Dancing in Peace
Peace is a transcendent condition. It is not a product of our
thinking or our talking, but rather it is an essential quality
of the Divine, much like the quality of Love. Peace is not found
by talking or thinking, it is found by direct experience.
In the Gathas, Inayat Khan says:
But to what does the love of God lead? It leads to that
peace and stillness which can be seen in the life of
the tree, which bears fruit and flowers for others and
expects no returns, not even thanks in return. It serves
and cares for nothing else, not even for appreciation.
That is the attribute of the godly.
Jesus said "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things
shall be added unto you". All of the great wisdom traditions
teach the same basic idea, that we have the ability to transcend
our own little petty chatter, and find a place of Unity which
is beyond all differences.
In the wonderful prayer called Khatm, Hazrat Inayat Khan offers
us the insight that we can "rise above the differences and distinctions
that divide us". The differences and distinctions will never
cease to exist; it is we who must change, and the nature of
that change is to rise above the distinctions and differences.
It is not a task for the rational, logical mind. This is beyond
mind, beyond the beyond.
Therein lies the key to the door of peace. Going to that still,
quiet, eternal place within is the only way to find peace. It
must be experienced. It is not found by hunting for peace, it
is found by going beyond the beyond. Jesus didn't say "Seek
ye peace...", he urged us to "Seek ye first the kingdom of God",
to go beyond the beyond and experience directly That Which is
Here area couple of brief quotes from Murshid SAM's esoteric
paper on Takua Taharat: Everyday Life:
Every thought, no matter how noble, takes one from purity
and peace. Emptiness alone, or Fana, is a counterpoise very
necessary in purification. And this ends finally in realization
or self-fulfillment, which in Sufic terms is called Baka...
In times of world turmoil or even of disturbances in one’s
family or social milieu, the best practice is to maintain calmness
and peace of mind, and in Sufism this is done through the practice
of the divine presence (Akhlak Allah)...
This is what is meant that the holy man is in the world but
not of it. He partakes of all activities but does not add to
samsara. He does not add his thoughts to subjects which are
disturbing. Instead, he tries to develop and manifest an atmosphere
of calmness and peace, a living calmness, a vibrant peace...
While sensitivity is not of itself evil, too much sensitivity
throws one into the turmoil where samskaras are collected and
thus stands in the way of peace of heart. One cannot maintain
peacefulness and have concern; one must choose. No doubt there
are times and conditions when this sensitivity and concern are
valuable, but any concern, large or small, makes a mark and
stands in the path of peaceful existence.
Here is an extract from one of Murshid SAM's esoteric papers
in which he is writing about Inayat Khan's "The Inner Life".
(Gatheka is what Inayat Khan had said, and Tassawuf is Murshid
Gatheka: The work of the inner life is to make God a reality,
so that He is no more an imagination; that this relationship
man has with God may seem to him more real than any other
relationship in this world; and when this happens then all
relationships, however near or dear, become less binding.
Tassawuf: This is exactly what does happen. We pray: "Draw
us closer every moment of our lives until in us be reflected
Thy Grace, Thy Glory, Thy Wisdom, Thy Joy and Thy Peace."
This is exactly what happens when one pursues the inner
life. And there is an ever increasing radiance and ever
increasing manifestation of Grace. And this also produces
the transformation which means a complete change of values.
It is interesting to note that while Murshid SAM's dances had
an intense focus on peace, the word peace is seldom mentioned. The
power of the Dances is not manifest by chanting "peace, peace we
want peace..", but rather the power of the Dances as a tool of transformation
lies in the profound personal experience of a safe harbor, a place
from which the Divine Presence may be directly experienced and the
true depth of Peace discovered.
As Murshid Samuel Lewis wrote:
Forget yourself, get into the spirit of song, rise and fall
on the waves of ecstasy, and express [your] pure being. Then
you escape all differences, all divisions, all duality, all
pain, all sorrow.