Monday, October 28, 2013

Dream Door

I had the pleasure of tea this weekend with James O'Dea, who brought up a connection with Sheikh Muzaffar Al-Jerrahi in Turkey. 

I was musing over that conversation as I was digging in my garden this morning.  it brought up the memoryof the Zikr I attended with Sheikha Fariha years ago here in Crestone when she told the story of the dream of the Sufi master Sheikh Nurredin Al-Jerrahi of her lineage.
When she got to the end of the dream I felt an internal explosion that announced "THAT!" It was my instruction to connect intimately with that Door and its contents. The image above is what came through. The small jewel you are seeing through keyhole
is a ruby heart.

Dream of Sheikh Nurredin Al-Jerrahi
My soul departs its earthly body and is taken in waking dream to Paradise. Led by a loving guide, it discovers vast, radiant gardens filled with joyous beings of light, who are engaged in countless forms of whirling, chanting, and silent contemplation.

Though overwhelmed with the beauty of paradise, my soul wishes to understand the whole picture, and therefore asks its guide where the fires of Hell are to be found. Smiling, the guide replies: "Dear friend, there is no separate realm that you call Hell."

My soul, steeped in the revelation of Islam, responds immediately: "But we read in the Holy Koran that those who deny Allah will suffer in Hell eternally." The beloved guide replies firmly: "But you read again and again in the Holy Koran that Allah is all- compassionate and all-merciful. How could an all compassionate Power create a realm expressly designed for beings to suffer even for an instant, much less for eternity?"

This response startles and intrigues my soul, but it remains unconvinced. Perceiving this, the guide continues: "What is taught in the mystic tradition about the person who, even once, repeats with utmost sincerity la ilaha illa’llah -the ultimate Source alone is worthy of worship?" Joyously my soul replies: "Such a one is counted among the blessed and after death awakens immediately into Paradise."

"Good!" exclaims the guide, "and since all souls are rays from the Divine Light, the essence of every being is this affirmation that Allah alone is worthy of worship, and all beings awaken, after the sleep of death, directly into Paradise."

My soul is exhilarated by this profound explanation, but because of its deep commitment to the words of the Koran, it still hesitates to accept the truth that there is no separate realm called Hell. The beloved guide sees this hesitation and offers my soul the final solution to its doubt, 'My dear friend, it is true that when a soul who has so practiced the life of loving submission to Allah reaches Paradise, it cannot bear the intense radiance here, so falls asleep again and dreams of Hell. Hellfire is simply the purifying radiance of Paradise. And all dreams, even dreams of eternal damnation, are but momentary. These dreaming souls soon awaken into Paradise purified and joyously praising the All-Merciful One." The explanation now complete, my soul feels the full coherence and power of this marvelous truth.

However, this mystical teaching deepens the soul's longing to understand completely, so almost at once a profound question arises: "Revered guide, if the experience of Hell is but a dream~ may not the experience of Paradise - its dancing maidens, its flowing streams, its radiant dervishes-may not all this be a dream as well?" The guide responds with delight: "Ah, my dear, dear friend, you have guessed the secret. Paradise, too, is a dream. But it is Allah's perfect dream, totally unlike the fragmentary and confused dreams experienced by earthly beings."

These words kindle the ecstasy of mystical knowledge in my soul, and it realizes that this unsurpassable guide is none other than the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessing of Allah always be upon him. And in this state of holy exultation the soul becomes bold enough to question the Prophet of Allah: "Beloved guide, are you, too, a dream, telling me that Hell and Paradise are dreams?" The most excellent of guides responds instantly and with great power: "I am the dream key to the dream lock of the dream door that opens into the treasure of Divine Love, which alone is not a dream."

peace prayer art
world peace art

symbolic art
symbolism art
grail art
holy grail art
cosmos art

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Feverfew ((Tanacetum parthenium) Sinus Headache Remedy

Here is feverfew growing in the garden this year.  Feverfew is a member of the tansy family and I planted it out in numerous places where I was having very active ant populations that I was hoping would move on.  It worked quite well as well as providing beautiful perennial flowers on mounds of manageable size, unlike it's worthy if unwieldy cousin.  Moreover, feverfew is a valuable medicinal that I use in the following effective potion for sinus congestion and headaches:

1 tablespoon dried feverfew (use 2x amount for fresh), half a lemon cut up, 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme (2x if fresh).  Steep these in one and a half cups of filtered water for 30 minutes. 

Strain the herbs from the liquid, making sure to remove all the lemon seeds.
Simmer the remaining liquid down to 1 cup. add 2 cups of honey plus 2 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin which helps to preserve the syrup.  Sometime I add 8 drops of Aerobic 07 to serve as a preservative.

Let cool and pour into a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months if preserved with glycerin, longer if preserved with Aerobic 07, which kills off any anaerobics that stop in for a visit.

If you muscle test that go with what your body tells you you need.  The linear rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon every 4 hours for a 50 lb. child; 2 teaspoons for a 75 lb child and 1 tablespoon for a 100 lb child or adult.

Also excellent for fevers and cough.  It tastes good too!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Whirling from World to World to World

Spinning Dervish Lute Rose Window,    31.5" x 17.75"
I was tuned into NPR's All Things Considered when I caught Robert Siegel interviewing Orthodox Rabbi Joseph Telushkin about the afterlife. The rabbi's comments were pretty unremarkable until the subject of reincarnation came up. Despite the disclaimer that it is really not part of "The Tradition" (at least not his tradition), he did mention that it does sneak into some Kabalistic parts of the liturgy. One reference I was not familiar with turns up in the meditation (traditionally) recited as part of the Sh'ma while in bed before falling asleep. 

I turned to my baby siddur (~5"x3.5"x1") that contains all such meditations and found it. Below is my (paraphrased) translation:

The Four Worlds

Master of the Universe,
I am here to entreat You that anyone who has angered or irritated me, or done me dirty,  be it through bodily injury or provocation, injuring my honor or anything else of mine, through force or desire, doing unintended harm or out of out and out corruption, whether it be through speech or action in this incarnation or another (the word used here is GILGUL, which comes from the root for circling or spiraling), do not make me the cause of their punishment !!!

On the other hand if I screw up royally, I ask that it be erased through Your great Compassion, just not through torture or really bad illnesses.

Now, I think that's fair and quite a positive way to transverse to dreamland.

When it comes to circlings and spiralings, I love the Kaddish that sings of going from world to world to world.  My dear friend Jacob Goldberg a"h spoke about accessing the simultaneously existing worlds spoken of in the mystical tradition at any moment that our hearts were open and available to their realities (and our minds didn't object).


Sleep well and happy travels!

copper mixed media
sacred mixed media
hebrew blessing art
kabbalah art
phoenix art

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Evolving Mitochondria?

Flight for Life - a love song;  24.5"x23"; etched copper with fretwork backed in mica

This weekend I heard an illuminating interview with biochemist Sondra Barrett, author of Secrets of Your Cells. Her perspective (via the microscope and microscopy) is a validation of much of what I have long suspected regarding the cellular source of the symbolic images that arise as imperatives to be made visible in the sacred copperworks that emerge from my studio. 

Here are some of her ideas:

"Could the idea of creative triads originate from our biology?
Just think, the genetic code is  made of 3 letters;
as we develop embryologically, at 3 weeks we are 3 layers;
and of course, we have a triune brain of 3 layers as well – brainstem (survival brain), limbic (emotional) and cortex (thinking brain). Our heart has 3 layers. 

We see squares and pentagons, hexagons, too.  And from a  molecular perspective, we don’t have life until we have the hexagon, six-sided molecules  ..."

In light of her revelations, illuminations like Flight for Life - a love song are all the more intriguing. 

Through the Flames; 20" x 16.5"
It all started when I looked into Through the Flames and saw four more spinning energetic forms withing the flaming cave - just like the hovering (angel?) only they were without wings. 

They then all lined up in kind of a chorus line - two on either side of the one with wings.  As I watched they all seemed to be intensely focusing down. What I saw was what appeared to be ray lines (strings?) extending toward a single invisible source. I continued to watch to see what they were all focusing in on I finally saw that it was a BEE!

So, I gathered all of the pieces in the appropriate sizes and began to lay them out, only now they didn't want to be arranged in a chorus line anymore with the bee as the focus below. Instead they arranged themselves in the form you see here (I took this photo with the piece hanging in a window to see the light coming through the mica):

The story that I tell myself about it is that there appears to be a conference going on.  Either the BEE has called it or the "ANGELS" have.  The BEE. of all creatures, is all about communication.  She could certainly report on many aspects of life at this moment - the weather patterns, alterations in vegetative life, the timing of flowers, the balances and imbalances of nature. The bee is within a hexagram, the signature form of the hive as well as the Holy of Holies.  Remember that Sondra Barrett says "we don't have life until we have the hexagon."

One of the "ANGELS" has donned wings. It has been given the assignment to go into some kind of action.  The position of the wings is different from the hovering of the "angel" in the cave. It's definitely ready for take off.

As a devout gardener, my concern for the welfare of the bees of our world and their apparent demise is not being reflected here. There is a feeling of benevolence, albeit something that requires action.

This may all be a figment of my own imagination, but I'm not alone. When it was finished, Julie told me that she had just had a waking vision of something very similar, only it was taking place within a tree trunk.  Karin was amazed because she had seen the same cast of characters several years ago only with the wings folded in.  She remembers making a drawing of it. But it was Zoe  that came up with the most extraordinary insight.  "Shahna, it looks like something is happening within the mitochondria.

So what do you think is happening?
Please do Post A Comment under the calendar listing below.  Hope to see you at the studio tour!

courage art

flames art