Khalil Lawrence, November, 1976—Memories of Murshid
In my experience with Murshid I simply looked at him to feel a blessing. I don't know that anything he said ever reached me as much as just the being in his presence, and yet in just his voice there again was his whole being and blessing. It felt to me that whatever he was doing he indeed gave his whole being and blessing, to it.
I remember the first Whirling Dervish Bazaar. We all worked very hard to make it a reality. I was eating dinner alone when Murshid and Wall Ali came by Murshid said, "I will sit here for no special reason." I was totally blown out. I was thrilled, horrified, near tears, and all he did was sit near me. He looked at me and referring to the Bazaar said, "You know what this is? This is brotherhood!" I could barely eat and could not talk. I smiled. Murshid finished eating quickly and was gone. I ate almost nothing but felt full and refreshed.
On another occasion I was talking with someone who remarked that I had large hands for my height.. Murshid came over and showed us his hands were at least twice the size of mine. He spread them wide palm up. He talked all the time he showed us his hands but I remember the sight and feeling so overwhelming it defies words.
Once during a class Murshid played the Flute of Krishna. I was deeply moved by the sound. After he called a break in the class I found myself kneeling at his feet. I slowly looked up at him. He looked at me and asked what I wanted. I was without words. I felt fulfilled just to be at his feet and so gazing up at him I answered that there was nothing that I wanted. Murshid said, "Oh well!!" and laughed and laughed. This was a great mystery to me then.
Murshid often asked, "What do you think of that?" Right when I was least aware of thinking. Once when I again had no words Murshid said, "All right, he doesn't know what to say, but I will make up for him." And he laughed. My heart was pounding. In his presence I often felt inadequate. Once a long distance phone call came for me during a break in a class. Murshid called me to the phone and told me they would call back in a minute. I was horrified that this had interrupted his break. I kept saying “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Murshid." He waved it away, and said forcefully, "Don't be sorry!" I answered, "Sorry." I felt so stupid. He did not answer. The phone rang. We both laughed. This exchange may sound dull or mundane but it left me awed. I don't know if in writing this anyone can get the feelings. I am still waking up to what was and still is going on and who he was and is in my life. If nothing else, consider these bits of memories as unfinished, growing, and of the most profound experiences in my life. This is not a matter of personality worship even though some of this may sound like a love-sick idiot. In part that is absolutely correct. But what is the basis for this? I am aware that if nothing else if Murshid asked me today, ""What do you think about that?" I would answer, "Praise God, it's wonderful." To be in Murshid's presence was a blessing. Once received the Blessing remains a reality within. This is Murshid.