Did you ever question yourself about what constitutes the makeup of our persona or self-identity?
If you have, you probably came across some of the information available from studies on human science, indicating that most of the information we retain is organized on biased interpretations of an assumed reality. One cause for this distortion, is the way the brain organizes itself in relation to the information it gathers. For example; when a gap is found (often) in the large amount of sensory information registered by our senses, the brain makes an educated guess of what might be missing in the overall reception and, according to past impressions, makes up for the difference. This is an important observation considering that new experiences will not have left “previous impressions.” At the same time, the mind is also considering how the new experience relates to our survival and wellbeing. This information, in the space of a nanosecond, is transmitted as a package to our consciousness. And, for added good measure, gives it a final sprinkle of self-motivated illusion based on who we think we are.
There are moments in life when we have an opportunity to change how we normally react, or respond to unexpected situations. Moments when confronted with difficult life transitions, we can choose to relate to them either as an imposition or as a learning opportunity. This is by no mean meant to belittle our reaction to the painful unwelcome emotional experience of an unexpected life threatening diagnosis, or any other difficult situation. Yet we are constantly, in different ways, challenged by circumstances to think and act beyond our regular framework, outside our comfort zone.
In the case of loss of a dear one, we are challenged to explore new perspectives, new ways of thinking and feeling, to move beyond the social muting on death. A well established norm, which according to Ernest Becker in his Pulitzer Prize winning book “The Denial of Death” we call “western culture” a system of perspective that glosses over many of the behaviors, that because we do not address them become the root of anxiety and mental illness in our society.
If you have an interest in Islamic poetry and music you might enjoy this free multimedia presentation at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, on Sunday April 21st from 2-4 pm.
A talk will be given on sacred poetry and music in Muslim cultures by Dr. Nargis Virani, who is an author and professor of Arab and Islamic studies at The New School for Social Research in New York City. Dr. Virani’s talk will include the film Sufi Soul-Mystic Music of Islam, and will feature examples of mystical poetry in performance from Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Indonesian, Western European, and North American Muslim mystical traditions.
More information is at the Seattle Art Museum calendar page
Please RSVP to
firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and number of people attending.
On November 3rd, James Warner produced MUSE (Music Unfolding Spiritual Experience), a workshop and evening Kirtan concert to benefit the Gathering Place reserve fund. Our thanks to James, Gina Sala & friends for sharing their expertise and talents with the SOI-Seattle community.
We are now a third of the way toward our reserve fund goal of $30,000, which will enable us to lease a centrally-located space for SOI-Seattle use. In addition to the reserve fund, we must also obtain collective monthly pledges totaling $2,500 to cover monthly operating costs of the Center. Tax-deductible pledges to either the Reserve Fund or the Operating Fund may be mailed to: SOI-Seattle, P.O. Box 30082, Seattle, WA 98113, or you can set up a one-time donation or monthly pledge via your Bill Pay. You may also use our site donation buttons to donate via Paypal, but please keep in mind that using the other methods means that your entire pledge will go toward the Center.
We appreciate your participation and support as we move toward actualizing our long-held wish for a dedicated space for our Center activities.
Twelve of us recently gathered for the June SOI-Seattle Council meeting at Naquiba’s house for a colorful, flavorful pot-luck breakfast that nourished us at multiple levels. We then joined together to dream about the future of our local SOI community. Read on for how you can contribute.
As a springboard for our discussion, we used an exercise suggested by the consultants who have been helping our Board function more effectively this past year. The simple exercise invited us each to imagine what three wishes we have for the health, vibrancy and well-being of our Sufi community, and we were encouraged to not let practical or logical factors limit our yearnings.
We then paired up with another person and shared our wishes, and each pair then shared their top two wishes with the whole group.
Numerous people shared similar wishes, such as creating more ways for individuals to meet and connect with each other in both structured and unstructured contexts. Other popular wishes were to attract more young people to our community, and to have a sustainable physical space for our Center.