Category Archives: sufism

To Speak With Solomon

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Attar: What Is Not the Mystic

Atar-Sufi Poet-The Whole World is a Marketplace for Love

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Teaching Cartoon: Bart’s Lesson

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One Reason

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Rumi: Flutes and Peas

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Found: Coleman Barks

Poet Coleman Barks

Several weeks ago I went searching on the net for Coleman Barks. Barks, a poet, is most well known for his versions of Rumi. In fact, to the extent Rumi is known by the English-speaking world, a lion’s share of the credit accrues to Mr. Barks and to his colleague and co-author John Moyne.

Having done this same search years ago, I knew there are numerous resources and media, but, one such resource at the CBC had been taken down, an interview with Barks and Andrew Harvey by Mary Hynes (as part of Ms. Hynes’ Tapestry Series.) I made an inquiry.

Lo and behold a few days later a nice gentleman from the CBC emailed me and asked if I would be interested in providing an introduction for this archival podcast. I jumped at the opportunity to help bring the interview back into circulation.

The podcast at the CBC is back, and listed here. (Direct download-mp3)

Coleman Barks interview at Lapham’s Quarterly. (mp3)

Video at Poetry Everywhere (PBS)

Rumi-Big-Red-Book

The Big Red Book is the newest exploration of Rumi by Coleman Barks. It focuses on Rumi’s relationship with Shams of Tabriz. One of the aphorisms of Shams is a touchstone for me:

Follow the perfume, not the tracks.

The following video provides a beguiling introduction to Rumi and Shams.

Jalaluddin El-Rumi & Shams El Tabriz from Raphael Rousseau Sason on Vimeo.

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Teaching Story: Every Which Way the Wind Blows

Mullah Nasruddin was a digging a grave in the cemetery when from afar he saw the sand blowing in the distant desert. His imagination got the better of him and he thought it was a band of brigands. In fear … Continue reading

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The impossibility of education

Once, the villagers invited Mulla Nasruddin to deliver a lecture on spiritual matters. When he got on the pulpit, he found the audience was not very enthusiastic, so he asked “Do you know what I am going to say?” The … Continue reading

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Minding the Mind

My favorite (Gregory) Batesonian teaching story, reconfigured and originally via Idries Shah. A frenchman is teaching another french rudimentary english. “So, the word for froid crème glacée is ‘cold ice cream.’ ” “What’s the word for chaude crème glacée?” “Oh, … Continue reading

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Secrets Revealed

I noted recently via a google alert that lectures of Idries Shah, taken from a series of hard-to-obtain cassettes, have been made available on the web site, The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge. Ishk.net is ostensibly the web … Continue reading

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Teaching Cartoon: Paranormal

Story from The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin, (Idries Shah.) h/t Max Cannon’s cartoon franework Build Your Own Meat.

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HAPPY NOUS YEAR

[flashvideo filename=http://squareone-learning.com/video/IdriesShah.flv /] On youtube there is a series of videos, apparently excerpted from a longer documentary, that features the renowned-in-his-time counter-cultural figure, self-proclaimed Sufi, misterioso teacher, charlatan, Idries Shah. I joined the ten parts and present it here; 49 … Continue reading

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BANG BEFORE

The Integral Spiritual Center lands a come-on in my email box every week. Yesterday’s gave me a whack on the side of the head. Modern science has given us a compelling picture of the evolution of our universe, from its … Continue reading

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I NEVER HEARD ANYTHING BACK

Reader: Coleman Barks

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Teaching Cartoon: Done Deal

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Teaching Cartoon: Wrong Question

Versions of this teaching story are found in the folklore of the Mid-east and North Africa. This version refashions source material discovered in Matthew Helmke’s Humor and Moroccan Culture. Happy new year to all in this year of the Rat. … Continue reading

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DHIKR

Shaikh Abul Janaab Najmuddin al-Kubra (may Allah favor him,) in his book Fawatih ul-Jamaal, wrote “Dhikr is flowing in the body of creatures by the necessity of their breath, because through their breathing, the letter ‘Ha’ of the Divine Name … Continue reading

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I’M CONCEALED

I’m so close to you that I’m far apart, So completely merged that I’m separate, So vastly exposed that I’m concealed, So whole and sound that I’ll never be healed. #1121, from Rumi’s Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi Edited by Badiozzaman Forouzanfar … Continue reading

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TO HIM IT’S ALL ONE

The friend to whom flower and thorn are one, In whose faith, Koran and Cross are the same — Why should we worry? To him it’s all one: The swiftest horse or a donkey that’s lame. #454: From Rumi’s Kolliyaat-e … Continue reading

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THE LAST STEP

Mullah Nasrudin had obtained a part time gig as the agricultural adviser to the village. There wasn’t much to do but answer the queries of gardeners and farmers. One man was struggling with his lawn and, so, one day he … Continue reading

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