Digital art by Rahal Eks - tile pattern 3 for an imagined contemporary Sufi center
"Oh God, unless you help sustain me,
what help can issue from my own hand?"
Happy Thanksgiving to all the American friends who are celebrating on Thursday, November 27, 2014!
Others do so on different dates.
Whatever day you decide to celebrate gratefulness - regardless of your religion, the lack of it, or whatever spiritual Tradition and cultures you claim - is the correct day, because expressing thankfulness and gratitude are as vital to human development and progress, as the act of forgiving and not keeping old grudges. So any time and place would do, just as indicated by an old Sufi saying: "Every day is a Friday, and every place is a Mosque!"
These are all very simple but effective tools for potential liberation to advance on the evolutionary level - or in Sufi terminology: refine your spiritual maqam, your spiritual station.
The temporary gifts in the form of a spiritual hal along the way, here and there, should be welcomed and also thanked for. And above all they need to be seen for what they really are: a preview or taste in advance of what might come, an indication - depending on Allah being Karim, the Generous One and if the seeker is truly persistent and whole-heartedly dedicated to his or her efforts of practicing loving kindness as the universal and all-inclusive Sufi motto of one's life.
Instead of thinking and acting miserly we ought to focus on the One, "who is rich beyond need" and appreciate all the beautiful things and events manifested as an on-going process in perpetually renewed creation, our lives. God is rich and therefore the universe too is rich and there is really enough for all of us, unless you're running on a negative conditioning program called "poverty", "victim", "not-empowered & helpless".
But before you start to protest and complain, are you sure you know what you really want and who you are? What is your part to play in this life? Are you generous, loving, kind and real? Are you doing what is really in harmony with your inner being or are you working with all your might against your mission trying to be the impossible by wanting to imitate someone else?
Get off, drop it, learn to love yourself and embrace your uniqueness regardless in what shades of the colors of the rainbow it comes. Be yourself and try to activate you very potential with grateful acceptance and queer pride if you belong to the LGBT tribe and friends.
So Thanksgiving is ideally an on-going life-style that would beautify this troubled world of ours. Thursday is also the special day of the Sufis and Sufi seekers to remember the Friend and sharing some dates and Al-Qisatu Mushkil Gusha, the Story of the Problem Dissolver.
"Will you retell the story of Mushkil Gusha on Thursday nights and thus help the work of the Problem Dissolver?"
Those who don't know this Sufi teaching tale can google it or read it in Idries Shah's CARAVAN OF DREAMS.
When you do, ask yourself: "Who am I today in this story? The old woodcutter working hard? The young daughter who wants to eat more and different foods? The neighbors asking for a light to restart their fire? The mysterious voice? One of the colorful pebbles found by the old woodcutter? The King's daughter, the King, or the generous man?"
The characters in this tale represent the human nafs, the commanding self and its numerous fluctuations.
The ability to express thankfulness indicates where you stand on the journey. If it can be improved, don't hesitate. It is an on-going project like maintaining a beautiful garden.
Ishq bashad, saludos Rahal