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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
I don't usually make my Highlights issues conform to a theme as Mark does so effortlessly or as Gloria does. But this one happens to relate to anxious states people may be experiencing at the entrance to the Thanksgiving - Christmas corridor (in the U.S.)
You know what Ram Dass said: "If you think you're enlightened, spend a week with your parents."
Three wise people and good teachers are featured: Stewart Bitkoff, Scott Kiloby, and Yosy.
Sufism for Western Seekers
By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Here is an excerpt. Sam was Stewart's teacher and the event took place early in Stewart's spiritual education:
Here are 2 teaching encounters with Sam on how to
turn negative self-talk, worry, and selfish preoccupation into something
higher. Often, when consumed with personal worry and fear;
thoughts become tiresome, time consuming, and run through a
repetitive, sometimes depressing, pattern. As indicated earlier, a
positive way to break this cycle is to get-up and do something for
Upon entering Sams Office, it was his custom to offer
guests coffee or tea. On this particular day, after
Zach, Eddy and I sat down, Sam looked directly at Eddy
and ordered: Make me a cup of coffee. I want the perfect
cup of coffee. Sam rarely spoke in this manner, and
hardly ever ordered students to do anything. Nervously
Eddy got up and made his way to the table, wondering,
what was a perfect cup of coffee? While pouring, Eddy
inquired as to how Sam liked his coffee. Then Eddy prepared
the cup and offered it to Sam. After sipping, Sam
said, it needed more milk and sugar. So, Eddy went
back and nervously added additional milk and sugar.
This time, when Sam sipped the drink, he said, Aah a
perfect cup of coffee.
During the time Eddy was preparing the coffee, we
could see that he was anxious and relieved when Sam
finally accepted the perfect cup.
This event was not followed by any explanation. After
we left the office, we all were excited about what
it meant. We couldnt figure it out and it is only time
which has given me some indication of the multi-level
Another incident which helps illustrate one point
that Sam was trying to make, occurred another day
when Steve was visiting. Steve was complaining how
badly life was treating him (this was something we all
did from time to time), and Sam told Steve to make
breakfast for his family on weekends. Sam instructed
to get up bright and early and make the foods everyone
in his family liked.
On the surface, how does this exchange add up?
Here we have someone who is complaining about their
life and the prescription is to do something for someone
else. Sam believed the body thrived on activity and
needed to be used in a constructive manner for physical
and mental health. This was Steves prescription:
stop worrying so much about self and contribute to the
greater good, i.e., make breakfast.
Both Steves and Eddys story are related in that an
action was prescribed for a psychological condition. For
the spiritual traveler, psychological states must be stabilized
before work can begin on spiritual ones. In both
situations, Sam felt that the student was spending too
much time thinking about self. So, the prescription was
to do something for someone else. Also, while doing
something for someone else, feelings of mastery occur
and physical activity is a healthy antidote to milder
forms of depression. Sam used to say: the mind is so
constructed that it can only keep one thing in it at a
So, if youre busy making the perfect cup of coffee,
you cant be worrying about yourself; and in the
alchemy of the situation every one benefits. Try it for
yourself and see if it can really be that simple.
~ ~ ~
For many western spiritual seekers, Sufism is often misunderstood and viewed as an Islamic mystical tradition presented through various Sufi orders. Yet this ancient path of spiritual knowing is much broader and older, available through all religions and independent of Islam and these orders.
This is a first hand account of spiritual knowing in two modern Sufi mystical schools. This message is intended for western spiritual travelers and was designed to appeal to everyone, regardless of their religious background.
"In this book, Dr. Bitkoff uses stories and examples from modern America to show how the ancient wisdom of Sufism can be used to enrich contemporary life.
- Sheikha Halima Haymaker, Santa Rosa, CA.
In 41 years of study, this book is one of only 2 books that I have come across by a western author that I would highly recommend to the western student of Sufism.
- Andrew Mezurecky, PhD, Beaumont, CA.
The author presents spirituality as something "intended to become the center of a life; a place from which other things come forward." Sufism is introduced as an "Organic Spirituality," innate to humanity - part and parcel of life itself, but overshadowed by various levels of conditioning.
- S.S., Staten Island, NY.
This book has many gems in it. The dialogue between seeker and teacher offers great wisdom for one to contemplate and apply to every day living.
- Janet Lawson, Grammy-Nominated Jazz Singer, NY, NY.
Scott Kiloby writes a really nice newsletter here:
A Warm Hello:
We are fast approaching the holiday season, where we spend more and more time with family. For many, this has a way of bringing up unconsciousness and suffering related to family relationships. We can look at these circumstances as either troubling scenarios or as the possibility to let our own experience be the catalyst for seeing through the fear, greed, lack, sadness, depression, and or other internal movements that give the appearance of stealing our joy.
True joy is unconditional and not dependent on circumstances.
This is the deepest human wisdom, available to each of us. All it takes is an openness to look in a different way at what is already happening in our lives.
Anger, the primordial
Of pure emotional energy,
Born out of dread and fear
Burns out and depletes
Immediate resource's repositories,
The stores of vitality. But when
Transmuted by the power of love -
It charges the store reservoirs
With pure, undiluted life force
Blessed be patience.
The only power human needs!
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