UN ENCUENTRO CON KHIDR

Khidr es el “guía invisible” de los Sufis, y se cree que es el guía anónimo de Moisés en el Corán. Este “Verde” a menudo es mencionado como “el Judío”, y ha sido equiparado en leyendas a figuras tales como San Jorge y Elías. Este cuento – o informe – es característico de las funciones sobrenaturales que se le atribuyen a Khidr, tanto en la tradición popular como entre los maestros derviches.

Una vez, estando yo parado a orillas del río Oxus, vi a un hombre caer al agua. Otro hombre, vestido como un derviche, corrió para ayudarlo pero también lo arrastró la corriente. De repente vi a un tercer hombre, vestido con un manto esmeralda resplandeciente, lanzarse al río. Pero ni bien tocó la superficie, su forma pareció cambiar; ya no era un hombre, sino un tronco. Los otros dos lograron asirlo, y juntos lo acercaron a la ribera.

Casi sin poder creer lo que estaba viendo los seguí a cierta distancia, ocultándome entre los arbustos que por allí crecían. Los dos hombres, jadeantes, ganaron la orilla; el tronco se alejó flotando. Lo seguí con los ojos hasta que, fuera de la vista de los demás, se dejó arrastrar hacia la ribera y el hombre del manto verde, empapado, pisó tierra. El agua comenzó a brotarle; antes de que pudiera alcanzarlo estaba casi seco.

Me arrojé delante de él, exclamando: “Tú has de ser la Presencia Khidr, El Verde, Maestro de los Santos. Bendíceme, para que yo logre”. Tenía miedo de tocar su manto, pues parecía ser de fuego verde.

Él dijo: “Has visto demasiado. Comprende que he llegado de otro mundo y protejo, sin que lo sepan, a quienes tienen que realizar un servicio. Puedes haber sido un discípulo del Sayed Imdadullah, pero no tienes la suficiente madurez para saber qué estamos haciendo en nombre de Dios”.

Cuando levanté la vista él había desaparecido, y todo lo que pude escuchar fue un sonido que atravesaba el aire.

Después de regresar de Khotan, vi al mismo hombre. Estaba tendido sobre un colchón de paja en una posada cerca de Peshawar, y me dije: “Si la vez anterior yo estaba demasiado crudo, esta vez seré maduro”.

Lo tomé del manto, que era muy común… aunque creí ver debajo de él algo verde resplandeciente.

“Quizás seas Khidr”, le dije, “pero tengo que saber de qué manera un hombre aparentemente común como tú realiza tales maravillas…y por qué. Explícame tu oficio, para que yo también pueda practicarlo”.

El hombre rió. “¡Eres impetuoso, mi amigo! La última vez fuiste demasiado testarudo… y aún continúas siéndolo. Anda y dile a todo el mundo que has visto a Khidr Elías; te encerrarán en el manicomio, y cuanto más lo asegures, con más fuerza te encadenarán”.

Entonces sacó un guijarro. Lo miré fijamente… y me encontré paralizado, convertido en piedra, hasta que el hombre recogió sus alforjas y se marchó.

Cada vez que cuento esta historia, la gente ríe o, creyéndome un narrador de cuentos, me hace regalos.

El camino del Sufi
Puedes leer el libro, gratis, aquí:
http://idriesshahfoundation.org/es/libros/el-camino-del-sufi/


Confianza

Confianza

La confianza no es algo causado, es algo desarrollado. Es decir, cuando aquello llamado ‘confianza’ es enseñado lentamente a los animales por hombres que los domestican, no es confianza sino dependencia. La verdadera confianza es diferente.

La confianza en Dios, también, no es enseñada a los seres humanos por Dios. Al contrario, Dios da al hombre tantas razones para tener falta de confianza (calamidades, incertezas, pérdida de esperanza) que se podría decir que de hecho Dios ilustra que la confianza en algo o en alguien beneficioso no ha de ser erigida solamente sobre la felicidad o buenas experiencias.

De la misma forma, el maestro Sufi no posa como alguien digno de confianza tal como hacen los clérigos y otros para asegurarse de que su apariencia y su conducta inspiren la confianza que en efecto es dependencia. Este último tipo de confianza es únicamente considerada loable si ha sido probada. Por esta razón los Sufis han preguntado, ‘¿Cuántos amigos tendrías si fueses de uno en uno pidiéndoles que escondan un cadáver?’

La confianza es algo que el postulante Sufi debe encontrar en sí mismo, a pesar de lo que aparentemente indiquen las superficialidades. Esta es una razón por la cual los maestros Sufis se han incluso mostrado ridículos o indignos de confianza ante aspirantes a discípulos.

Pensamiento y acción Sufi
El libro, en castellano, gratis:
http://idriesshahfoundation.org/es/libros/pensamiento-y-accion-sufi/

 


This is What Happens in your Brain when you Quit Sugar

Anyone who knows me also knows that I have a huge sweet tooth. I always have. My friend and fellow graduate student Andrew is equally afflicted, and living in Hershey, Pennsylvania – the “Chocolate Capital of the World” – doesn’t help either of us.

But Andrew is braver than I am. Last year, he gave up sweets for Lent. I can’t say that I’m following in his footsteps this year, but if you are abstaining from sweets for Lent this year, here’s what you can expect over the next 40 days.

 

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Pesquisa identifica evasão escolar na raiz da violência extrema no Brasil

Dois grupos de jovens de idade semelhante, todos homens, pobres e criados na mesma região. Um grupo vira matador e o outro, trabalhador. Por quê?

O sociólogo Marcos Rolim procurou essa resposta ao investigar a violência extrema, aquela que mata ou fere mesmo quando não há provocação nem reação da vítima. Modalidade que, acredita ele, está em alta no Brasil.

 

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Your 8-hour day isn’t working. Here’s why

The 8-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.

The 8-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work two hundred years ago, yet it possesses little relevance for us today.

Like our ancestors, we’re expected to put in 8-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Heck, most people even work right through their lunch hour!

This antiquated approach to work isn’t helping us; it’s holding us back.

 

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Trust

 

TRUST

Trust is not something caused, it is something developed. That is to say, what is called ‘trust’ when it is slowly taught to animals by men who tame them, is not trust, but reliance. Real trust is different.

Trust in God, too, is not taught to human beings by God. On the contrary, God gives men so many reasons to have lack of trust (calamities, uncertainties, loss of hope) that it could be said that God actually illustrates that trust in something or someone beneficial is not to be erected on happiness or good experiences alone.

 

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Olga’s legacy: The brain of a famous athlete in her 90s still revealing clues about longevity

Olga Kotelko took up track and field at 77, and never looked back.

MARY JO DILONARDO

May 26, 2017, 1:13 p.m.

Olga Kotelko competes in shot put in 2009

Olga Kotelko competes in the shot put competition during the World Masters Games in Sydney in 2009. (Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)

For most of her days, Olga Kotelko led a relatively ordinary life. One of 11 children born to parents who had immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine, she grew up working on the family farm and eventually became a teacher. She married, divorced and then raised two daughters as a single mother. When she retired from teaching, she started playing coed softball. She had played baseball as a girl and enjoyed it, so she ran back on the playing field.

But the competitive bug really took hold. She played ball for several years until she had a collision with a male player easily twice her size, or so the story goes. When a friend offered a safer suggestion, Kotelko took up track and field — at 77.

Within years, this grandmother known for gardening, volunteering and baking a mean pirogi was breaking records on the track. She became one of the most successful track and field athletes in history, winning more than 750 gold medals and more than 30 world records.

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Pop a Pill for Heartburn? Try Diet and Exercise Instead

Many Americans would rather take a drug than change their habits to control a persistent ailment. Yet, every medication has side effects, some of which can be worse than the disease they are meant to treat. Drugs considered safe when first marketed can turn out to have hazards, both bothersome and severe, that become apparent only after millions of people take them for a long enough time.

Such is the case with a popular class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors, or P.P.I.s, now used by more than 15 million Americans and many more people worldwide to counter an increasingly common ailment: acid reflux, which many people refer to as heartburn or indigestion.

These medications are now linked to a growing number of complications, ranging in seriousness from nutrient deficiencies, joint pain and infections to bone fractures, heart attacks and dementia. While definitive evidence for most of the risks identified thus far is lacking, consumers plagued by acid reflux would be wise to consider an alternative approach, namely diet and lifestyle changes that can minimize symptoms and even heal damage already done.

Acid reflux is more than just a nuisance. It involves the backward flow of stomach acid into the tissues above it. It results when the lower esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, fails to close tightly enough to prevent the contents of the stomach from moving up instead of down. Sometimes the upper sphincter, between the esophagus and the throat, malfunctions as well.

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A Meeting with Khidr

Khidr is the ‘unseen guide’ of the Sufis, and it is he who is believed to be the anonymous Guide to Moses in the Koran. This ‘Green One’ is often referred to as ‘the Jew’ and he has been equated in legend with such figures as St George and Elijah. This tale ̶ or report ̶ is characteristic of the supernormal functions attributed to Khidr, both in folklore and among the dervish teachers.

Once, while standing on the banks of the Oxus river, I saw a man fall in. Another man, in the clothes of a dervish, came running to help him, only to be dragged into the water himself. Suddenly I saw a third man, dressed in a robe of shimmering, luminous green, hurl himself into the river. But as he struck the surface, his form seemed to change; he was no longer a man, but a log. The other two men managed to cling to this, and together they worked it towards the bank.
Hardly able to believe what I was seeing, I followed at a distance, using the bushes that grew there as cover. The men drew themselves panting on the bank; the log floated away. I watched it until, out of sight of the others, it drifted to the side, and the green-robed man, soaked and sodden, dragged himself ashore. The water began to stream from him; before I reached him he was almost dry.

I threw myself on the ground in front of him, crying:
‘You must be the Presence Khidr, the Green One, Master of the Saints. Bless me, for I would attain.’ I was afraid to touch his robe, because it seemed to be of green fire.

He said: ‘You have seen too much. Understand that I come from another world and am, without their knowing it, protecting those who have service to perform. You may have been a disciple of Sayed Imdadullah, but you are not mature enough to know what we are doing for the sake of God.’

When I looked up, he was gone, and all I could hear was a rushing sound in the air.
After coming back from Khotan, I saw the same man. He was lying on a straw mattress in a rest-house near Peshawar. I said to myself: ‘If I was too raw the last time, this time I’ll be mature.’
I took hold of his robe, which was a very common one ̶ though under it I thought I saw something glow green.
‘You may be Khidr,’ I said to him, ‘but I have to know how an apparently ordinary man like you performs these wonders … and why. Explain your craft to me, so that I can practise it too.’
He laughed. ‘You’re impetuous, my friend! The last time you were too headstrong ̶ and now you’re still too headstrong. Go on, tell everyone you meet that you’ve seen Khidr Elias; they’ll put you in the madhouse, and the more you protest you’re right the more heavily they’ll chain you.’
Then he took out a small stone. I stared at it ̶ and found myself paralysed, turned to stone, until he had picked up his saddle-bags and walked away.
When I tell this story, people either laugh or, thinking me a storyteller, give me presents.

The Way of the Sufi

New editions in Paperback, eBook, Audiobook. Also, a free online edition:
http://idriesshahfoundation.org/books/the-way-of-the-sufi/

A Meeting with Khidr


MYSTICISM IS NOT MAGIC

It is a misunderstanding, as – for instance – the book Zia al Qulub (among many others) emphasizes, to think that a mystic either desires, or can achieve, identification with God in the sense of acquiring divine attributes or powers. Such a concept belongs to magical, not mystical, thinking.

In common parlance, as well as in the minds of many who should know better, ‘mystical’ is bracketed with mystery and mystification in the senses of something confusing or difficult to understand. These secondary meanings, of course, are only due to ‘unconscious illiteracy’.

Sufis require the reduction of the effects of ‘material attributes’, those things which stand in the way of higher understanding. Many things which repetitious or oversimplified religion presents as spiritual are, when examined, found to be simply aspects of materiality. One example is emotionalism.

Sufi Thought and Action

Read the book, for free, here:
http://idriesshahfoundation.org/books/sufi-thought-and-action/

 

MYSTICISM IS NOT MAGIC