An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

Posts Tagged ‘soul’

Theme of the month: ‘In Loving Memory…’

In Education, Healing on October 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

We are all touched by death of some sort. Whether it be death of our ego or physical death of the body. Without death there can be no life.

The theme for this month hopes to explore how we do, and how we might engage with experiences of grief and loss in relation to the physical death of the body, our relationship with those who have passed to the Unseen realm: our memories of them, how the connection with them has nourished us, and what we may have learned through them…

We would love to have you share your experiences and reflections with us on this subject.


Soul & Food

In Food & Cooking, Mevlevi Tradition on January 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Today another fast food shop, serving fried chicken, opened on the high street near where I live in Hackney, London. There are now about seven all together now, all very busy. I saw how their half price deal attracted a throng of local sixth form students. Fifteen years ago, there was only a single fish and chips shop. For many, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with fast food. I have the occasional take away too. For others however, it is empty – and its not necessarily those who are counting their calories or exercising regularly. Some sensitive souls are receptive to the intention, energy and quality through which the food was prepared. One only needs to go to a cafe in Istanbul or a restaurant in Konya to feel an amazing sense of soul in the atmosphere.  The hospitality, lighting, music, quality of food all add together to give, in my view, a very therapeutic experience! (If you’re in London, I highly recommend Azizia Turkish restaurant in Islington)

In the Mevlevi tradition the kitchen is considered as sacred a place as the prayer hall. Derveshes would often bow before entering. The 1001 day dervesh training traditionally carried out in a dergha would include much time in the kitchen, preparing, cooking, serving and cleaning. I asked a Shikeh who had spent a number of years with Suleyman Dede what his teaching methodology included. He replied ‘ I spent most of the time just serving tea’.I know of some mystics who are very sensitive to the light or darkness contained in food. Food containing light would often be prepared with intention and infused with baraka (spiritual grace). In such cooking, its normal for the cook to engage in zikr (remembrance) while cooking.

Dinner time offers a good center for family and a good opportunity for tarbeyah as I’m discovering. It offers an opportunity for prayer, preparation, service, coming together, cleaning, adab (etiquette), humor, story telling amongst other things. With the right intention and receptivity, the dinning table may also be a place of sohbet (spiritual discourse).  I learned of one Shiekha who would often take her students out after Fajr (the morning prayer) to a cafe and engage in sohbet there.  Indeed, my own deepest experience during a Turkey retreat last year, occurred not in a mosque or formal zikr session but at the breakfast table.

Here’s a bowl of fruit for you
With apple pieces and pear bites too
With kiwi slices and banana rounds
Just the size for little hands
I don’t always have the words to say
Or the perfect bedtime tale to tell
To say I’m sorry things aren’t quite
The way we would really like
That even so, it’s still ok.
Perhaps you already know
You tell me
Every story has bad parts
Here’s a bowl of fruit for you
Of apple, pear and kiwi bites.

Poem by Rabia Saida Spiker