Weekly Contemplations W3

Week 3 – Rule 3

Rule 3
You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue, or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for him: in the heart of a true lover.

This week, as we are contemplating on Rule3, we will also be asking ourselves the following question:

WHO IS THE LOVER?

At the beginning of your meditation or contemplation time, I would like invite you to read (listen to) this poem by Rumi

The springtime of Lovers has come,
that this dust bowl may become a garden;
the proclamation of heaven has come,
that the bird of the soul may rise in flight.

The sea becomes full of pearls,
the salt marsh becomes sweet as kauthar,
the stone becomes a ruby from the mine,
the body becomes wholly soul.

Kulliyat-e Shams, 21

I would love to know what you have come to realize!

If you are interested, please read more about the inspiration that resulted in me walking this 40-week journey with Rumi and Shamz HERE (CLICK)

Week 2

If you dont like reading, listen to the PODCAST version of the text below.

Rule 2
The path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your nafs (false ego) with your heart. Knowing your false ego will lead you to the Knowledge of God.

Have you noticed that when you start focusing on something, it starts appearing in front of your eyes? 🙂 As I started contemplating on these Weekly Rules by Shams, I started to have profound experiences both in the physical and in my meditations. WOW!

This past week, I contemplated on my ‘false ego’ – nafs – and how it prevents me from the knowing of God (my Divine Essence) and getting close the indwelling God by asking myself the following questions during my meditation time:

What is my false ego ( my nafs) like? or Who is it that I am NOT?

In what ways does this knowledge help me move closer to the Knowing of God.

On a personal note, I know it is hard to answer these questions. When I first came across them I did not know what to make of them. Now, I know that I do not need to understand these questions intellectually, I just need to allow my inner wisdom’s  guidance to reveal the ‘answers’ to me. By answers, I do not mean the ‘solution’ because there is none. God, Spirit, us as humans in Spirit, we are complete and whole as we are, there is nothing to fix. Even though, it often does not feel that way, it is still true. The questions above can guide us shifting our consciousness via our thoughts back to the ‘knowing that we are part of God’. For me God is not a person. By God, I mean, the Big Oneness, a level of consciousness where there is no separation, no false emotions, but purity, simplicity, neutrality and Loving. 

So, what these questions revealed to me – again 🙂 – is that my ‘false ego’ runs of something I call ‘Crime and Punishment’! Dostoevsky was a genius! 🙂 My ‘false ego’ runs on the fuel of guilt. This underlying painful emotion makes me a ‘fixer’ and a ‘punisher’, someone who thinks it is her job to see all the ‘imperfections’ of the world and fix them or force others to fix them. Also, because of the guilt I feel all the time, I think it is my responsibility to make it all happen.

It is really hard for me to ACCEPT life as it is. It is often challenging for me to embrace the fact that actually all is well even if it does not seem or feel that way. We all move through life by learning, making choices, course correcting, learning, crying a little, laughing a little, and the whole cycle again. No life is worse than the other. Everyone has the power to make changes in their lives if they chose to. I am saying this with great compassion because I know how hard it is to actually do it. It is CRAZY HARD! But possible. Each life, mine included, resembles the consciousness that we live with. It shows how far or close we are to the ‘knowing of God’.

So, these questions helped me to realize what it is that I can ‘do’ for myself so I can move closer to God. 

Because I am run on guilt and punishments, I take on a lot of responsibilities that are not mine and neglect the one responsibly that is actually mine. It is not my job to fix the world or to tell others how to live their lives. It is, however, my job to chose a life that reflects who I truly am. My misplayed sense of responsibility prevents me from being with God in ‘his’ Loving and Care for me because I am constantly on a quest for saving the world or people from their doom. 

I am realizing that what I need to practice is ACCEPTANCE, finding that place inside of me that knows that no-one needs saving because God resides in everyone. By connecting with the Essence of God, I maybe able to see and know that all is well beyond a mental concept. I’d love to have that experience when I can look at people who are in great pain and sorrow because of their circumstances or mental dispositions, and feel compassion but not an urge to do something for them. Instead of condemning people for their ‘stupidity’ and ‘ignorance’ I wish to know that they are making the best choices available to them and they WILL move on when they have learnt the lessons shelled in those experiences they are having.

It is such a giant learning for me. I hope that my understanding how my ‘false ego’ works, I can guide myself easier towards experiences that enlighten my way towards more Loving experiences in Life. 

I hope that these weekly contemplations and my sharing help you to find your own answers and move into greater Oneness with the consciousness that you call ‘God’ (or Divines or else). 

 

Weekly Contemplations W2

Week 2 – Rule 2

Rule 2
The path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your nafs (false ego) with your heart. Knowing your false ego will lead you to the Knowledge of God.

This week, as we are contemplating on Rule2, we will will aslo be asking ourselves the following questions:

What is my false ego ( my nafs) like? or Who is it that I am NOT?

In what ways does this knowledge help me move closer to the Knowing of God.

If you are interested, please read more about the inspiration that resulted in me walking this 40-week journey with Rumi and Shamz HERE (CLICK)

Week 1

Rule 1
How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame,
it means there is too much fear and blames welled inside us. If we see God as full of Love and compassion, so are we.

Ok,so … The first week has been a disaster. I am actually laughing at my self. Why is it that we make these ‘commitments’ so serious that every inch of my body is incomplete resistance as a result of it!

Nevertheless, I have contemplated … What is God like for me?

I have asked myself the questions below, and came up with the following …

How do I see myself in the world?

How do I see the world around me?

How do I experience my immediate environment?

How do all this reflect the way I see God?

I am in a ‘split-state-of-mind’ so to speak. There is a part of me who knows and feels that God is the source of Good: beauty, creativity, kindness, smiles, and more. When I meditate, I sit in the silence and after a while – after my mental craze has subsided – I start feeling the presence of Good; the Loving Kindness, the Care and Love that is available for me (as long as I reach into it).

At the same time, God is also a negligent parent for me. I am angry with God and I am angry with myself. I look around myself and I also see havoc and mayhem. Ignorant people running the show and I feel victimized. I feel helpless. I need God to sort this out and make it right. I need ‘him’ to make this pain and anquish to go away.

But God, the God that resides in the silence does not descends and sorts things out. This God, is not the God. This God is a creation of the phantasies of a young child who was neglected and uncared for. A child’s plea for help who had grown up too fast and became resentful and demanding as a result.

The God I often see as myself is harsh and unforgiving. L:uckily, I am also aware of the God who lives in the silence; the Loving and Caring God who walks with me, cares for me, hugs me when I sleep; who appreciates me even when I hate ‘Him’.

Weekly Contemplations W1

Week 1 – Rule 1

40 Rules of Love – My 40 week journey of LOVE.

As I was looking for some material for contemplation during the Christian Season Epiphany that lasts until the 1st March this year I ran into a book called 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak (find the book here).

At first, I thought that Shams Tabrizi wrote a book – which is very unlikely – and started to look for his ‘rulebook on Love’. Since he was a rather particular Sufi mystic, I thought,  that he might have left some notes behind. Well, nothing like that. The book – see above – is a fictional story that does, however, include 40 rules on spiritual Love that were supposedly filtered out from different quotes and writings that is now credited to Shams. 

Who was Shamz Tabrizi? He was a 13th century mystic, Rumi’s teacher and companion. READ this beautiful summary on Shams life and his impact on Rumi.  HERE (CLICK)

I have not read the book yet. But I will as part of my 40 week journey on LOVE. I love these so-called ‘rules’. They are thoughtful and deep. It reminded me how much we are glued to the phantasy land of rom-coms that tell nothing about the Truth of Love. They do not make it real or even believable. But there is a kind of Love that is beyond warm and fuzzy emotions and fantasies, a Love that Rumi and Shams wrote so beautifully about. We spend countless hours trying to find our soul-mate in another person and we fail to see that the Love we are so desperately searching for is right there within us. It has always been there, all the time. Personally, I think it is important to find the true meaning behind the word ‘LOVE’,  understand it and experience it as a spiritual quality.

So, as a result, I decided to find my own meaning and experiment with Sham’s LOVE. Every week, from the second week of January, I will contemplate or meditate  – and I kindly invite you to do the same – on one of the ‘rules’ of love that is credited to Shams. Find the first one below. I would be happy if you shared your finding with me!

Rule 1
How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame,
it means there is too much fear and blames welled inside us. If we see God as full of Love and compassion, so are we.

The questions that I am going to ask myself this week – and you are welcome to do the same – are:

How do I see myself in the world?

How do I see the world around me?

How do I experience my immediate environment?

How do all this reflect the way I see God?

My Path to God by Shams Tabrizi (CLICK)

Epiphany

I choose to live my life as a loving, harmonious, delight-filled experience

Epiphany means “manifestation of the Divine,” and I am a unique, valued expression of the Divine as I walk in the world. Today I celebrate life around me and as me. … I accept the gifts life offers me. My mind and heart are receptive to the blessings of abiding peace, abundant prosperity, unconditional love, glowing health, and unlimited creativity.

Today I let my light shine brilliantly. I anticipate and welcome
opportunities to give and to be a blessing. As I expect and look for the
best in others, I become even more aware of the spark, the light of the
Divine, reflecting from them. SOURCE

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

Day 12 + The Twelfth Night + Epiphany

The twelfth symbol is Twelve drummers drumming

12 Days of Christmas

How it all started? In 2019 I decided to look for meaning in the symbolisms of this well-known song. In this post (click) you can read about my journey and how it all started. 🙂

Twelve drummers drumming
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

The twelfth day

On the first day, we receive twelve drummers drumming. Another joyful day of celebration and welcoming.

According to my research – By the Middle Ages the drum, which was probably introduced to Europe from the Middle East by knights returning from the Crusades, had become a common instrument.

Among the drum’s other uses was to combine it with the trumpet to get people’s attention when making a big announcement such as the arrival of the king or the reading of an important proclamation. In this case the drum was used to announce the serving of the next course of the feast. Source

After the day of Epiphany, the party season starts through the season of Mardi Gras up until Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season.

The Twelve Drummers – similar to the 11 pipers (read more here) can be perceived as the ‘announcers’ of a new era starting with the Holy Spirit, descends upon and enlightening the seekers. They  sure that we are awake and ready to perceive the gifts that are offer to us during the Twelfth Night. Read more about the Twelfth night

The Twelfth Night

After the last day of the 12-day-of-Christmas, Christians observe Epiphany or enlightenment when the Holy Spirit descend upon and enlightens the ‘faithful’ with wisdom and revelations of Christ’s teachings. The 12 days of Christmas is the bridge between Christmas Day and the day of Epiphany. On Christmas day, ‘my true love’ aka God gives me my first gift of Christ, the promise of enlightenment, atonement and eternal life. By the time we walked the bride of the 12-day across, we have collected and regained certain qualities that we must possess in order to observe the revelations and receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Epiphany.

I also found that investigating the symbolism of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ song can help us uncover what it is that we can do to support ourselves. Following the guidance of the song we can become empty  and  open to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Epiphany is what we labour towards during the nights and days of the 12-Days-of-Christmas.

Below is the result of some of my research:
“It all goes back to the early 4th century Christian church, which believed that January 6 (Epiphany) is the date that Christ was baptized, representing the birth of Jesus’ soul. This was more important than December 25th to them, regardless of the Winter Solstice at the time. It took a few hundred years; but, by the 6th century, the Christian emperor, Justinian, proclaimed Christmas as a public holiday, with 8 days of feasting. Then, by the 9th century, King Alfred of England increased the celebration from 8 days to 12 days. He declared December 25th – January 6th, with the twelfth day falling on January 6. Note: This means the actual night would be the day before on January 5. Confusing, I know.

One tradition for some on Twelfth Night is to go around wassailing fruit trees as a kind of fertility rite. Exactly how this is done had varied from century to century. But, in the 18th century (when the song was created) wassailing was done by pouring cider, honey, spices and pulp from a burst baked apple (all mixed in a bowl) around the trees. The term “Wassail” is taken from the waes hael meaning “be whole” (aka be in good health).

Another folklore claims that a young maiden was suppose to walk backwards around a pear tree three times on Christmas morning. Then she gazes into the branches. She should see the image of her future husband.”
Source

During Epiphany, we celebrate both the three kings’ (or three wise men’s) visit shortly after his birth and also Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. According to the Story, three Magi arrives to the crib bringing gifts to the new born. In the sacrament of Baptism, Jesus receives the Holy Spirit.

I think that the Twelfth Night marks the reception of the Holy Spirit. During the time of the 12-days-Christmas, those who follow the holy order laid down by many masters,  Jesus Christ being one of them,  make themselves ready to receive God’s ultimate gift. During the 12th night and the next day, the Holy Spirit descends on the faithful seeker and fills him/her with the Light and Sound of the Holy Spirit. The seeker unites with God’s Essence and becomes whole again.

I have a different read on the fertility and sexuality symbolism in the Twelve Days of Christmas, suggested above. Unity with God is often called ‘penetration’ and occasionally appears as an act of sexuality in our limited minds. Being united with God may appear to be an act of intercourse  and for that one must be fertile or empty in order to receive God, similar to the way a woman receives a man.

In order for the Holy Spirit to fill the faithful seeker on the Twelfth Night, the seeker must have achieved a state of emptiness and receptiveness. What we do (did) during the Twelfth Days of Christmas to empty and prepare ourselves to be able to receive the Holy Spirit.

According to the Gospel of Matthew, the three wise men – named Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar – followed the star of Bethlehem across the desert to meet the baby Jesus, offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gifts were symbolic of the importance of Jesus’ birth, the gold representing his royal standing; frankincense his divine birth; and myrrh his mortality. Source

In my understanding, the three kings represent the three levels of consciousness we humans live with. They are called many names such as conscious, subconscious and unconscious. They all bring a present that may also be interpreted in many different ways. The important message for me in the story of the three Magi is their long journey and arrival to the birth of Jesus.  I see our human consciousnesses arriving to the teacher, bringing presents that show our devotion and submission to the order that Jesus later lay down for all seeker.

 

ZEAL

We are in the middle of the festive season of 9 ladies dancing, 10 lords a-leaping, 11 pipers piping, 12 drummers drumming so I found it amusing to see that today’s Advent reading from Unity.org is about Zeal, one of the 12 powers that humans possess according to Charles Fillmore, founder of Unity. These 12 Powers are there to guide us and support us on our journey to reconnect with our Divine Essence.

Click on the picture for more info on the 12 Powers

Audio version of the text below

I am a beloved child of God, shining with the brilliance of the
Universe. This is expressed as optimism, abundance, and enthusiasm in
my day-to-day living.

If I feel less than enthusiastic or energetic in any area of my life, zeal is
an ever-present energy that I may call upon. It ignites my dreams and
fuels my life. It fills me from the inside out. As I enthusiastically express
the Spirit within me, I bubble over with joy!

I do what I love, and I love what I do. I am vibrantly healthy. I am alive,
awake, alert, and enthusiastic about life.

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good
works and give glory to your Father in heaven.—Matthew 5:16


My zeal shines from me, lighting my way forward
and brightening our world. I glow!

Source – Unity.org

Day 11

The eleventh symbol is 11 Pipers Piping

According to The Newman Center at Keene State College, the “eleven pipers piping” represent the 11 faithful disciples, excluding Judas Iscariot. These disciples gave up everything in order to follow Christ. These men were commoners — such as farmers and fishermen — and not wealthy and influential. Jesus spent time teaching them to carry on his work, according to Crosswalk.com. The disciples are Peter, James, John, Andrew, Bartholomew (Nathanael), James the lesser, Judas Iscariot, Judas (Thaddeus), Matthew (Levi), Philip, Simon the Zealot, and Thomas. SOURCE

I am rather hesitant to believe that the 11 Pipers symbolize 11 disciples instead of the twelve because we are still upset with poor Judas.

Luckily, we are still in a festive mood! 🙂 So, let’s find a more jovial meaning to these lovely pipers.

According to numerology experts, Number 11 is the Master number that is related to Karma. This number is also a symbol of spiritual awakening. If this number keeps appearing very often by your side, … it means that you should turn more to your spiritual life. You have your life purpose on this planet and you need to serve to others. Master number 11 is also called Teacher, which means that it can teach you lessons that are very important for your life. SOURCE

I am not very much a numerology fun but I can see how eleven pipers skirling a waking tune herald an opening in consciousness. Many spiritual teachers talk about ‘awakening’ as if it was some kind of rousing from a sleeping state. These lovely pipers are sent to wake us and keep as awake to the visit of the Holy Spirit. Epiphany can only happen to those who are awake and alert to the indwelling Spirit and God’s ever guiding presence. (God= Divine Essence, Spirit, etc.)

In order to keep you in a festive mood …