Thursday, March 1, 2012

Great Heart Circle, 1st March

This evening we held our Great Heart Circle in Leicester. Eight of us spent a friendly evening of relaxation, discussion, silent meditation and feasting on a wonderful shared meal.

We've now been meeting over two years in Leicester, so we took this evening to return to the essence of the approach we're exploring together, which we inherit from both Japanese Soto Zen and the Turkish Sufi tradition of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi. Our approach is to begin from a view that nothing is missing, that at heart "our life is complete", "who we are is perfect", that "God is One"- whatever philosophical wording fits for anyone is fine. We then practice and work through the challenges of our lives with a sense of celebration rather than of lack. Our path can be a joyful one, despite how tough it can get. We read a description of someone's meeting with Suleyman Dede, the late Mevlevi Shaikh of Konya, to illustrate this theme.

We were honoured this evening to have a guest from Turkey, from the Alevi-Bektashi tradition who share the same spirit as the Mevlevi. She spoke to us a little about their practice and about her own patron saint, the mystic poet-singer-rebel Pir Sultan Abdal. We took a line from Pir Sultan Abdal's poetry as our approach to silent meditation this evening - "to Love we shall return".

The next meeting will be the Metta Circle off Narborough Road on the third Thursday of the month, and then the Great Heart Circle on 5th April.

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