Monthly Archives: August 2009

…and to Him we shall return

[Bahasa Indonesia]

Song of the Reed

Listen to the song of the reed,
How it wails with the pain of the separation:

”Ever since I was taken from my reed bed
My woeful song has caused men and women to weep.
I seek out those whose hearts are torn by separation
For only they understand the pain of this longing.
Whoever is taken away from his homeland
Yearn for the day he will return.
In every gathering, among those who are happy or sad,
I cry with the same lament.
Everyone hears according to his own understanding,
None has searched for the secrets within me.
My secret is found in my lament
But an eye or ear without light cannot know it…”

The sound of the reed comes from the fire, not wind
What use is one’s life without this fire?
It is the fire of love that brings music to the reed.
It is the ferment of love that gives taste to the wine.
The song of the reed soothes the pain of lost love.
Its melody sweeps the veils from the heart.
Can there be a poison so bitter or a sugar so sweet
As the song of the reed?
To hear the song of the reed everything you ever known
must be left behind.

Short version of a Rumi’s poem, translated by Jonathan Star

You can download an excerpt of a discussion (during the Ramadhan with Rumi event) on the poem (in Indonesian) from here.

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Who am I?

[Bahasa Indonesia]

Ramadhan bersama RumiNote from Ramadhan with Rumi , Day 4
Speaker: Felia Salim

Who am I? Oh the eternal question. The discussion on who I am and what I should do with my life involve a discussion on self knowledge.

Bulent Rauf, a consultant to The Beshara School, once wrote a short note titled ”What is the most important point that must be understood by a person who wants to know?”

He said “It is that there is only One, Unique, Absolute, Infinite Existence. It must be more than an idea. One has to be so completely certain of it that one adopts it through reason and intuition as the basic, unshakeable fact of one’s existence.

When it is like that in one’s existence then every possible ramification that occurs to one is seen as not being outside The Existence, but as being an aspect of it.”

Thus if we want to know, if we yearn for the Real Knowledge, we need to hold fast to the certainty that there is only One Existence. This needs to be adopted through reason and intuition.

Then we walk our life. During our life journey, it is humane to try develop various kinds of plan for our life. But does our life always go according to our plans, thoughts and anticipations?

In such situation, it is better if we keep putting forward our best efforts and at the same time leave the results to Him, the Creator, and always have in mind that whatever occurrence happens, it is not outside The Existence, but is an aspect of it.

Such act of surrender can be formed through humility. Our journey then becomes a journey to be humble, a journey to total humility.

Humility can be trained among other things through gratitude.

This morning, I read a note from a friend’s Facebook page. A hadits that says ”Do not underestimate any good deeds, even if it is just a friend with a happy face and a smile”. I think if we can adopt this attitude, then we will realize how abundant His gift and grace us to us.

Humility should also be accompanied with a habit to apologize to other people (or being?) whenever we have conducted an error. This is a training to position ourselves not higher than other people and view ourselves—and even our mistakes—in all honesty.

Personally, the most interesting parts were during the question and answer session. Those questions always geared me towards contemplative moments, realizing that their questions are my questions as well.

One ask the benefit of self knowledge. Felia quoted a hadits that says”know thyself, know thy Lord.” Amin. By knowing Him, we know His wishes and His plans on us. Our life would be guided (directly by Him) and we will be able to fulfill our function as rahmatan lil alamin – grace for all beings.

This reminds me of a poem by Rumi:

I have lived on the lip
Of insanity, wanting to know reasons
Knocking on a door. It opens
I’ve been knocking from the inside

Another participant asked the relationship between humility and self knowledge. Interesting. Logically speaking, humility is crucial not only in self knowledge but for any pursue of any knowledge.

Through humility, we admit that we do not know everything, there are knowledge that we do not have that others may have. Through humility, we automatically open our heart to know knowledge that we are about to receive. Only a humble and open heart may receive education from the Great Love.

There was also another participant that asked whether there could be one certain and permanent answer that he could bring with him from this discussion.

Frankly speaking, I forgot how the discussion was about this. But I think answers and knowledge are God’s prerogative. If He wants to, even this second we would know. No man can give guarantee.

We should, however, understand and be certain that God the Compassionate are always providing His clues within and around us at all times. He wants us to know Him more than our yearning to know Him. Such is God’s Love to us.

Felia’s invitation towards the end of the discussion to ”start asking and keep asking” to me sounds like God’s loving invitation for us to always want to know Him better.

As Rumi said,

Inside a lover’s heart
There is another world
And yet another

Next: This afternoon’s (25 Aug) topic: Self knowledge: From Whence to Thence – Inna lillaahi wa inna ilaihi raajiun.
Speaker: Basuki Hardjoseokatmo

Ramadhan with Rumi is a collaboration between Dharmawangsa Square with Pusaka Hati. It is a series of Ramadhan discussion events, bazaars, an appreciation towards Rumi and book exchange event.

The discussions talk about universal perspective, self-knowledge, love & beauty, and service, with Rumi’s poems as starting points. They are held from 24 August to 11 September from Monday to Friday, from 5.15pm until the time of breaking the fast. Drinks and snacks are provided.

For more information on the event and Life Begins @ 40 click here http://www.lifeat40.com/lifeevents.asp or call Puput/Jatmiko at 6221 7205066
Fore more information on Pusaka Hati, click www.pusakahati.com
For more information on Beshara, click www.beshara.org
For more information on Rumi, google “Rumi” ☺

Melting oneself through Love

[Bahasa Indonesia]
Ramadhan bersama RumiA note from Ramadhan bersama Rumi
Topic: Universal perspective: Apex view – The One and the many.
Speaker: Muhammad Baqir MA

Rumi’s Universality

What can I do, Submitters to God? I do not know myself.
I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Zoroastrian nor Muslim,
I am not from east or west, not from land or sea,
not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament,
not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire.
I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world,
not from existence, not from being.
I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin,
not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan
I am not from the world, not from beyond,
not from heaven and not from hell.
I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan.
My place is placeless, my trace is traceless,
no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls.
I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one.
One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call.
He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner.
Beyond “He” and “He is” I know no other.
I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me.
I have no concern but carouse and rapture.
If one day in my life I spend a moment without you
from that hour and that time I would repent my life.
If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you
I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever.
O Sun of Tabriz (Shams Tabrizi), I am so tipsy here in this world,
I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture

Through the poem, Rumi invites us to contemplate on the eternal question of “who am I?” He takes the question “what is man?” to a more personal and individual level: “who am I?” The self is made the subject of the whole search, making “knowing oneself” the central focus of the whole seeking process.

“What can I do, Submitters to God?” The poem starts with perplexity. “I do not know myself.” It starts with an admission that he does not know. He calls upon all submitters to God – the Moslem in its widest meaning.

Then it continues with a series of negation: what I am not. A realization of what I am not. Just like the tauhid statement begins with the negation “Laa illaah ha illa allaah” — the negation of “There is no god,” then continues with firm affirmation “but God.”

To start setting ourselves free from all forms and barriers, beyond our religious identity, beyond domicile identity, beyond the four elements identity, beyond ethnical identity. To look for ourselves that is beyond any belief.

The final “I” is universal. It is then projected to each of us as so-called individuals.

Then Rumi moves to more affirmative statements: My place is placeless, my trace is traceless. No body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls.

Our substance is Divine, but we often make it (much) less divine.

God creates with His Name Ar-Rahmaan, The Compassionate. He does not just create with Love. The whole world is a projection of Love. The whole world IS Love. We are nothing but Love. We are nothing but the Beloved who is manifesting always and in all ways.

Such realization would diminish the duality in this world. To see that my substance is also yours. There might still be you and I and them in this pluralistic world but we see one another with the same Eye.

Holding on too tight to certain things, said the speaker this afternoon Bagir, is like solidifying ourselves into an mambo ice (note: like ice cream but much more icy and solid). This is when our ego triumph. This is when I say I am not you. This is it and that is not it.

Even when we are given love, we then solidify love. This is love and only this is love, everything else (even another form of love) is not love. When we are given a taste of belief, we say this is what belief system is and everything else is not a belief system. We solidify the definition and freeze everything else.

The only way to return is to boil and heat up the ice—to melt the ice into one big universal ocean.

A member of the audience asked how we could boil and heat up the ice. I think Bagir responded brilliantly: That’s good that you ask the question. That means you don’t like and don’t want to be a mambo ice. That is a good starting point.

Ice melts due to heat. Heat can come from anger and suffering. It can also come from love. Some can be given anger and suffering over and over again until they realize that the only way is to return.

So if you ask me, opt for love. Start falling in love. It is easier and more pleasurable.

Thank you all for such a fulfilling discussion.

Next: This afternoon’s (25 Aug) topic: universal perspective: Inclusiveness – Essence of religion.

Ramadhan with Rumi is a collaboration between Dharmawangsa Square with Pusaka Hati. It is a series of Ramadhan discussion events, bazaars, an appreciation towards Rumi and book exchange event.

The discussions talk about universal perspective, self-knowledge, love & beauty, and service, with Rumi’s poems as starting points. They are held from 24 August to 11 September from Monday to Friday, from 5.15pm until the time of breaking the fast. Drinks and snacks are provided.

For more information on the event and Life Begins @ 40 click here http://www.lifeat40.com/lifeevents.asp or call Puput/Jatmiko at 6221 7205066
Fore more information on Pusaka Hati, click www.pusakahati.com
For more information on Beshara, click www.beshara.org
For more information on Rumi, google “Rumi” ☺

A letter from God

To : YOU
From: GOD
Date: TODAY
Subject: YOURSELF
Reference: LIFE

This is GOD.

Today, I will be handling ALL of your problems for you.

I do not need your help so have a nice day.

I love you.

P.S.
And remember, if life happens to deliver a situation that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it yourself!

Kindly put it in the SFGTD (Something for GOD to do) box.

I will get to it in MY TIME.

All situations will be resolved, but in MY TIME, NOT YOURS.

Once the matter is placed in the box, do not hold unto it by worrying about it.

Instead, focus on all wonderful things that are present in your life now.

Now, smile and have a nice day!

-oOo-

Thanks for sharing, dear friend. You know who you are 😉

A typical family lunch

10AM. A window appeared on my Adium. It was my sister. “Lunch?” she said. Yes!! Of course, yes!! Today? Okay! Another one popped up in the conversation. A cousin. We would be having lunch near her office.

10.30AM. I SMS-ed my brother and he immediately said yes to the invitation.

11.45AM. I packed up my things and told a friend that my sis was coming. Why? She’s going to have lunch. Oh with whom? With me!

12.00 noon. My sis came to my office to pick me up.

Family lunch12.30 PM. We arrived at the restaurant. My cousin came a bit later. “Oh my god, how are you? It’s been quite some time. When was it that we last met? Errr, breakfast this morning?”

01.00PM. My brother arrived. His linguini was getting cold. We continued chatting and uploading pictures to Facebook 🙂

01.20PM. A full plate of pizza, linguini, calamari, salad, melted chocolate and free flow of ice lemon tea later, a waiter passed by our table. My brother and I looked at each other immediately and called the waiter. “What was that? Yes, we want one, please.”

01.30PM-ish. Time to go. “Okay then .. until we meet again? When will that be? Um, dinner tonight at mom’s place? See ya!”

Blissful moments. Lovely family. I am truly blessed.