November 22, 2020

  Are we asleep? Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi can really challenge us on this issue: This world is a dream—don’t be deluded; if in a dream a hand is lost, it’s no harm. In dreams, no real damage is done if the body is maimed or torn in two hundred pieces. The Prophet said of this apparently substantial world that it is but the sleeper’s dream. You’ve accepted this as an idea, but the spiritual traveler has beheld this truth with… Read more

August 14, 2020

Excerpted from the forthcoming In the House of Remembering, The Living Tradition of Sufi Teaching, by Kabir Helminski   I was talking to somebody recently who, with a good heart, said, “I have no need for religion. I know what is right and what is wrong.” I didn’t comment or argue, but, actually, this brings up some very important subjects. Do we need God? Do we need God to do and be good? The answer is no, up to a… Read more

August 1, 2020

“To know love, become we.” – Mevlana   Four years ago, as a journalist, I wrote a profile of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Louisville, Kentucky — and the parallel movement of white advocates that had emerged to support it. I took on the assignment because I wanted to understand BLM as a new civil rights movement. But reporting the article took me into unexpected emotional and spiritual territory. I had not felt how terrifying it can be to… Read more

June 24, 2020

In the three very long months since my last article when I wondered what our future would hold on the other side of the pandemic, hopeful that we might emerge on a different path from where we were before, I could not have imagined that that ‘different path’ would so quickly lead us to a global uprising against systemic dehumanisation – and all while we are still in the midst of the pandemic. I have wondered at the speed and… Read more

May 23, 2020

“That floss is going to give you a fit,” Miss Lou-Ann clucked as she watched me make another attempt to thread my needle. I took up three strands of the gold embroidery floss and tried to roll them into a knot between my thumb and forefinger as she had shown me — only to have the strands fall apart yet again. It was a cool morning in late April. Rain clouds were gathering outside the window where her two cats… Read more

May 13, 2020

“You are cutting this apple with such presence,” a dear friend once observed as I was preparing breakfast in our kitchen. “You can see this?” I asked. “Yes, it’s obvious to me,” he replied. I smiled and felt gratitude in my heart for this witnessing of my journey with food. Many years ago, I was blessed to have been taught by my teachers to regard all food as living entities that are in service to our nourishment and well-being. I… Read more

May 5, 2020

A week and a half before Ramadan, I was awake in the early hours of the morning, consumed by a feeling of vulnerability. I’d just finished recording my debut song and part of me felt afraid to share it, afraid of how it might be received. The fear of rejection gripped my body. 

As I tried to comfort this anxiousness with zikr, I looked out the window and saw the moon, in bright yellow, peek up over the eastern horizon…. Read more

April 28, 2020

Your inner being is a sanctuary, cleanse it with the light of compassionate awareness. [Threshold Society monthly theme] During this sacred month we fast between dawn and sunset from food and drink, from daytime sex, from gossip, and even from expressions of anger. We have an opportunity to experience a new lightness, emptiness, and what some have called transparency. We discover that with this fasting we have a different experience of our inner being. This month’s theme reminds us that… Read more

March 24, 2020

Spring has arrived and the world is in lockdown. A tiny organism that looks (at microscopic level) like it escaped out of Willy Wonka’s candy factory has brought mighty nations to a standstill. Here in the UK we have gone from laughing at the absurdity of toilet paper shortages in supermarkets to installing video conferencing software on family computers so we can keep in touch during our ‘isolation’ – all in the space of less than a week. Humour is… Read more

March 3, 2020

A few years ago I wrote a series of love letters to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). And they were real letters, not just a literary form. My intention was to connect with Muhammad in the most intimate fashion I could. Writing love letters was a means to disclose myself to him with all of my struggles and imperfections as a woman, while also learning more about him as someone whom I felt that I truly loved,… Read more

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