It has been a whirlwind of activity for the past month! Being a "Main Speaker" at the Parliament of World Religions, our annual Murshid Circle Retreat followed by the annual Jamiat Khas Leaders Retreat and then the Ruhaniat Board of Trustees annual in-face meeting. Then this past Sunday we had another musical visit to San Quentin to sing for the inmates. It was our best "Sufi band" ever, Perry singing, Bhavani with her bright musicianship, Renata, a dazzling cellist, and Gitanjali joining us for the first time.
At the Parliament of World Religions we presented the Dances of Universal Peace more than three times, which have had over 13,000 views on Facebook. My presentation was live-streamed from the Parliament and now is also archived on the Parliament site
( 2800 views so far), as well as on our Sufi Ruhaniat YouTube
At the JK Leaders Retreat I gave a Power Point presentation
on the Murshid Sam Dargah project including all the construction photos, which is also on the Ruhaniat YouTube channel. Murshids Saadi and Wali Ali joined me for short talks. Even though it is quite long, it is worth the time to get a deeper understanding of the project and the process.
Deep gratitude for all of you who have already contributed. It is naturally my hope that each and every one of you give something so your energy is mixed into the effort. We are also hoping that those of you who have been generous will make pledges for 2016 and 2017; in this way we can guarantee we will have enough funds to complete the project debt free. Go here to donate and make pledges
In a little more than a week we begin teaching in Maui, Dec 4-6
. Registration for the Sufi Sesshin
is coming in and if you can't attend the whole 8-day retreat we invite you to come part-time starting January 1!
I am delighted to once again be traveling to Mother India for Hazrat Inayat Khan's URS Feb 4-6, then leading a residential Sufi Festival
Feb 9-14, 2016 with Sheikh Kabir Helminski. Instead of following my usual pattern of bringing a group, people can register for the Sufi Festival, which is only $500 including lodging, and make their own arrangements to come to the URS.
Looking forward, I will be giving a Raga Concert Friday night accompanied by wonderful professional Indian Classical musicians, followed by a Sufi retreat Saturday and Sunday in Ashland, Mar 4-6, 2016.
When Murshid Wali Ali gave his talk about the Dargah he shared with us a practice that he said Murshid Sam did every day: YA DHAL JELALI WAL IKRAM, which we can do for the month to come.
Also, our entire Ruhaniat family is invited to join in a daily noon practice of reciting: "IN UNISON WITH THE WILL OF GOD, WE WILL TO HAVE PEACE", followed by a few moments of meditation.
YA DHAL JALALI WAL IKRAM
84. Ya Dhal Jalali wal 'Ikram (yaa DTHAL ja-LAA-li WAL 'ik-RAAM)
All manifestation of power (al-Jalal) as well as all manifestation of beauty (al-Jamal) come from God's absolute essence. The first word, "Dhal" of this Name, is the same as dhat (or zat), which means the absolute essence. Dhal is the utterly transcendent source of the ceaseless flowing of divine manifestations.
It is the source of the flow of divine strength, al-Jalal, into everything everywhere, without distinction. In accord with Arabic grammar, when using "Ya" we say Ya Dhal Jalali wal 'Ikram; without the "Ya" the name is slightly different: we say Dhul Jalali wal 'Ikram.
The 'Ikram in this Name is a most beautiful or jamali quality. It means the unconditional and loving generosity of God that fully manifests into everything. It is an intensive form of al-Karim (42). 'Ikram adds emphasis, making it incomparably kind and generous, noble and giving. Paired, as they are in this
Name, al-Jalal and al-'Ikram express the omnipotent strength and incomparable divine generosity that are present in the absolute essence of all, and harmonize them. The balanced combination of qualities in this great Name produces balance.
Ya Dhal Jalali wal 'Ikram is recommended as a useful practice for all who are out of balance in relation to strength and its proper use. It is similarly effective when people may not be able to set appropriate personal boundaries, as a result of being out of balance in the sphere of generosity.
To hear the pronunciation: Ya Dhal Jalali wal 'Ikram
TEXT and COMMENTARY to STUDY
This month we continue reading "The Bestowal of Blessing" by Murshid Samuel Lewis, also known as Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti (One Who is Drawn to God by Grace). Read Chapters 7-9, pages 25-35.