A message from Ibn Ata'illah Sakandari's The Hikam (wisdoms) to all Egyptian : Travel not from creature to creature, otherwise you will be like a donkey at the mill: roundabout he turns, his goal the same as his departure. Rather, go from creatures (al-akwan) to the Creator (al-Mukawwin).
You who are "poor" (fuqara), if you wish that your wind may prevail over all winds and all adversaries, then be constant in contemplating your Lord while He is trying you, for He will change your ignorance into knowledge, your weakness into strength, your helplessness into power, your poverty into wealth, your lowliness into glory, your loneliness into intimacy, your remoteness into nearness - or, in word, God will cover over your qualities with His qualities, for He is generous and bestows immeasurable graces.
SOUND OF THE SOUL (Fez Festival of World Sacred Music in Moroccois) brings together musicians from Muslim, Christian and Jewish backgrounds, all connected through their artistry by profound expressions of love and longing, reverberating with unity, understanding and most of all, hope.
Actions differ because the inspirations of the states of being differ. Actions are lifeless forms (suwar qa’ima), but the presence of an inner reality of sincerity (sirr al-ikhlas] within them is what endows them with life-giving Spirit.
The real question is whether in the end we want to work for civilizations that are separate, or whether we should be taking the more integrative, but perhaps more difficult path, which is to see them as making one vast whole, whose exact contours are impossible for any person to grasp, but whose certain existence we can intuit and feel and study. Edward Said
Many civil movements may succeed because there is an awareness that, whereas at the intermediate level they face violent opposition, there is at a higher level a degree of protection available to them or a degree of support.
Then there are times when force may be needed to topple a regime. Civil resistance may, and indeed does, characteristically produce a stalemate, where it can deny a regime a degree of cooperation or embarrass it with demonstrations in the streets or whatever, maybe undermine the unity of its armed forces—all of those things may be achieved—but it may still not be able to unseat an adversary regime. Civil Resistance and Power Politics
Edward Said - The Myth of Clash of Civilization
I remember when I lost my mind. There was something so pleasant about that place. Even your emotions had an echo in so much space. And when you're out there without care, yeah, I was out of touch, but it wasn't because I didn't know enough. I just knew too much.
And I hope that you are having the time of your life, but think twice, that's my only advice.
My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb, and all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them. Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun. And it's no coincidence I've come, and I can die when I'm done. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
No complaints and no regrets I still believe in chasing dreams and placing bets. But I have learned that all you give is all you get, so give it all you've got. I had my share, I drank my fill and even though I’m satisfied, I’m hungry still to see what’s down another road beyond the hill and do it all again. So here's to life, and every joy it brings. Here’s to life and dreamers and their dreams. Funny how the time just flies, a love can go from warm hello to sad goodbyes and leave you with the memories you memorized to keep your winters warm. There’s no yes in yesterday and who knows what tomorrow brings or takes away as long as I’m still in the game I want to play for laughs, for life, for love. So here’s to life and every joy it brings. Yes, here's to life and dreamers and their dreams. May all your storms be weathered and all that’s good get better. Here’s to life, here's to love, here's to you. Shirley Horn
Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love, is a music-infused cinematic journey about the power of one man's voice to inspire change. The film chronicles N’dour, a devout Sufi Muslim, as he releases a deeply personal and religious album called Egypt in the hope of promoting a more tolerant face of Islam.
If the past is only an experience, make of the future a meaning and a vision. Let us go into tomorrow trusting the candor of imagination. No. Victims do not ask their executioner: Am I you? Had my sword been bigger than my rose, would you have asked if I would have acted like you? A hypothesis is as clear as the conscience of a novelist set to settle accounts with human instinct. Thinks of the journey of ideas across borders, and over barriers. I am from there, I am from here, but I am neither there nor here. I have two names which meet and part...I have two languages, but I have long forgotten which is the language of my dreams. What about identity? I asked. It's self-defence...Identity is the child of birth, but at the end, it's self-invention, and not an inheritance of the past. I am multiple...Within me an ever new exterior. And I belong to the question of the victim. Were ...So carry your homeland wherever you go...The outside world is exile, exile is the world inside. And what are you between the two? By traveling freely across cultures those in search of the human essence may find a space for all to sit...Here a margin advances. Or a centre retreats. Where East is not strictly east, and West is not strictly west, where identity is open onto plurality, not a fort or a trench.
Will you be able to return to anything? So, nostalgia can hit you? And nostalgia for yesterday? Did you not sneak into yesterday when you went to that house, your house? I prepared myself to sleep in my mother's bed... I tried to recall my birth, and to watch the Milky Way from the roof of my old house. I tried to stroke the skin of absence and the smell of summer in the garden's jasmine. But the hyena that is truth drove me away from a thief-like nostalgia.
Were you afraid? What frightened you? I could not meet loss face to face. I stood by the door like a beggar. How could I ask permission from strangers sleeping in my own bed... Ask them if I could visit myself for five minutes? Should I bow in respect to the residents of my childish dream? Would they ask: Who is that prying foreign visitor? And how could I talk about war and peace among the victims and the victims' victims, without additions, without an interjection? And would they tell me: There is no place for two dreams in one bedroom? Mahmoud Darwish Bids Edward Said Farewell
You went back to what you knew so far removed from all that we went through, and I tread a troubled track. My odds are stacked I'll go back to black. We only said good-bye with words I died a hundred times. You go back to her and I go back to black. Amy Winehouse
Isn't it rich? Are we a pair? Me here at last on the ground, You in mid-air. Send in the clowns. Isn't it bliss? Don't you approve? One who keeps tearing around, One who can't move. Where are the clowns? Don't you love farce? My fault I fear. I thought that you'd want what I want. Sorry, my dear. But where are the clowns? Isn't it rich? Losing my timing this late in my career? And where are the clowns? There ought to be clowns. Well, maybe next year.
I over a pile of steaming horse dung, I warm my icy hands. I warm my hands and regret: Not enough have I known, have I listened to the greatness of smallness. Sometimes, the warm breath of a pile of dung may become a poem, a thing of beauty.
With such moments in a forest of snow you have to wrestle, worse than a dying man, fighting his microbes. If you win — They will become your own, revealing the meaning of struggle, the birth of fates locked up in snow. But if you lose the furious fencing — Your own breath will freeze you to death.
Alone. Pure, frozen calm. Under the stillness —My naked body. Just two yards of ground are mine — Here I lie, covered by the moon. I sharpen my ears for a voice of a friend, a voice of a friend! But like my own echo coming back from afar —Music of wolves in a shimmering semicircle. Is this the only faithful thing I have left: Music of wolves — The last faithful thing, frozen howls over forest snow? Let it be! Relentless as steel, it closes in on me, A pack of music! Come close, my wolves, my dearest wolves! Let us be friends, let us prowl together on hostile man, on the devilish whirl. Pack of music — Conquer the world! A. Sutzkever
Listen to the story told by the reed, of being separated. "Since I was cut from the reedbed, I have made this crying sound. Anyone apart from someone he loves understands what I say. Anyone pulled from a source longs to go back.
At any gathering I am there, mingling in the laughing and grieving, a friend to each, but few will hear the secrets hidden within the notes. No ears for that. Body flowing out of spirit, spirit up from body: no concealing that mixing. But it's not given us to see the soul. The reed flute is fire, not wind. Be that empty."
Hear the love fire tangled in the reed notes, as bewilderment melts into wine. The reed is a friend to all who want the fabric torn and drawn away. The reed is hurt and salve combining. Intimacy and longing for intimacy, one song. A disastrous surrender and a fine love, together. The one who secretly hears this is senseless.
A tongue has one customer, the ear. A sugarcane flute has such effect because it was able to make sugar in the reedbed. The sound it makes is for everyone. Days full of wanting, let them go by without worrying that they do. Stay where you are inside such a pure, hollow note. Every thirst gets satisfied except that of these fish, the mystics, who swim a vast ocean of grace still somehow longing for it! No one lives in that without being nourished every day.
But if someone doesn't want to hear the song of the reed flute, it's best to cut conversation short, say good-bye, and leave. Song of the Reed , Rumi
Most of our life is spent with our head in our suitcase, where we store all our huge maze of past history and all of the emotional positions and attitudes that we carry. When we completely lose interest in it, a space is created in which we are able to realize that the person who was carrying the suitcase, who was involved in all that conditioning, was really an illusion; that person was actually a creation of the conditioning itself. "The price of freedom is complete loss of interest in our drama.” Nisgardata Maharaj. Unfolding Journey
La Sandunga (Lila Downs) - zandunga which means gracefulness, elegance, charm, wit, celebration. The story of this musical poem involves a local indigenous woman (Zapotec) embracing her dead mother's body and receiving no response. The bereaved painfully wails "SANDUNGA" and sadness turns to song as she sends her loved one off to God. There is in the music inspiration from the dances of Zapotec women and it is to this day played at all ceremonies in Tehuantepec at midnight. It is a waltz and it was influenced by the "Jota", a Spanish music style and is mixed with Native American and Mestizo elemen.
When we approach a man of another faith than our own it will be in a spirit of expectancy to find how God has been speaking to him and what new understandings of the grace and love of God we may ourselves discover in this encounter. Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, another religion is to take off our shoes, for the place we are approaching is holy. Else we may find ourselves treading on men's dreams. More serious still we may forget that God was here before our arrival. The Primal Vision - John V. Taylor
Johannes Rauner- Ruah from the album I'm Waiting For Myself
Metanoiete means changing our mind and our way of thinking. We see the prefix meta, which means "beyond" in a number of words: metaphysical-beyond the physical, or metaphor-an image that carries us beyond the original meaning to a new level of meaning. So here it means going beyond your previous way of thinking. Similarly the word "repent" means change direction, change your mind, change your way of thinking. The "pent" part of "repent," is related to a verb penser, to think. So to repent is to think again, think back, think forward, think in a new way.
And this is where the sins come in, if we understand sins as anything that separates us from God, or others, or our true selves then, repent is to return to God and to discover that God has always been with you. Our soul is the innermost reality of the living being that we are. It’s our capacity to receive and acquire and accumulate every experience we have ever had or ever will have. To come to maturity in the inner life, then, is to come into the possession of our own souls. This asks of us that we integrate all the human experience we have accumulated and continue to accumulate in our souls. We do this through spiritual practice, through prayer and meditation, through the acknowledgement of the essential unity of the body with the soul, through reflection and contemplation and self-examination. But a big part of that joy will be the discovery that the new you is also the old you, the person you have always been in the heart of God, but renewed by the One who makes all things new. Donald Grayston
After centuries of isolation in the rugged terrain of the Sierra Madre mountains, the Huichol people have come face-to-face with the outside world. As dominant societies intrude, how can the Huichol people thrive in today's world without sacrificing their native traditions?
Huichol art is made to communicate with a pantheon of ancestors and gods. Most Huichol adults constantly create offerings which serve as visual prayers to the gods.
In the Huichol culture, art and religion are inextricable. The shaman links the community with the spirit world, from where their creativity pours forth as a gift from their deified ancestors - to be given back as offerings to the gods. Each year, the Huichol embark on pilgrimages to the sacred land of Wirikuta where their deified ancient ancestors, the First People, once dwelled. During the trip, they perform a series of rituals and ceremonies to transform themselves into deities. At different locations, they adopt more and more of their divine identities and assume the feelings and attitudes attributed to the First People. For the Huichol people, art is a means of encoding and channeling sacred knowledge. It is considered a form of prayer, providing direct communion with the sacred realm.
Four female deities are represented by the serpent, and the Mother Goddess of the Sea is pictured as a huge, coiled serpent forming herself into a cyclical storm cloud from which rain falls. The Huichol believe that rain itself consists of millions of small snakes. Takutzi Nakahue, mother of all gods and of corn, is symbolized by the sacred tree, the armadillo, the bear, the water serpent and rain. Tamat’s Kauyumari, the older brother who shaped the world, often appears as deer, coyote, the pine tree or a whirlwind.
The Navajo's Long Walk to Bosque Redondo. The treatment of native americans by settlers and the government.
It’s in our most troubling and painful moments that we can find our destiny, our true purpose in life. It's in the moments of fate, the critical moments, like the loss of a loved one or of a career, when a person has fallen or been knocked down, in those moments we're closest to our destiny. How we handle these moments determines whether we can pull the thread of destiny out of the limitations of our fate. If a person learns what their life is really about and lives in that direction then something fulfilling happens and that makes the person feel more present in the world, more meaningful and more useful. Fate and Destiny by Michael Meade.
I believe in all that has never yet been spoken. I want to free what waits within me so that what no one has dared to wish for may for once spring clear without my contriving. If this is arrogant, God, forgive me, but this is what I need to say. May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children. Then in these swelling and ebbing currents, these deepening tides moving out, returning, I will sing you as no one ever has, streaming through widening channels into the open sea. by Rainer Maria Rilke
I live my life in ever widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I give myself to it. I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
Love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it. Rainer Maria Rilke
The heart is the thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tuned with Love. Our sadness and fear come from being out of tune with love. Hafiz
On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble, May the clay dance to balance you. And when your eyes freeze behind the gray window and the ghost of loss gets in to you, May a flock of colors, indigo, red, green and azure blue come to awaken in you a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays in the curach of thought and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you, May there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours, May the clarity of light be yours, May the fluency of the ocean be yours, And may the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life. Bennacht — A Blessing — by John O’Donohue
Though we need to weep your loss, you dwell in that safe place in our hearts, where no storm or night or pain can reach you. Your love was like the dawn brightening over our lives, awakening beneath the dark, a further adventure of colour.
The sound of your voice found for us a new music that brightened everything. Whatever you enfolded in your gaze quickened in the joy of its being; You placed smiles like flowers on the altar of the heart. Your mind always sparkled with wonder at things.
Though your days here were brief, your spirit was live, awake, complete. We look towards each other no longer from the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, as close to us as we are to ourselves.
May you continue to inspire us: To enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and love until we see your beautiful face again in that land where there is no more separation, where all tears will be wiped from our mind, and where we will never lose you again.
John O’Donohue vanished from among us on January 4, 2008 as physical presence, but it is impossible to write about John as someone who “was”; he so thoroughly “is”. In the context of the immense presence of his absence in a journey through the sacred landscape of western Ireland John leads us on an enlightening, emotionally affecting tour. Along the way he offers profound insights on life, death, suffering, creativity, and the divine There is an unseen life that dreams us; it knows our true direction and destiny. We can trust ourselves more than we realize, and we need have no fear of change. The greatest friend of soul is the Unknown. If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. Sometimes the great famine of blessings in and around us derives from the fact that we are not living the life we love; rather, we are living the life that is expected of us. We have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature.
I am dust particles in sunlight. I am the round sun. To the bits of dust I say, Stay. To the sun, Keep moving. I am morning mist, and the breathing of evening. I am wind in the top of a grove, and surf on the cliff. Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel, I am also the coral reef they founder on.
I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches. Silence, thought, and voice. The musical air coming through a flute, a spark of stone, a flickering in metal. Both candle and the moth crazy around it. Rose, and the nightingale lost in the fragrance. I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy, the evolutionary intelligence, the lift, and the falling away.
What is, and what isn't. You who know, Jelaluddin, You the one in all, say who I am. Say I am you. Rumi
There is a whole world of sound about us all the time that we cannot hear: It is possible that up there in those high-pitched inaudible regions there is a new exciting music being made with subtle harmonies anf fierce grinding discords, a music so powerful that it would drive us mad if only our ears were tuned to hear the sound of it. The Sound Machine by Roald Dahl