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Seattle’s sufi shayk considers the beauty of salat

June 17, 2012

Ya Allah, my soul aches

I am a lover longing for connection

Fill me with your essence

Take me over the edge

Cultivating a higher self

April 24, 2012

I cultivate a higher self with Islamic values by:

  • Replacing judgmental and condemning thought patterns with simple discernment.
  • Cultivating an intellectually humble premise, rather than pushing perspective.
  • Calling for compassion and inclusiveness while abandoning concepts of a lower otherness.
  • Celebrating action and substance – the manifestation of righteous thoughts.
  • Valuing feelings and connection so much as to set aside dogma and tradition.

Online survey for Progressive Muslims

April 17, 2012

A new online survey seeks to shed light on the views and values of Progressive Muslims. If you are a Progressive Muslim, click here to participate.

All paths lead to God

March 10, 2012

(Jesus said:) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Gospel of Jesus according to Matthew 5:9)

I recently read a blogger’s article asserting that all paths lead to God, but only one path assures salvation. And in this blogger’s world view (held by so many others), that one path is through atonement of sins via the belief in and acceptance of the blood sacrifice of Jesus (peace be upon him) as the human incarnation of God and/or God’s only son (Christ). All other paths lead to God’s eternal rejection and punishment. His argument was in fact the critical point over which I left the Christian religion as an adolescent.

They claim, “None shall ever enter paradise unless he be a Jew – or, a Christian.” Such are their wishful beliefs! Say: “Produce an evidence for what you are claiming, if what you say is true!” (Quran 2:111)

That leads me now to express my thoughts on exclusivity. Any claims to sole possession of THE truth, by which salvation may be achieved in the afterlife with assertion that all others are just asking for damnation… well, it sounds petty and simple minded. When you put something out there as ultimate truth, it cannot defy reason and logic. (Eh hem, that goes for Muslims too.)

“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” (Rumi)

So here is MY distilled essence of absolute truth. I believe in One God – infinite source of all that is. I believe we ALL have a direct connection to God. I believe we are all on the path to spiritually reunite with our omniscient Creator after we depart this material world. No (eternal) punishment needed. We are here to live and learn freely. Created of God so that we may know God.

Christians, Muslims – any one professing any faith – we are all holding our glass shards of truth. Let us try not to hurt each other with them.

Thrive in Abundance

March 7, 2012

“Do not strain your eyes in longing for the things that we have given to some groups of them to enjoy, the splendor of the life of this world through which we test them.  The provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.” (Quran 20:131)

The Earth is a complete system, created and evolving over time to sustain life. When we accept this viewpoint, we become aware that all our needs are already provided for. Each individual spirit in this human experience has its own journey back to the Creator.

In the sickness of our nafs, we collectively fail to live rightly and thrive in our system. Greed and coveting, leads people away from their own spiritual paths. We fall into the dream of the material world, mesmerized.

In truth, humans need very little to survive physically. But, spiritually, we die when we take our eyes off of our Lord. When our goal becomes attainment, rather than acceptance, of what this world has to offer.

Surrendering our lust for wealth, status and power, we attain the most elusive and beautiful of all states of being: freedom. In such a state we realize that we can thrive in abundance.

Cover not Truth

March 1, 2012

“Cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when you know it.” (Quran 2:42)

I have always had a love/hate relationship with the concept of truth. Is truth absolute or subjective? Unwaivering and timeless, or dependent on circumstance? Or both simultaneously without contradiction?

Islam teaches the first absolute truth: there is no god but God. That a Creator exists is the base premise for spirituality. However, even this is not evident to all. To some the truth does not seem true at all. So, if even the greatest, most basic and essential truth about the essence of reality is still subjective, then so much more the particulars infinitum.

The Quran says, “And if God had so willed, they who succeeded those apostles would not have contended with one another after all evidence of the truth had come to them. But, as it was, they did take divergent views, and some of them attained to faith, while some of them came to deny the truth. Yet if God had so willed, they would not have contended with one another. But God does whatever He wills.” (2:254)

God gives us truth, but wills that some of us should not recognize it as so. This is a contradiction, creating potential for conflict. And how should we deal with an apparent built-in contradiction? The Quran contains clear instructions for believers in difficult situations.

“Out of their selfish envy, many among the followers of earlier revelation would like to bring you back to denying the truth after you have attained to faith – even after the truth has become clear to them. Nonetheless, forgive and forbear, until God makes manifest His will. Behold, God has the power to will anything.” (2:109)

On Lucid Dream State Soul Reunification

February 27, 2012

For seekers looking for an understanding of soul reunification through lucid dreaming. May Allah guide our hearts and minds, protecting us from that which harms us.

Our souls communicate with our conscious minds in symbols and feelings more than words. Using self-hypnosis or progressive relaxation to reach lucid dream state provides the optimal space for the soul to speak. The conscious mind is fully present and aware, able to integrate the soul fragments as they freely return to the present self.

Soul retrieval, which is work generally done with the help of a spiritual healer, actively seeks and recalls soul fragments. Soul reunification is different. The soul fragments are not called back, but appear spontaneously, presenting themselves in the dream state. These pieces of past-self, which we dissociated from during trauma, reappear as (perhaps lost) memories.

Within the dream the healing present-self may reach out to the past-self by stepping into the dream-memory. In effect, stopping the “actual” memory, and connecting with the past-self who was trapped or suspended in that place.

In lucid dreaming the conscious mind experiences the duality of self without contradiction. The present (adult) and the past (child) are both aware of themselves and of the other, that is also self. They communicate naturally by symbolic imagery, feeling, perhaps words, resulting in profound epiphanies(3).

*The ideas put forth in this post are not from, neither are they in opposition to, any Islamic teaching.*