Category Archives: study

Schools of the future

By BEN OKRI

In the future, centres of learning will teach at least one thing we do not teach today: the art of self-discovery. There is nothing more fundamental in education. We turn out students from our universities who know how to give answers, but not how to ask questions.

Our students do not come in contact with the centres of wisdom in our culture. They leave universities with skills for the workplace, but with no knowledge of how to live, or what living is for. They are not taught how to see. They are not taught how to listen. They are not taught the great art of obedience, and how it precedes self-mastery.
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Invite: Ibn Arabi Study Week

Dear friends,

We are very pleased to share with you that Beshara SEA will be conducting a nine-day Ibn ‘Arabi’s Fusus Study Retreat on December 3-11, 2016.

The study will be of selected passages from “The Wisdom of Spirituality in the word of Jacob”, a chapter from Ibn ‘Arabi’s Fusus al Hikam book.

Avi Abadi, who has been a student of the work of Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi for many years and is currently based in the UK, will facilitate the course.

The course is a residential retreat, starting on Saturday morning (Dec 3, 10AM) and running until after lunch on the following Sunday (Dec 11, 2PM). The timetable will incorporate meditation, study, conversation, devotional practice, private contemplation and service.

The course will take place near Jakarta (Details of the venue to be advised on later dates). The fee is Rp 4 million, including accommodation and all meals.

This retreat course is opened to all who wish to attend it.

Applicants who are not familiar with Ibn Arabi’s terminology and central themes of the Fusus al Hikam, however, need to be advised that the ideas that will be presented and discussed on the course will be demanding.

As Ibn ‘Arabi wrote, “Retreat brings knowledge of the world” — this Beshara course, in the spirit of active and intentional retreat, aims to open a space for real knowledge to emerge through all dimensions of the retreat, be it focused study, devotional practice, private contemplation or service. All of these dimensions are held in equal regard as each is a direct way to be of service to Reality, to our fellow human beings and to the world.

We look forward to welcoming you to this valuable course. Please feel free to contact us at beshara.sea@gmail.com should you have further questions or would like to participate.

Sincerely,

Beshara SEA

 

About The Fusus al Hikam

This seminal work by Ibn ‘Arabi, dating from the 13th century, describes the meaning of universal human spirituality through the medium of 27 prophetic figures, from Adam through Abraham, Moses and others to Jesus and Mohammed. Ibn ‘Arabi’s aim is to show how each of these luminary figures exemplified a particular wisdom available to mankind; a harmonious vision of reality which integrates differences without destroying them. Themes that arise range from explorations of uniqueness, fate and destiny, the place of worship and devotion, praise and service and the role of mankind. To read this book is to encounter the full scope of what it means to be truly human.

 

 

 

 

 

Mengingat Pak Arief

Kemarin diingatkan Facebook bahwa Pak Arief Mulyadi (alm) berulang tahun.

Lebih dari sepuluh tahun lalu, saya meminta kepada Tuhan, “Tuhan, tunjukkan aku bagaimana membaca Al Quran, karena aku tidak percaya bahwa Tuhan yang Maha Pengasih dan Maha Penyayang, se-strict ini (ini itu harus; ini itu gak boleh, haram; salah sedikit dosa, gak diterima).”

Pak Arief merupakan salah satu respon Tuhan pertama dari permintaan saya itu. Pembahasan topik apapun dalam kajian yang ia fasilitasi, selalu setia dengan Al Quran. Setiap kajian, bisa membahas puluhan ayat bahkan lebih. Setiap topik, setiap pertanyaan selalu ditanggapi dengan rangkaian ayat ke ayat, di luar kepala.

Pembawaannya santai dan lugas. Mau seberapa sering atau jarang datang, seberapa awal atau seberapa telat, tidak masalah. Pake hijab rapat, baju nusantara, atau baju santai pendek, tidak masalah. Walau suara kerap menggelegar, tapi tidak pernah terasa merendahkan. Tidak ada judgement.

Selama bertahun-tahun, saya datang ke pengajian Jumat malamnya di jalan jaha, dan bertahan hingga larut malam atau bahkan dini hari. Orang-orang dayang dan pergi. Teman membawa temannya lagi. Makanan melimpah entah siapa saja yang menbawa. Tak ada pungutan wajib yang ditarik. Semua merupakan perbuatan baik semata.

Satu ayat sering ia gaungkan adalah QS 16:128 – “Sesungguhnya, Allah beserta orang-orang yang takwa dan berbuat baik.” Perbuatan baik sangat ia tekankan. Gak jalan deh takwa kalau tidak ada perbuatan baiknya. Tidak heran, ia dan murid-muridnya seperti tak lelah berbuat baik terhadap siapa pun, tak pandang latar belakang, suku, atau agama. Bentuk nyata pengabdian kepada Tuhan.

Ia membuka mata saya, bahwa Al Qur’an benar-benar tuntunan luhur yang manusiawi, logis, lengkap, dan relevan dengan kehidupan sehari-hari. Ia memperkenalkan kepada saya konsep Islam yang praktis, santun, dan terbuka.
Ia juga yang memperkenalkan ke saya istilah “kacung Allah” 🙂 — nurut aja disuruh ngapain sama Allah kalau kita udah janji loyal sama Dia. “Tanyakan semua kepada Tuhan, pada setiap langkah. Kalau gak tahu mau tanya apa, tanya sama Dia kita harus tanya apa,” katanya.
Suatu kali ada seorang hadirin bertanya, “Pak, menurut Bapak, orang kristen yang baik itu bakal masuk surga atau neraka?”

Spontan Pak Arief menjawab dengan gaya khasnya, “Mana gua tau, emang gua Allah? Daripada nanya tentang orang lain, mending kita nanya ke diri kita, kita bakal jadi penghuni surga atau neraka.” Lanjut setelah itu semalaman kami membahas amalan-amalan yang menjadikan kita penghuni surga; dan apa yang dimaksud surga dan neraka. “Surga itu,” katanya, “bisa ada di sini, kini. Gak perlu nunggu setelah meninggal.”

Pada pertemuan saya terakhir dengannya, di penginapan sederhana tempat ia tinggal bersama istrinya, setelah mengalami stroke untuk kesekian kali, kami berbincang panjang lebar tentang negara Pancasila. Dia memperlihatkan bagan tentang pandangannya apa saja yang perlu dikerjakan agar Indonesia sejahtera. Pak Arief bilang ke saya, “Gak perlu pilih semua. Pilih satu saja, apa yang kamu mau kerjakan, dan kerjakan. Yang lain, biarkan orang lain mengerjakannya.” Sambil kembali menekankan bahwa kita sudah janji sama Allah untuk jadi kacungnya.

Sejak memberikan jawaban awalnya berupa Pak Arief dan sharingnya, Tuhan tidak pernah berhenti menjawab permintaan saya. Ia terus menunjukkan kepada saya, bahwa Ia Maha Pengasih, Maha Penyayang, asal kita tekun membaca.

Pak Arief, terima kasih banyak. Shalawat dan salaam. Alhamdulillaahi rabbilalamiin.

Let yourself be the dance of nature

Colorful-Tree-Abstract-1024x1280
The tree just stood there, awesome and strong as he was. He was quiet though. How curious. Why did he want me here if he had nothing to say? The previous night I had felt his vast-reaching presence and I was drawn to return.

So I did. Deep in the night. During these powerful moments before the dawn, with the moon finding her subtle way to shower her Light over me. But the tree was quiet. He was breathing slow and deep. His chest barely moving.

Go deeper within, he whispered. Be more silent. Be ever still. Relax. I concured, allowing him to guide me. My whole being reposed, planting its root solidly in Mother Earth. The night grew darker, and the tree even quieter. I did not know it was even possible.

From the kernel of such solemn quietude, the tree transformed himself before me, as if he was breathing out, or blooming. Continue reading

Establishment of the soul

Chis events bannerWhen friends asked me about my biggest learning from my six month courses at Beshara, UK, I used to say: “I have become more of myself. I have allowed myself to become however I am at each moment, more so than before. “ Always. The same answer to the same question.

That is, until recently. Last week a friend posed that question. I’d like to say “that question again,” but that’s not entirely the case – yes, I have been asked that question several times, but, no, not from him, and not at that particular time (in life).

That time, I let the question seep into myself a bit more. “Yes, what have I learned?” I asked myself quietly and waited for the response. There it was. A different response crept up. A fresh response to a fresh question.
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A talk on Love

A talk I gave towards the end of my first six month course in the Beshara School, UK.

“You must love”
A beautiful poem by Hazreti Uftade.

You have to come soon to the Real
You have to find His wise ones
If you truly cannot find them
With all your soul and with all your heart,
You must love.

Those who have loved have found them
Their souls have reached the Real (God)
Their faith has become whole
With all your soul and with all your heart,
You must love.

Always trace out their tracks
Listen to their beautiful discourse
If you say you would like to see their faces
With all your soul and with all your heart,
You must love

This dervish, this unhappy Uftade,
Has become a beggar on the road of God
May God fulfil his desire
With all your soul and with all your heart,
You must love.

It seems that is what I came here for. To love.
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