Monday, April 29, 2013

Nuran Allah Nur ~ Light Upon Light

Nuran allah nur

Moonlight merging with sunrise

Light reflecting Light

 - Dahlia's morning Haiku

On a fairly regular basis, I designate and then devote myself to a 40 day meditation practice. I find that this kind of framework gives me renewed focus and deepens my meditation. It gives me an opportunity to reexamine my emotional, mental and physical process and to adjust my meditation so that it is most appropriate and fruitful for my current circumstances. Often, I coordinate these 40 day practices to the seasonal changes or to a celestial event.  Since spring is such a good time of year to start something new, something fresh, something with promise, on the spring equinox I began a new practice.

I have been dealing with chronic pain, exhaustion and a low WBC for some years. Recently I was told by a trusted medical intuitive that I have a chronic viral infection in my spleen, that it is causing an autoimmune condition and creating inflammation in my joints. As I look at what I can do to rid myself of this virus, I can think of no better way than to burn it out with Light, my Light, the Light of Being. What better time of year to work with an invocation about increasing light, now as the light is increasing toward the summer solstice.

      I learned this prayer or salat from my Sufi friend, Karuna. It’s in Arabic:  Allahu nurus samu wadi wal ardth—Allah (the One Being in All) is the light of the heavens and of the earth. Another way to say this is, “As in light, so in all forms…” This is what I want to bring into my body consciousness, into my cells. This form, this body is Light. There is no room for disease here. This body is a manifestation of the One. There is no room for disease here. This body is God.

Today is my 40th day of doing this practice. Every morning I awake and the first thing I do is chant this salat as I count on my mala of 108 clear, glass beads: one bead for each repetition of the word Nur, each repetition of Light. Allahu nurus samu wadi wal ardth~ I sing light into my cells. I sing light into each organ. I sing light into my blood, my bones and my nerves.  As in Light, so in all forms~ I bring light into each chakra; I bring light forth from each chakra. I feel myself tingle and soften as I let the light permeate my body. Nuran allah Nur, Light upon Light~ I purify my body with Light—cleansing, clearing, healing. I burn away all disease—the virus of despair, the illness of doubt. I feel the pain and exhaustion melting away.

           With this sacred song, I affirm the reality I want to know: As in light, so in all forms. Yes, even this form, especially this form, especially this precious body. And so, I am beginning each day bathed in Light. Indeed, I begin each day a little bit more enlightened. Nuran Allah Nur—Grant me Light upon Light.




Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Dances of Universal Peace ~

            Like bee to flower,

                        These Dances do draw me in

And nourish my soul.  

                                                ~ Dahlia, morning haiku

            Nourishment is a good word to describe what the Dances mean to me.

            Standing in the center of the circle, playing my guitar, connecting with other musicians and giving my full attention to the dance leader as people sing and dance around us; I am deeply nourished by this spiritual practice of attunement and of singing praises to God in community with others. Community, communion, communication: all derive from the same Latin root, communis, meaning common. And it is this that I love most about the Dances, this sense of belonging, this feeling of common intent and purpose. As my brother, Skip, said to me a long time ago, “Playing music with someone is just another kind of conversation.”  I like this way of conversing, of communicating.

            I do love to sing, and so to sing my praises, my prayers, is very fulfilling. And these sacred phrases we sing are praises: to Life, to the Beloved, to the Earth, to the Cosmos, to the saints and prophets that have made a path before us, to the many and varied names for the Divine. I also love to dance, and so the simple movements that accompany the Dances are a perfect expression of my need for body prayer, my need to feel the Divine in this physical body.

So much damage has been done in the name of religion, so much tragedy and so much division. I have avoided organized religion my whole life for just this reason. I can’t ascribe to any system of belief that insists on its righteousness, on its way as the only way (not that all religion does this). For years I have been forging my own path of spirituality insistently incorporating the fundamental premises that I believe underlie all religion: God is One, God is Love, God is within us all. For many years I have been reading, meditating, chanting, praying, practicing yoga and qigong—seeking for, and developing a spiritual practice of inclusiveness, tolerance, and acceptance, a practice that will bring me to realization of the truth as I know it, the truth of Oneness: “The Kingdom of Heaven is within”; There is no separation; La ilaha il’allah—There is only One True Being or as my friend Maitreya says, "There is only one of us here."

            In these Dances—The Dances of Universal Peace—I have finally found a form consistent with and supportive of my spiritual practice, a form that also satisfies my longing to share my spirituality with others. When we sing and dance these sacred phrases from the many religious traditions of the world, when we sing in the language of those traditions, it’s like “…walking a mile in another man’s moccasins.”  As Murshid Samuel Lewis, the originator of the Dances of Universal Peace said, “When people eat, dance and pray together, the world finds peace”. When I sing to the sacred in these many languages of the world, I find the common tongue that connects us all and my heart finds peace.