Reflections for August – Dispelling the Clouds

With many cloudy days of late where we are, I thought I’d share a bit of my recent talk on the theme of Illumination:

The 14th century Sufi poet, Hafiz, confirms the existence of a brilliant light within each of us when he says:

I wish I could show you

When you are lonely or in darkness

The Astonishing Light

Of your own Being.

~  “I Heard God Laughing” (Ladinsky, tr., quoted in DOL p. 96)

I love this! Don’t you wish you could show a friend who is in sorrow, discouraged, or depressed their inner light? You see their essence. You see their beauty. You see their true nature, and yet they don’t see it in themselves. One way to help them is to connect with your own light as you sit with your friend. Your light vibration can act like a tuning fork, which raises their vibration to a higher level.

Why do we not experience this light at all or only sometimes? Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan gives us a clue: “There is a light within every soul. It only needs the clouds that overshadow it to be broken for it to beam forth.”  (DOL p.94)

Ahh, this is the crux of the spiritual journey, namely to dispel the clouds. Christian mystics call it purification or self-simplification, Buddhists call it detachment, and Sufis, the polishing of the heart.

Four of the fourteen chapters in Dance of Light focus on this purification stage of the spiritual journey, since we spend most of our time here, and there’s a lot that needs to be cleared away. Examples include: negative ideas about yourself, addictions, unproductive habits, anger, fear, anxiety, unhealthy beliefs, self-importance, self-centeredness, need to control and so on. Whew, you can see why so much of the journey involves clearing away all of the stuff that doesn’t serve you!

Such clearing helps you access this light more often and for longer periods of time. However, you can also access this light directly by engaging in certain practices. Using both methods of dispersing the clouds and directly accessing the light yield the best results.

So, how do we connect with our inner light directly?

I’ve shared some exercises at the end of the chapter on Illumination in “Dance of Light.” I’ll share another here, a practice from one of my Hidden Treasure Program graduates who will be co-leading the program this year:

~  Elisa S. Keeler has created a song with movements that I love called “The Light Chant,” which is based on the movements of the Sufi zikr. Zikr means remembrance; remembering your Divine Source. The song appears in her latest album, Songs for the Circle. The melody stays in my heartmind and helps me carry the energy of light throughout my day… I’ve included below a video in which Elisa teaches the movements.  The words of the melody are:

Light surrounds me

Light above me

Light within me

Shining through me

May you remember the light within you, and may you remind others of theirs!

– Alice

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