Archives for the ‘ Mysticism ’ Category


By • Jan 15th, 2013 • Category: Lectures, Mysticism

Mysticism is an authentic form of spirituality. Although some people incorrectly view mysticism as a rival to religion, it has always been an integral part of world religions. Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, they all have mystical dimensions. The origins of the Jewish mystical tradition, or Kabbalah, can be traced back to the time of Moses. Christianity has always had a strong mystical tradition dating back to Jesus Christ, even though there is not a universally recognized label for its mystical legacy. Islam’s mystical branch, commonly known as Sufism, emerged shortly after the Prophet Mohammad and evolved over the centuries. This lecture introduces mysticism and its major pillars. Even though the lecture draws mainly upon the teachings of Muslim mystics, its content equally applies to the other mystical traditions.

Love and Spritual Growth

By • May 12th, 2012 • Category: Lectures, Mysticism

The central concept in Rumi’s works is “love”. His conception of love is not about romantic involvement, but rather a deep and elegant philosophy of human salvation. He begins his masterpiece (Mathnavi) with the story of a reed (flute) complaining about separation from the reedbed. The reed symbolizes the human soul longing to re-unite with its source- that Unseen Ocean of Divine where it originated from. The life of separation is dominated by anxiety and boredom, two feelings we experience profoundly in our daily lives. What is the path to re-unite with our source, and overcome anxiety and boredom? It is the path of love. Rumi calls love the healer; it heals our heart, soul and spirit.

Divine Love

By • Apr 1st, 2012 • Category: Lectures, Mysticism

The greatest contribution of mystics to human spirituality is their discovery of love. But, love always goes hand in hand with beauty. Mystics discovered that God is not only Almighty and Majestic, but also Beautiful. It is precisely the Divine’s captivating beauty that persuades a person to surrender her heart and soul to God. In […]

Rumi’s Tale of Moses and the Shepherd

By • Feb 17th, 2012 • Category: Lectures, Mysticism

The ‘Tale of Moses and the Shepherd’ is one of the most famous stories in Rum’s masterpiece, Mathnavi. In this fictional story, Rumi creates a dialog between two characters- Moses and a shepherd- to vividly illustrate two pitfalls in religiosity: formalism and exclusivism. He argues against reducing faith to formalities (such as theological doctrines and […]

Role of Prayer in Spiritual Life

By • Aug 7th, 2011 • Category: Islam, Lectures, Mysticism

Invariably, all world religions have formal prayers. Their forms and mechanics vary, yet formal prayers play a key role in a faith-based life. What functions do they serve? What goals do they achieve? This lecture examines the role of formal prayers in spiritual life, using the Islamic daily prayer (or صلاة) as an example.

Trust in God

By • Jul 13th, 2011 • Category: Lectures, Mysticism

This lecture explores ‘Trust in God’ (توکل) from an Islamic mystical perspective.
It covers the following topics:
1) What does authentic trust in God mean?
2) Does trust in God mean inaction? Does it negate human initiative, planning and action?
3) How does trust in God impact a believer’s inner life?
4) What are the different levels of trust (weak vs. strong)?