old mureed somebody he had lived with.
KOLSOUM: That's true.
ZEINOB: I really admired that—in a sense my needing things neat and clean and all of the structure that I had been taught, he helped to break apart—and he showed me that there was something much, more important than that, and I appreciated that. When I say that things annoyed me, I don't really mean that—they threw me on a deep level—they just helped me a lot—I appreciated it. You two were talking about other people and what maybe people would say behind their backs, and I felt that a lot of that…. (noise).
WALI ALI: Go ahead Zeinob, we are starting up again—I think this is good, these kinds of things are real helpful to get down, incidents around the house, that sort of thing, so we can focus on that a little bit.
WALI ALI: Murshid used to get up early, usually around dawn, whatever time that was coming.
ZEINOB: 5 to 5:30 AM usually—
WALI ALI: And he would go out and go to the bakery, to the … .and bring back doughnuts or some kind of white flour pastry.
ZEINOB: He always walked when he first got up, and then he would start some kind of breakfast for himself, and he would walk around the park a couple of times—and on rainy mornings he would just pace around upstairs.
WALI ALI: In the front room—
ZEINOB: In the front room—
WALI ALI: And did his practices while he was walking.
WALI ALI: I hear him saying, "Ya Hayoo, Waho Qayyoom, “he always would say YaHayoo, Wahyo Qayyoom—
ZEINOB: It is hard to say; there were so many different ways that he dealt with people—I just wish that I had read this report, and go ahead, and talk about some of the things that haven't been done yet.
WALI ALI: You don't have to do that, I. mean, we have a full tape from Kolsoum; and the idea was that we were going to do both of you together, and since that didn't work out for whatever reason, maybe that is an indication that we ought to wait and do it again some other time.
ZEINOB: That would be fine with me, I'm pooped
WALI ALI: I feel that Zeinob and I don't want to put you into any—
TO BE CONTINUED IN SEPT. 1976