A Journey of Creation


It’s been a rough week.  Volcanos, earthquakes, riots.  It makes people forget the beauty in the world, and the importance of creating beauty.

I found this talk, by Sabina Ulubeanu, a music composer, and Co-Artistic Director of InnerSound New Arts Festival in Romania, on the TED Talks channel on YouTube and wanted to share it with you, my loyal readers.

Sometimes, when things seem the worst, we need to remember that there is still beauty in the world, and that the creation of beauty in all its forms — music, art, poetry, prose and, yes, science — is the most important work of all.

Happy Passover


Tonight is the first night of the Passover Festival, celebrated by Jews around the world.  It is a time of remembering when the Jews were slaves in Egypt.  God used Moses and Aaron to free them.  That would have been enough (Dayenu) but then God parted the Red Sea and allowed them to pass dry, preventing the Egyptians from following.  That would have been enough (Dayenu) but he fed them for 40 years in the desert before bringing them to the promised land.

Passover is a holiday of celebration, the celebration of Freedom.

The Freedom to live and worship as you please.  The Freedom, sometimes, to have a little fun with it all.

Enjoy this video and have a Happy Passover.

 

Ghazal


“Thanks be to God, the very world that birthed us

now is bathed by wondrous Nature

in a rapture of her glorious light:

the splendor of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, now revealed.

And humankind, highest of creatures,

endowed with Intellect’s might

so that all the beasts,

winged and hoof’d,

are placed under his command

And Adam’s veins are filled

with Art, Science, Faith:

he knows the sciences are clear

-but music is the weightiest

as a surging ocean

outweighs the very world through with it flows.

 

If he whose heart’s been moved

by the science of Music’s whole effect

were offered the pleasure of emperorship,

he’d certainly ignore it

-for Man is not alone in his delight

at that sweet sound

since even animals have sacrificed themselves for it.

 

More stubborn than a donkey,

he who holds that Music’s “impure”;

Ignorant of beauty

how claim acquaintance with the Lord?

Creator!

the Ocean Surges!

Permit my skiff to reach the shore

-King!

I beg what kindness

-Inayat-

thou canst afford.

 

—Translated from the Urdu by Pir Zia Inayat Khan and Lamborn Wilson

 

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The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama

 

 

Embrace your world and make it be whatever you want.

Embrace your world and make it be whatever you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Sunday Thought


It’s been a long, hard week.  Cold and depressing and the world creeps every closer to war.

This may seem an odd time to post this, but I think it’s always appropriate.  This is my contribution of positive energy into the world today.

 

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Fly Over the Rainbow & Don't Worry, Be Happy Photo Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Fly Over the Rainbow & Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Photo Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

wonderful world


 

We all have days where life is rough. Or what is happening in the world is medieval and barbaric. Some days, it is difficult to keep the positive energy going. But it is important because we need to make peace in this world. Often, in my experience, these days come with a little help from the Universe to keep the love and kindness going. My asthma is very bad today. I found this and wanted to share it with all of you, my readers and my friends.

Namaste

 

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The Journey of my Monday Morning Mind


 

Good morning, dear readers. I find myself thinking about those I miss. The people who are no longer there are the greatest loss of getting older. It is the anniversary of the passing of an old friend. John Lennon was in my dreams last night. I don’t know why and the plot isn’t clear, but it got me thinking of the rest of the Beatles.  That led me to George Harrison, and this interview George gave to VHI shows the authentic, real George Harrison. It, in my opinion, is a brilliant video.

 

 

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This is a quiet homage to Whitney Houston and a prayer for her daughter, Bobbi Christine, now in a medically-induced coma.  May she come out of this with new strength and determination, and a clear knowing of how much her mother loved her.

Rumi’s Legacy


Rumi Followers Fight To Keep Turkey From Cashing In On Mystic’s Legacy

Posted: 01/20/2015 8:40 am EST Updated: 5 hours ago
RNS-RUMI-RECLAIM a

ISTANBUL (RNS) Each Sunday, visitors line up outside of the old Sufi lodge, now a museum, in Turkey’s tourist-filled Galata district, informational pamphlets, cameras and $20 tickets in hand.

The site is but one of the many places tourists flock for performances by the country’s famed white-robed whirling dervishes.

Cafes, hotels and former Sufi lodges reinvented as tourist attractions, like the one in Galata, have all cashed in on the ritual’s popularity.

The “sema” ceremonies, as they’re called, promise attendees a peek into a 750-year-old practice that is as graceful as it is spiritual.

Yet as more ceremonies spring up, excitement has been met by skepticism by descendants of the very 13th-century mystic who first popularized it.

“It’s becoming like a show,” said Faruk Hemdem Celebi, a 22nd-generation descendant of the famous poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi, Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273). “There are people doing this now to make money and attract tourists.”

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Faruk Hemdem Celebi is a 22nd-generation descendant of Rumi and president of the International Mevlana Foundation. Behind him hangs a picture of his father and predecessor as the alleged hereditary leader of the Mevlevi order. Religion News Service photo by Michael Kaplan

Rumi was a highly revered Persian mystic who preached inclusivity and respect for all. His poetry and writings on divine unity and love have attracted a global following.

Celebi, who leads the International Mevlana Foundation, believes that Rumi’s practices have been wrongly appropriated for profit.

Last month, he announced the launch of a campaign to reclaim Rumi’s practices.

Through familial lineage, Celebi claims to be the heir of the Mevlevi (meaning “My Master”) order, which was founded by Rumi’s followers after his death and includes a collection of disciples who follow Rumi’s teachings.

Celebi is working to bring Rumi’s name under his foundation’s control. He has trademarked 10 terms related to the Sufi saint. But that has, so far, failed to stop its appropriation.

Celebi said he has meetings coming up with some high-ranking government officials, including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, to discuss how the foundation can have more say in decisions related to Mevlana traditions, and particularly sema.

Istanbul’s Galata district is not the only site for Rumi’s practices.

Thousands of people gather in a sports arena in Konya — the site of Rumi’s shrine, about 450 miles southeast of Istanbul — each December to commemorate the saint’s death through a week of dancing and whirling. (Rumi died in Konya in 1273.)

Legend has it that Rumi, a devout Muslim, was walking through Konya’s gold district when, upon hearing the rhythmic hammering of goldsmiths and their chanting of God’s name, the religious scholar broke out into ecstasy. His body slipped into a trancelike state as his hands raised toward the sky, his body whirling until he reached oneness with the divine.

The whirling has grown into an iconic form of “dhikrullah” or “remembrance of God” — practiced primarily by Rumi’s followers. With each turn, practitioners repeat God’s name.

“It’s a very powerful, meditative experience,” said Ismail Fenter, an American dervish who belongs to the Mevlevi order. “To turn it into dance or into public exhibition … it just cheapens it,” he said.

Today’s Mevlevi leaders grew up at a time when Sufi orders were illegal under Turkey’s strict secular code. Sufi dens were shut down and religious whirling was outlawed in 1925, but reintroduced to the country in the 1950s, strictly for tourism.

It was then that religious whirling turned from a private form of meditative remembrance of God into a public and profitable national artistic display.

The length of sema ceremonies has been truncated to cater toward tourists, and some of the traditional requirements — such as studying for years in Konya to become a dervish — have been dropped.

The Mevlevi order has been trying to rein in the group ever since. While Mevlevi leaders welcome the admiration for Rumi, some are skeptical of the way his message has been interpreted.

“People in America find emotional highs, and Rumi becomes an emotional high,” Fenter said. “But they don’t all understand the part about Islam … and it doesn’t completely make sense without that.”

Many people, however, believe that the popularity of Rumi’s teachings and traditions has outgrown the control of any single family, even if the family claims to be rightful heirs of the saint.

“Rumi has inspired a lot of people and has given comfort and wisdom,” said Margaret Rose, an American expatriate living in Istanbul who has attended a number of whirling ceremonies. “It doesn’t seem offensive; it seems to be done in a respectful way.”

Rose said she would be sorry to see restrictions put on the ceremonies, which she considers a cultural treasure.

“It’s very spiritual and I felt like you could get a glimpse of this ceremony that might have otherwise been private,” she said. “I felt lucky that I got to see it.”

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