Deepa Gulrukh Patel

Death, Love, and a Party by Netanel Miles-Yepez

Deepa Gulrukh Patel and Netanel Miles-Yépez in dialogue. Photo by Hilary Benas, 2015.

Deepa Gulrukh Patel and Netanel Miles-Yépez in dialogue. Photo by Hilary Benas, 2015.

The day started with a dialogue on Love and Death with my dear friend, Deepa Gulrukh Patel, the International Coordinator of the Sufi Order and a brilliant teacher. I opened with a story I learned from Reb Zalman and his wife, Eve Ilsen, called “The Source of Beauty,” which explores the themes of love and death. The dialogue was oriented around the following poem by Hazrat Inayat Khan, beloved by both of us:

I have loved in life, and I have been loved. I have drunk the bowl of poison from the hands of love as nectar, and have been raised above life’s joy and sorrow. My heart, aflame in love, set afire every heart that came in touch with it. My heart has been rent and joined again; my heart has been broken and again made whole; my heart has been wounded and healed again; a thousand deaths my heart has died, and thanks be to love, it lives yet. I went through hell and saw there love’s raging fire, and I entered heaven illumined with the light of love.
— Hazrat Inayat Khan, “Alankaras,” Vadan

 

Heading down Chairfactory Road to a party. — N.M-Y, 2015

Heading down Chairfactory Road to a party. — N.M-Y, 2015

In the evening, I headed down Chairfactory Road to an informal get together with some of the younger murids at the home of the Abode's director, Alia Wittman.

New friends, Chris Akbar Miller (clearly assigning blame to somebody else for something), and Tarana Gulzar. — N.M-Y, 2015

New friends, Chris Akbar Miller (clearly assigning blame to somebody else for something), and Tarana Gulzar. — N.M-Y, 2015

It was a great evening, the best of my trip, so far. This is where I want to be—talking informally about Sufism and what matters to people over pizza and dessert! Is there anything better?

A fun discussion of Sufism with a newcomer and my friend, Jessica Bromby. — N.M-Y, 2015.

A fun discussion of Sufism with a newcomer and my friend, Jessica Bromby. — N.M-Y, 2015.

Meetings with Old and New Friends by Netanel Miles-Yepez

Netanel Miles-Yépez, Sarah Leila Manolson, and Adam Bucko hanging-out at the Abode of the Message.

Netanel Miles-Yépez, Sarah Leila Manolson, and Adam Bucko hanging-out at the Abode of the Message.

It was an enjoyable day, catching-up with good friends and dialoguing with new ones.

My friend, Adam Bucko, co-founder (with Rory McEntee and I) of the Foundation for New Monasticism, and leader of HAB, an interspiritual new monastic fellowship, came in from the city so we could spend a little time hanging-out between program events.

Afterward, I participated in a great dialogue on the inner life in Sufism with the senior teachers of the Sufi Order—Taj InayatHimayat Inayati and Aziza Scott—facilitated by Gayan Macher

Gayan Macher, Netanel Miles-Yépez, Himayat Inayati (speaking), and   Taj Inayat during the Dialogue on the Inner Life in the Meditation Hall, Abode of the Message. Photo by Hilary Benas, 2015

Gayan Macher, Netanel Miles-Yépez, Himayat Inayati (speaking), and Taj Inayat during the Dialogue on the Inner Life in the Meditation Hall, Abode of the Message. Photo by Hilary Benas, 2015

Later, Pir Zia asked me to co-lead sohbet with he and his mother, Taj Inayat, in the evening. I facilitated the sohbet session which largely dealt with ecological issues as related to the spiritual path.

Taj Inayat, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, and Netanel Miles-Yépez (speaking)   during the  sohbet  session in the Meditation Hall, Abode of the Message. Photo by Hilary Benas, 2015

Taj Inayat, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, and Netanel Miles-Yépez (speaking) during the sohbet session in the Meditation Hall, Abode of the Message. Photo by Hilary Benas, 2015

After sohbet, I got together with my friend, Deepa Gulrukh Patel, to work on material for our dialogue on death and purification for tomorrow. Taking a creative approach, we began to make a playlist of songs on death to use. Two hours later—playlist, no definite plan!

Netanel Miles-Yépez and Deepa Gulrukh Patel at the Abode of the Message.

Netanel Miles-Yépez and Deepa Gulrukh Patel at the Abode of the Message.