Blessings on the Fall Equinox and Jewish New Year!!!
I just returned from Holland where the Universal Sufi Council sponsored a Peace Pledge Conference, of which I am one of four initiators. The others are Murshid Karimbakhsh Witteveen, 96 year old elder of the Sufi Movement and former Dutch Finance Minister and head of the International Money Fund, Jonathan Granoff, senior disciple of Guru Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and head of the Global Security Institute that is dedicated to ending Nuclear weapons, and our main organizer Brigitte van Baren, Zen teacher and founder of Inner Sense.
Wonderful spiritual leaders from India, Pakistan, Africa, Greenland, Europe and the US joined us, including a mystic Rabbi, the head Imam for India, prominent gurus and Sufi leaders. Further, we were joined by educators Samiur Rahman and his wife Shaista from our Hope Project along with brilliant Pakistani educator Fakhira Najib, water experts from the Netherlands and prominent businessmen and politicians, all promoting bringing Loving Kindness into all our relations. You can see the “Peace Pledge” and sign it at peacepledgeproject.org. My Tibetan guru, the 12th Tai Situ Rinpoche, sent the conference a beautiful video contribution which can be viewed here on youtube. The three day conference was capped by a public event at the International Peace Palace in the Hague.
I also led a one day Sufi Retreat in the countryside of Holland arranged by our very own Malika Cieremans along with Zubin Nur.
Hope you all read my report on our glorious Murshid Sam Dargah Dedication and Celebration at Lama Foundation at the end of August. We deeply appreciate your further support, as we still need to raise a little more than $100,000 to completely pay for the project.
Tamam’s health is improving. The mild L2 compression fracture is healing well and she has begun a long treatment for her lungs. Please keep her in your prayers. Since my program in Ecuador was cancelled, I will be home all of October, which will help me support Tamam.
My next public teaching will be Dec 2-4 on Maui! Also, in February I will lead a Pilgrimage to Mother India along with Murshida Leilah, which probably needs advanced planning on your part if you want to join. And lastly, our dates for the Sufi Sesshin changed this year due to a scheduling conflict at the IONS retreat facility. This years Sufi Sesshin is Feb 23 - March 2, 2018
Recite 101x YA HASIB ~ YA TAWWAB
40. Ya Hasib (yaa ḥa-SEEB)
Al-Hasib is the action of accounting for the full meaning of everything. Nothing goes unrecorded and nothing is ever lost. It means taking full responsibility for one's actions, words, and even one's thoughts. To become completely accountable allows for a new beginning of what is possible. It brings realization. A root meaning of al-Hasib is to record a business transaction in an account book with exactitude and honesty.
An advanced Sufi technique called muhaasibah is an honest taking account of oneself while never forgetting that you are within the ocean of divine mercy. Repetition of Ya Hasib can be an antidote for those of us who get lost in minutiae. It is also recommended for those who are fearful or who get caught up in the habit of scheming.
Ya Tawwab (yaa tow-WAAB)
79. At-Tawwab is the forgiveness that enables you to turn away from grudges, and perceived individual defects, toward the perfection of Allah. It comes with the realization that the divine beloved is always turning toward you, continually offering a gaze of deep forgiveness and endless compassion. At-Tawwab conveys the real meaning of repentance, the turning from the limitations of the false self and toward the perfection of your immortal soul, which is not separate from the divine reality.
Realizing at-Tawwab involves giving up the attachment to being right. It means giving up self-righteousness and letting go of the grudge. It is to turn your face toward someone else with forgiveness and compassion. Like Ya Wadud, it consciously uses the densest elements of a situation as an inner impetus for transformation, and to turn toward God. Repetition of Ya Tawwab allows you to turn toward the divine face in every face. It is an antidote for clinging to, and identifying with, a wounded sense of self-deficiency.
Commonly translated as the Acceptor of Repentance, it has the root in the Arabic, tauba, turning. It can be understood as the Divine Forgiveness that allows us to turn from individual defect toward the Beloved, who is always facing us, continually (because of the double consonant WW) turning toward us. Many of you will recognize it as the third wazifa in the four wazifas of healing we have done before, YA GHAFFAR, YA GHAFFUR, YA TAWWAB, and YA AFUW
In the Jewish tradition, starting September 20 ~ Rosh Hashannah - Jewish New Year - Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement ~ Sep 29-30, 2017, we will be in what is known as the 10 Days of Tshuva, the 10 days between Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the tenth day known as the Day of At-one-ment. Tshuva, is the same root as tauba/Tawwab, which we translated in Arabic as turning toward Divine Light, and Allah continually turning toward us. These are the 10 days of Forgiveness, of Atonement.
This requires overcoming the attachment to our self-grasping, in other words not being attached to any particular view of ourselves, whether grandiose, exaggerated or demeaning, like self loathing, low self worth or esteem. Turning toward the light, which removes shadows, always feeling the love flowing toward you, no matter what your mistakes and accomplishments, forgiving and accepting.
It is a period where one takes an account of one's life - YA HASIB, opening one's heart and eyes to everything, even what may be uncomfortable to see. With the support of YA TAWWAB, this sheds light on what was previously in darkness or shadow.
It can be further understood that the mystics of old set up this ritual as a rehearsal for what in the Bible is called the "Day of Judgment." As Murshid Sam would often point out, it is called the DAY of judgment, not the NIGHT of judgment. In other words, it happens in the LIGHT. That is, in one of the stages after leaving behind this body, one gets a life's review in the LIGHT. I believe the phrase, "Day of Accounting," or "Day of Reconciling," rather than judging, would be appropriate. If one is turned to the light than there is no self-loathing, just learning from one's mistakes. One does not feel cast out or separate from the Beloved.
TEXT and COMMENTARY to STUDY
This month we begin reading Series 2 of the Githa Murakkabah: Concentration of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan with commentary by Murshid Samuel Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti). Read Githa Series 2 Numbers 1 - 4, pages 1-15. Click here to download the document.
Pir Shabda speaking at the Peace Pledge Conference in Holland
Peace Pledge Conference Attendees (L to R) Syed Slaman Chishti, Brigitte van Baren, Murshid Karimbakhsh, Pir Shabda, Jonathan Granoff
Several of our spiritual leaders in front of the International Peace Palace, the Hague
Selfie with Murshid Karimbakhsh
Several of our spiritual leaders at Murad Hassail Sufi Temple
Sufi Retreat in Holland
Netherlands Wood Pigeon
Netherlands Grey Heron
Local Green Heron
For upcoming Events and Teachings, see Shabda's calendar for more information.