We’ve come again to that knee of seacoast
no ocean can reach.
Tie together all human intellects.
They won’t stretch to here.
The sky bares its neck so beautifully,
but gets no kiss. Only a taste.
This is the food that everyone wants,
wandering the wilderness, “Please give us
your manna and quail.”
We’re here again with the beloved.
This air, a shout. These meadowsounds,
an astonishing myth.
We’ve come into the presence of the one
who was never apart from us.
When the waterbag is filling, you know
the water carrier’s here!
The bag leans lovingly against our shoulder.
“Without you I have no knowledge,
no way to touch anyone.”
When someone chews sugarcane,
he’s wanting this sweetness.
Inside this globe the soul roars like thunder.
And now silence, my strict tutor.
I won’t try to talk about Shams.
Language cannot touch that presence.
The ancient Sufi’s believed that the only way to really know someone is to connect at the soul level. This greeting was their way of doing that.
Done in Silence with complete focus on each other.
- Approach each other, looking into the eyes, with open hands – Nothing to hide.
- Touch palms together, still looking directly into the eyes.
- Think: “I greet you with perfect love and trust.”
- Holding arms 90° from body, palms touching (eyes locked)
- Think: “I crucify the ego.”
- Make a triangle with thumbs and forefingers, and “look in the eyes of God.”
- The right hand grasps the left hand of your partner, and presses it into the heart.
- Think: “I cherish you and connect with you in my heart.”
- Big inhale and raise/stretch arms above the head, sending energy to the universe and rejoicing with the love.
- Embrace, heart to heart, with right arm passing over left shoulder of partner, left arm around the back.
- Be grateful feel the joy of the true communion of human/divine spirit.
~Roving Reiki Master as taught by Mari Hall, RM
Excerpted from Osho’s series, Sufis: The People of the Path
Once a learned Mohammedan came to me and asked, “You are not a Mohammedan, then why do you speak on Sufism?’ I told him, ‘I am not a Mohammedan, obviously, but I am a Sufi all the same.’
A Sufi need not be a Mohammedan. A Sufi can exist anywhere, in any form—because Sufism is the essential core of all religions. It has nothing to do with Islam in particular. Sufism can exist without Islam; Islam cannot exist without Sufism. Without Sufism, Islam is a corpse. Only with Sufism does it become alive.
Whenever a religion is alive it is because of Sufism. Sufism simply means a love affair with God, with the ultimate, a love affair with the whole. It means that one is ready to dissolve into the whole, that one is ready to invite the whole to come into one’s heart. It knows no formality. It is not confined by any dogma, doctrine, creed or church. Christ is a Sufi, so is Mohammed. Krishna is a Sufi, so is Buddha. This is the first thing I would like you to remember: that Sufism is the innermost core—as Zen is, as Hassidism is. These are only different names of the same ultimate relationship with God.
The relationship is dangerous. It is dangerous because the closer you come to God, the more and more you evaporate. And when you have come really close you are no more. It is dangerous because it is suicidal…but the suicide is beautiful. To die in God is the only way to live really. Until you die, until you die voluntarily into love, you live an existence which is simply mediocre; you vegetate, you don’t have any meaning. No poetry arises in your heart, no dance, no celebration; you simply grope in the darkness. You live at the minimum, you don’t overflow with ecstasy.
That overflow happens only when you are not. You are the hindrance. Sufism is the art of removing the hindrance between you and you, between the self and the self, between the part and the whole.
A few things about this word ‘Sufi’. An ancient Persian dictionary has this for the entry ‘Sufi’…the definition given goes in rhyme: Sufi chist—Sufi, Sufist. Who is a Sufi? A Sufi is a Sufi. This is a beautiful definition. The phenomenon is indefinable. ‘A Sufi is a Sufi.’ It says nothing and yet it says well. It says that the Sufi cannot be defined; there is no other word to define it, there is no other synonym, there is no possibility of defining it linguistically, there is no other indefinable phenomenon. You can live it and you can know it, but through the mind, through the intellect, it is not possible. You can become a Sufi—that is the only way to know what it is. You can taste the reality yourself, it is available. You need not go into a dictionary, you can go into existence.
If you are not ready to have a bite of Sufism you can at least taste it.
And that’s what I am going to make available to you—a little taste. And once you have tasted even a drop of the nectar called Sufism you will become more thirsty for more. For the first time you will start feeling a great appetite for God.
These talks cannot explain to you what Sufism is—because I am not a philosopher. I am not a theologian either. And I am not really talking on Sufism, I will be talking Sufism. If you are ready, if you are ready to go into this adventure, then you will attain to a taste of it. It is something that will start happening in your heart. It is something like a bud opening. You will start feeling a certain sensation in the heart—as if something is becoming alert, awake there; as if the heart has been asleep for long and now it is the first glimmer of the morning—and there you will have the taste.
Sufism is a special kind of magic, a rare kind of magic. It can be transferred only from person to person, not from a book. It cannot be transferred by scriptures. It is also just like Zen—a transmission beyond words. The Sufis have a special word for it—they call it silsila. What Hindus call parampara they call silsila. Silsila means a transfer from one heart to another heart, from one person to another person It is a very, very personal religion.
You cannot have it without being related to an enlightened Master—there is no other way. You can read all the literature that exists on Sufism and you will be lost in a jungle of words. Unless you find a guide, unless you fall in love with a guide, you will not have the taste.
Hallaj said what he said and went to the origin
through the hole in the scaffold.
I cut a cap's worth of cloth from his robe,
and it swamped over me from head to foot.
Years ago, I broke a bunch of roses
from the top of his wall. A thorn from that
is still in my palm, working deeper.
From Hallaj, I learned to hunt lions,
but I became something hungrier than a lion.
I was a frisky colt. He broke me
with a quiet hand on the side of my head.
A person comes to him naked. It's cold.
There's a fur coat floating in the river.
"Jump in and get it," he says.
You dive in. You reach for the coat.
It reaches for you.
It's a live bear that has fallen in upstream,
drifting with the current.
"How long does it take!" Hallaj yells from the bank.
"Don't wait," you answer. "This coat
has decided to wear me home!"
A little part of a story, a hint.
Do you need long sermons on Hallaj!
Spiritual experience is a modest woman
who looks lovingly at only one man.
It's a great river where ducks
live happily, and crows drown.
The visible bowl of form contains food
that is both nourishing and a source of heartburn.
There is an unseen presence we honor
that gives the gifts.
You're water. We're the millstone.
You're wind. We're dust blown up into shapes.
You're spirit. We're the opening and closing
of our hands. You're the clarity.
We're this language that tries to say it.
You're joy. We're all the different kinds of laughing.
Any movement or sound is a profession of faith,
as the millstone grinding is explaining how it believes
in the river! No metaphor can say this,
but I can't stop pointing
to the beauty.
Every moment and place says,
"Put this design in your carpet!"
Like the shepherd in Book II,
who wanted to pick the lice off God's robe,
and stitch up God's shoes, I want to be
in such a passionate adoration
that my tent gets pitched against the sky!
Let the beloved come
and sit like a guard dog
in front of the tent.
When the ocean surges,
don't let me just hear it.
Let it splash inside my chest!
Some gnats came from the grass to speak with Solomon.
“O Solomon, you are the champion of the oppressed.
You give justice to the little guys, and they don’t get
any littler than us! We are tiny metaphors
for frailty. Can you defend us?”
“Who has mistreated you?”
“Our complaint is against the wind.”
“Well,” says Solomon, “you have pretty voices,
you gnats, but remember, a judge cannot listen
to just one side. I must hear both litigants.”
“Of course,” agree the gnats.
“Summon the East Wind!” calls out Solomon,
and the wind arrives almost immediately.
What happened to the gnat plaintiffs? Gone.
Such is the way of every seeker who comes to complain
at the High Court. When the presence of God arrives,
where are the seekers? First there’s dying,
the union, like gnats inside the wind.
Coleman Barks talks about Rumi’s poetry, in particular, the ones which highlight the theme of “Union.”:
“There is a great feminine wisdom in these poems, a jemal quality as opposed to jelal. Many of the images of what it’s like to be in union have this tone to them. A baby at the mother’s breast. A river moving inside the personal fish, taking it to the ocean. Gnats lost in the wind. A dead donkey that has completely melded with a salt flat. The archery companion who lets the arrow fall where he stands. These are not heroic questing images.”
"What is it to praise?
“During a night of tornadic wind and lightning-everywhere weather in north Georgia, a friend murmured, “Where do hummingbirds go in this?” The next morning the humming birds, the same ones, were back fussing at the feeder. They know a hiding trick the gnats don’t. I think sometimes that poems can be places to hide, opisthodamal robe closets simulating the experiences they celebrate.”
"What is the soul?
~ The Essential Rumi