Religion of the Heart, Part 1

Religion of the Heart, Part 1: Reading, Reflection and Practice

Sufism is the religion of the heart, in which one thing is most important,
and that is to seek God in the heart of every human being.


2018-0715-Brotherhood-FB-page_RelGthka-1 from Stephanie Nuria Sabato on Vimeo.

Sufism, Part 2, from Gemma Erickson and Gayan Galik

Beloved Sisters and Brothers,

Hazrat Inayat Khan teaches us that the Sufi's aim is to realize one's own nature and, further, to know and live the purpose of one's life.

May we be divinely guided towards greater self-realization, the secret to success in life.

With Prayers for an enlightened world,
KarimaGita and Gayan



Social Gatheka, No. 7, Sufism – Part 2
by Hazrat Inayat Khan

In a few words Sufism means to know one's true being, to know the purpose of one's life and to know how to accomplish that purpose. Many say, out of disappointment, "I shall perhaps never be successful in my life," not knowing the fact that man is born to do what he longs to do and success is natural, failure is unnatural. If man is himself, the whole world is his own, if he is not himself, then even his self does [not] know what he is, where he is, why he is here on the earth; then he is less useful to himself and to others than a rock.

It is in self-realization that the mystery of the whole life is centered. It is the remedy of all maladies. It is a secret of success in all walks of life; it is a religion and more than a religion. And at this time when the world is upset this message conveys to the world the divine message. What is wrong with humanity today is that it is not itself and all the misery of the world is caused by this. Therefore nothing can answer the purpose of humanity save this process of sages and of the wise of all ages, which leads souls to self-realization.



Reflection
"It is in self-realization that the mystery of the whole life is centered.
It is the remedy of all maladies."

Hazrat Inayat Khan teaches us that "when the world is upset," the distress that we feel on a global level stems from our not-yet-perfected understanding of the truth of our own being.

Murshid tells us here that the whole goal of life and the spiritual path is to know who we are and be who we are meant to be. We are each seeded with longings that lead us toward our life's purpose. This passage suggests that in following these purposes, we have the potential to lift the world from suffering. Therefore, we who have compassion for the sorrow of the world would do well to attend to our own process of self-realization, and to help others also to awaken to the true nature of their being. In this process and in the transformation of consciousness that accompanies it lies the "remedy for all maladies" that presently create sorrow in the world. Our pursuit of self-realization, then, is a service that we can offer toward the healing of the world.

The Mission of Sufism, Part 1, from Gemma Erickson and Gayan Galik

Beloved Sisters and Brothers,

The message of Universal Sufism that was brought to the world by Hazrat Inayat Khan upholds the ideal of tolerance for the many faiths that exist worldwide, teaching that these faiths are like the many waves in the sea of one Truth.

May this teaching inspire us to rise above the "distinctions and differences which divide" mankind, that we may grow in greater understanding for all people.

With loving regards and prayers for an enlightened world,
KarimaGita and Gayan




Social Gatheka, No. 6, Part 1, The Misson of Sufism to the World
by Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Sufi Movement has two missions to perform in the world, one as a duty to individuals searching after the truth, the next duty, to bring about a better understanding among people. Therefore these two missions depend on each other for their fulfillment. Without the progress of individuals the progress of humanity is difficult, without the progress of humanity in general the progress of the individual is also difficult. The Sufi movement is not political, because beyond the political to a Sufi there exists the mystical idea. In all ages in the past the spiritual message was given by the prophet, for the words of God came to humanity through the medium of a mystic. When the law has fallen in the hands of worldly intellectual people it will always prove imperfect. It wants seeing further than the average eye to see the actual condition of life, which those interested in life cannot see, for they cannot help being partial when there is a question of their own interest.

The principal thing that the Sufi message has brought to the world is tolerance for all faiths existing in the different parts of the world, followed by different people. This can be done by giving the idea of that one truth which stands as the stem of religion, and all different faiths as its branches. The true religion to a Sufi is the sea of truth and all the different faiths are as its waves. The message of God from time to time comes as tides in the sea, but what remains always is the sea, the truth. Those who consider another on the wrong track they themselves are also not on the right track, for the one who is on the right track finds every road leading to the same goal sooner or later. The Sufi mission does not make converts to a certain faith to the exclusion of all faiths. A convert to the Sufi orders means a convert to all faiths in this world and is bound by no particular faith. Faith to a Sufi is a free ideal, not a captivity.



Reflection

The true religion to a Sufi is the sea of truth
and all the different faiths are as its waves.
,
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Hazrat Inayat Khan introduces us to the dual mission the Sufi Movement serves in the world, saying that one is duty to individuals searching after truth, and the other is to bring about better understanding among people. How might we personally develop and bring about better understanding in the world?

With reflection upon the quote above, we may be inspired to be open to people of different cultures and to experience and learn about their customs, beliefs and faith traditions. Practicing this, our consideration naturally grows in understanding “of that one truth which stands as the stem of religion, and all different faiths as its branches.” Hazrat Inayat Khan encourages us to live this ideal by sharing it with others, and so foster better understanding among all people of the world.
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Happiness, from Gemma Erickson and Gayan Galik

Beloved Sisters and Brothers,

Hazrat Inayat Khan teaches, "Very often it is the outlook on life which changes the whole life for a person. It can turn hell into heaven; it can turn sorrow into joy." This message offers the insight that happiness is connected to our attitude and response to the conditions in life. We are encouraged to rise above all conditions as if upon wings, so that we might see things from a point of view that can relieve difficulty or suffering. May all beings have Happiness.

With loving regards and prayers for an enlightened world,
KarimaGita and Gayan




Social Gatheka, No. 5, Happiness
by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Does happiness depend upon the condition in life or upon an outlook on life? It is a question which is very often asked and it is most difficult to answer. Many with philosophical knowledge will say, this material world is an illusion and its condition a dream, but yet there are very few who can make themselves believe it. To know a thing in theory is different from practicing it. It is most difficult in this world to rise above the effect that conditions produce. No doubt to rise above conditions there is only one thing that helps and that is a change of outlook on life and this change is made practical by the change of attitude.

In the language of the Hindus, life in the world is called samsara. It is pictured as life in a mist. One thinks and says and does and feels, and yet does not know fully why. If a person knows one reason for it, there is another reason hidden behind which he does not yet know. Very often conditions in life show a picture of captivity, often it seems as if one had to walk between the water and a pit, and to rise above conditions one needs wings, which not everybody has. The wings are attached to the will, one is independence the other is indifference. Independence needs a great deal of sacrifice in one's life before one can feel independent in life. Indifference against one's nature of love and sympathy is like cutting one's heart asunder before one can practice indifference through life. No doubt once the will is able to spread its wings then one sees the conditions of life far removed, one stands above all conditions that make man captive. There is no difficulty which cannot be surmounted sooner or later, but even if one has achieved something one desires in life, there is something else in life that seems to be unfinished, and so if one went from one thing to another achieving all he desires, the object of his desire will multiply and there will never be an end to one's desire.

The more one has to do in life, the more difficulties he has to meet with. If one keeps away from the life of the world then his being here is purposeless. The more important the task the more difficult to accomplish it. And so every evening follows the day and goes on till eternity. For a Sufi, therefore, it is not only the patience to bear all things but to see all things from a certain point of view that can relieve him for that moment from difficulty and pain. Very often it is the outlook on life which changes the whole life for a person. It can turn hell into heaven; it can turn sorrow into joy. When a person looks from a certain point of view, every little pinprick feels like the point of a sword piercing through one's heart. If one looks at the same thing from a different point of view the heart becomes sting-proof, nothing can touch it, all things which are thrown at that person as bullets drop down without having touched him.

What is the meaning of walking upon the water? Life is symbolical of water. There is one who becomes drowned in the water, there is another who swims in the water, but there is another who walks upon it. The one that is so sensitive that after having one little pinprick he is unhappy all through the day and the night is the man of the first category. The one who takes and gives back and makes a game of life is the swimmer. He does not mind if he received one knock, for he derives his satisfaction from being able to give two knocks in return. But the one whom nothing can touch is in the world and yet is above the world. He is the one who walks on water. The life is under his feet, its joy and sorrow both. Verily independence and indifference are two things which enable the soul to fly.




Reflection

Does happiness depend upon the condition in life or upon an outlook on life?

Hazrat Inayat Khan presents us this question to reflect upon. He affirms that it is our attitude toward conditions that affects our happiness, saying: “There is only one thing that helps us to rise above conditions, and that is a change of outlook on life.”

Understanding that we may wonder how to accomplish this change of outlook, Hazrat Inayat Khan offers this wisdom: “To rise above conditions one needs wings… The wings are attached to the will, one is independence the other is indifference.”

Verily independence and indifference are two things
which enable the soul to fly.

While contemplating this teaching, we might visualize the Sufi symbol, the heart with wings lifted and spread wide. When a situation arises that we view as unfavorable, difficult, or a cause of unhappiness, we may practice remembering this symbol and this teaching, and reflect on its deeper meaning while observing our outlook on the situation. With awareness, reflection, and patience, we may discover we are guided to look at this situation from a different point of view, and so feel as if we are lifted upon wings.

It is the outlook on life which changes the whole life for a person.
It can turn hell into heaven; it can turn sorrow into joy.


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Harmony, Part 3 from Gemma Erickson and Gayan Galik

Beloved Sisters and Brothers,

The work of the Sufi Message “is to waken the consciousness of humanity to the true nature of love, harmony, and beauty.” To cultivate love, harmony, and beauty, Hazrat Inayat Khan encourages us to not give our attention to the faults of others, reminding us to take notice and charge of the disharmonies that arise within our self.

May the seeds of Love, Harmony and Beauty be cultivated through our thought and action.

With Loving regard and prayers for an enlightened world,
KarimaGita and Gayan




Social Gatheka, No. 4, Harmony, Part 3
by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Now the question is what is it that causes disharmony within oneself? It is weakness. Physical weakness or mental weakness, but it is weakness. Very often, therefore, one finds that it is bodily illness that causes disharmony and disharmonious tendencies. Besides, there are many diseases of the mind which the scientist has not yet found. Today in the world there are two things. One thing is that a person, who is too ill perhaps, is considered as an insane person, and then there are all other illnesses which are not counted at all. These people are counted among the sane people and as notice is not taken of the defects which are of the diseases of the mind, man never has a chance to notice them within himself. He is constantly finding fault with others. If he is in an office, if he is in a good position, if he is at home, everywhere he causes disharmony. Nobody knows, for to be treated as insane he must first be called insane.

The health of the mind is a question so little talked about in these days. In fact, as there come more solicitors, more lawyers, more barristers, more courts and more judges, so there come more cases. Consequently, prisons increase, and what is the outcome? After a person has gone to prison and comes back, he has forgotten where he was. He goes again in the same path. For the disease is not found out. In court, a person is judged, but it is not found out psychologically what causes him to do this. One can find in these prisons thousands of people with whose minds there is something the matter. And if for a thousand years they were kept in prison, they would not improve. Nothing but injustice is awarded to them by putting them in prison. It is just like putting a person in prison because his body is ill.

The cause of every discomfort and of every failure is disharmony. And what would be the most useful thing at the present moment in education is to give the sense of harmony, to develop it in children. It will not be so difficult as it appears to bring harmony to their notice. What is necessary is to point out to the youths the different aspects of harmony, in different aspects of life's affairs.

The work of the Sufi Message, a message which is of love, harmony, and beauty, is to waken the consciousness of humanity to the true nature of love, harmony, and beauty. And the training...is to cultivate these three things, which are principle factors in human life.



Reflection

How do we begin to waken our consciousness to the true nature of love, harmony, and beauty? As a first step, Hazrat Inayat Khan taught in Harmony, Part 2:

...one must first practice to stand firm against all that comes from within,
from one's own self.

Noting mankind's tendency toward finding fault with others, Hazrat Inayat Khan presents us the opportunity to practice observing this tendency in our self. When we give attention to the fault of another, we might observe within our self, the disharmony that is in this thought. This returns us to practice standing firm against all disharmony that comes from within ones' self.

Overlook the greatest fault of another, but do not partake of it in the smallest degree.
Gayan, Hazrat Inayat Khan

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Harmony, Part 2 by Gemma Erickson and Gayan Galik

Beloved Sisters and Brothers,

Hazrat Inayat Khan encourages us to stand firm against the disharmonies that come from within our own self. As we develop in self-discipline and self-understanding, we are then fortified to withstand the jarring effects of the disharmonies that come from without.

With Loving regard and prayers for an enlightened world,
KarimaGita and Gayan




Social Gatheka, No. 4, Harmony, Part 2
by Hazrat Inayat Khan

By fighting with disharmony one increases it, by not fighting it one does not give fuel to the fire which would rise for destruction and cause destruction. But no doubt, the wiser you become, the more difficulties you have to face in life, because every kind of disharmony will be directed toward you for the very reason that you will not fight it. But at the same time one must know with all that difficulty you have helped that disharmony which would have otherwise multiplied, to be destroyed. It is not without advantage, for every time you stand against disharmony, you increase your strength, although outwardly it may seem a defeat. But one conscious of the increase of his power will never admit that it is a defeat. And as soon as the time is passed the person against whom one has stood firm will realize that it was his defeat.

Life in the world has a constantly jarring effect and the finer you become the more trying it becomes to you. And the time comes that when a person is sincere and good-willing, kind and sympathetic, the worse life becomes for him. But if he is discouraged in it he goes under. If he kept his courage then you find it was not disadvantageous in the end. Because his power will some day increase to that stage, to that degree that his presence, his word, his action will control the thoughts and feelings and actions of all.

For he will get that heavy rhythm, the rhythm that will make the rhythm of everybody else follow it. This is the attribute which is called in the east the quality of the mastermind. But in order to stand firm against the disharmony that comes from without, one must first practice to stand firm against all that comes from within, from one's own self. For our soul itself is more difficult to control than the others. And when one is not able and one fails to control oneself, it is most difficult to stand against the disharmony without.



Reflection

In order to stand firm against the disharmony that comes from without,
one must first practice to stand firm against all that comes from within,
from one's own self.

Contemplating this teaching, we might first practice observing our self, giving attention to our reaction when confronted with an outer disharmony that is directed toward us.

In that moment, what feelings are we experiencing? Is the disharmony we experience caused by the external condition or source or is it a disharmony within that arises when confronted with that condition? With this self-observation we may know and understand our self and life better.

Hazrat Inayat Khan reminds us to stand firm against all disharmonies by not fighting or resisting it. As learned in the previous teaching, Harmony, Part 1, if we tune our thoughts, feelings, and actions to qualities of beauty we create harmony within, and in this, we are encouraged and fortified to withstand the disharmonies that come from without.

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Harmony, Part 1 by Gemma Erickson and Gayan Galik


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the midst of a manifest world with its apparent discord and disharmony, let us be as great light-houses upon a rock of the shore of a choppy sea, standing steady and firm, radiating the light of love, harmony and beauty.

Loving regards and prayers for an enlightened world,
KarimaGita and Gayan


KarimaGita Erickson, Activity Secretary, USA
Gayan Galik, Assistant Activity Secretary, USA




Social Gatheka, No. 4, Part 1, Harmony
by Hazrat Inayat Khan

It seems that that which makes beauty is harmony; beauty in itself has no meaning. A certain object which is called beautiful at a certain place and time is not beautiful at another place or at another time. And so it is with thought, speech and action. That which is called beautiful is only so at a certain time and condition, which makes it beautiful. Therefore if one could give a true definition of beauty it is harmony. Harmony is the combination of colours; harmony is the drawing of a design or line, that is called beauty. At the same time a word, a thought, a feeling, an action that creates harmony, is productive of beauty.

Now the question is from where comes the tendency to harmony and from where comes the tendency to disharmony? The natural tendency of every soul is towards harmony and the tendency towards disharmony is an unnatural state of mind or affair. And the very fact that it is not natural makes it void of beauty. The psychology of man is such than man responds both to harmony and disharmony. He cannot help it, because naturally he is made so, mentally and physically he responds to all that comes to him, be it harmonious or inharmonious.

And the teaching of Christ, "resist not evil," is a hint not to respond to disharmony. For instance a word of kindness, of sympathy, an action of love and affection finds response, but at the same time a word of insult, an action of revolt or hatred, that creates response too, and that response creates more disharmony in the world. By giving way to disharmony one allows disharmony to multiply. At this time when one sees in the world the greatest unrest and discomfort pervading all over, where does it come from? It seems that it is from the ignorance of this fact that disharmony creates disharmony, and will multiply disharmony.

A person has a natural tendency that if he sees he is insulted, he thinks the proper way of answering is to insult the other person still more. By this he gets a momentary satisfaction, to have given a good answer, but he does not know what he has done by his good answer. He has given response to that power which came from the other and these two powers, being negative and positive, create more disharmony.

"Resist not evil," does not mean receive evil onto yourself. "Resist not evil," only means this: do not send back the disharmony that comes to you, just as the person playing tennis would send back the ball with his racket. But at the same time, it does not suggest that you should receive the ball with open hands. The tendency towards harmony may be likened to a rock in the sea and each wave comes with all force and yet the rock is still, stands, bears it all, letting the waves beat against it.




Reflection

The tendency towards harmony may be likened to a rock in the sea and each wave comes with all force and yet the rock is still, stands, bears it all,
letting the waves beat against it.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

During daily activity, we might turn our awareness to those moments when we are awakened by a quality of beauty. As we are enlivened by the beauty we contemplate, beauty tunes our being and radiates from one’s being. With deeper contemplation, we may notice feelings of love awakened, feelings of calm and balance, an inner stillness, a quality of harmony within.

We may also take notice of conditions and feelings of disharmony we experience. Hazrat Inayat Khan reminds us, “By giving way to disharmony one allows disharmony to multiply.” Therefore, he gives us insight into the meaning of “Resist not evil” and encourages us to not return disharmony with disharmony.

When we are in the midst of disharmonious circumstances, we may practice consciously tuning to the qualities of beauty and harmony. With this love, harmony and beauty within, our being stands balanced and still, radiating love, harmony and beauty, and the waves of disharmony cannot disturb it.

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