England

Dartington by I.ChatterjeeDear friends and readers please excuse my short absence. I have been busy re-locating to England. It is dramatically different from living in the mountains of Andalucia but although I was expecting it to be much cooler here, the day after I arrived a heat wave began!
I hope to be back to normal soon with regular postings but for the moment here is a haiku:

The green land of Blake,
Visionary of worlds unseen;
Mountains rise from ponds

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Isa

Shoreline by I. ChatterjeeTime did a leap and I ran with him
and others by his side
enjoying races along the shore
line of the Sea of Galilee

He shared his heart with us,
it pounded hard as we ran
It sang the rhythm of our feet
splashing in the waters of Galilee

I felt it beat on the shore as we ran
I heard it laugh in his chest, and mine,
a heart consumed by the Name
Love! It beat. Love! It beat, eternally

Time did another leap and threw me
back to my room soaked and salty
My heart remains in awe of Isa’s love
Love! It beats. Love! It beats eternally

Reading the Signs of God

Ship on the Mediterranean by I. Chatterjee

I live high in the Alpujarran mountains of Andalucia in Spain and the views across the mountains to the Mediterranean are stunning and give a great deal to reflect upon. The entire universe, including ourselves, is a great book filled with the signs of God waiting to be read. At this time of year, after the intense heat of summer, the weather is beginning to change. A pleasant drop in temperature, cooler breezes, a subtle change in the quality of the light are all harbingers of the coming Autumn and as I walk above the village and look out to sea I am reminded of the importance of rhythm in our lives and its connection with time.

From the beating of our hearts and the breathing of our lungs rhythm is an essential partner in the passing of time and the two link arms and appear throughout the natural and biological world and also manifest in cultural, religious, and social scenarios. If rhythm is honoured then the result can be a creative unfolding of divine surprises and moments of grace that reveal the true humanity of an individual. It is these divine surprises and blessings that suggest to me the melodies, keys, and chords for which rhythm builds the framework.
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New notes on ‘The Poesis of Love’

A page of a copy circa 1503 of the “Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i” by RumiOn the subject of translation I am reminded of the mystic poet-seers. What are these saints doing when they take pen to paper but translating the ineffable, the wordless, into a human language? Compelled to speak of the love that overflows any boundaries and to share through words that which can only be tasted (dhawq) how do they even dare to attempt the wild venture of translating the soul’s tasting of the Real (Al-Haqq) into a form that can transmit but an intimation of that experience to fellow strugglers on the path?

Read more here
Or click on ‘The Poesis of Love’ link at the top of this page.

Image from Wikipedia

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani on the Elements

While reading Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani’s ‘The Secret of Secrets’ (translated by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti) I came across the following ayat (verses) from the Qur’an which he introduces like this:

“Two of the four elements are earth and water, which are responsible for the growth of faith and of knowledge, give life to the living and appear in the heart as humbleness, for earth is humble. The other two elements are fire and ether. They are the opposites of earth and water. They burn, destroy, kill. It is the Divine that unites these opposites in one being. How do water and fire coexist? How are light and darkness contained within the clouds?

It is He Who shows you lightning, causing both fear and hope; it is He Who raises up the clouds heavy with rain.

Nay, thunder repeats His praises, and so do the angels, with awe. He flings the loud-voiced thunderbolts and therewith strikes whomsoever He will … (Sura Ra’d 12, 13)

The Shaykh goes on to speak of the union of opposites and how the human becomes a mirror reflecting the Divine Names, or Attributes. Of all creatures the human being is the only one that reflects all the Attributes. Traditionally these are seen as Jamal (Beautiful) and Jalal (Powerful). The Shaykh goes on to say, “Man contains the whole universe in his being: that is why he is called the unifier of multiplicity, the macrocosm.”

When experiencing a storm like the one I posted about yesterday, there is the experience of the Power and Might of God in the roar of thunder as the electric tension cracks through the air causing the lightning and a sonic shock wave as the surrounding air expands. Then comes the rain, beautiful, welcome, and full of blessings for the soil. The loud and magisterial followed by the musical and the nourishing. Yet even within the former there is great beauty and in the latter the power to destroy through flooding.

Observing the elements provides so many lessons on the Names of God and how their ‘energy’ works within creation and within ourselves.