you will come into being and know Him. For it is the breath of mercy that bestows being. Every moment God appears in living form, never manifesting himself twice in the same moment.
Mary brought Jesus into the world because she was chosen the one for this work, and so she was trained in the knowledge of birth. It is said that Gabriel, the messenger, appeared to Mary in the form of a man. She thought that he wanted her as a woman, so she froze for a moment, turning to her Lord. If she had not relaxed, then the child born from that moment would have been uncompromising and impossible to live with. Your body is the Virgin Mary, the Spirit is Christ, the breath is the breath of God’s Mercy. Your soul remains asleep until it is quickened by the Holy Spirit. Each moment of your lives a child is born somewhere. The child that is born could be a God-conscious human being, or it could be uncompromising, in endless competition with life. The responsibility in the realization of these things is immense. If you can hear what I am saying to you now, then you will begin to understand. If you are permeated with the spirit, you may, Insh’allah, begin to know, but it will not make life easier or lighter for you. It may make life heavier, with meaning and purpose.
Mary is the Divine Mother. Mary is the blue of the flame, and Mary is the matrix of all divine possibility in form, here, in our world. It is necessary that she will be recognized. Learn to love God with all your being, every part of yourself, your heart, your mind, your soul, and the we may all be granted the understanding of the meaning of the virgin birth. Learn to pray and your prayers will come back from the very matrix that forms the child.
A Sufi is called ‘the son of the moment.’ As you melt each moment into Mary, something is being redeemed that a child may be born, and what is being born is the son of the moment.
(from "The Last Barrier" by Reshad Feild, chapter 6)
There is nothing quite like a group of willing seekers coming together to share, to pray and sing together, to really know that they are all sharing the same air and that it is therefore their own personal responsibilities, and the responsibility of the group as a whole, to work in consciousness of this fact. There is almost limitless good that can come from this type of inner work, and in real remembrance (dhikr) with each moment of each day and with each breath that you all take, together or alone.
Of course I know how difficult it is for people to meet together on a regular basis, and indeed how monotonous and even "boring" weekly events and study can be. And yet it is all part of the process. Did God ever say that the one life He has given us was ever going to be easy? Did He ever say that there would be no storms or no long periods of calm when the ship appears not to move in any direction, there is no wind of change? And then sometimes the crew get irritable, and even make plans to mutiny. It is all in the legends. It is all in the big story of this one life we have on earth. How could it be otherwise? (...)
...There are keys that I have given to you on so many thousands of occasions over the years, and one of these is contained in the words of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, “Gratefulness is the key to will; patience is the key to joy.” Here, of course, Rumi is referring to the one will, and “joy” is His Joy when He sees the most favoured of His Creation, i.e. man and woman, becoming more and more conscious and awake to the Divine Presence, which He presents to us as His Gift, with every conscious breath we take. There is an old English church hymn which I have remembered since I was a child: “Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with Light Divine.”
Breath is life. Breath is Spirit – once we “know”. And in the breath is the knowledge that “time is the Eternal Attribute of God.”
Once again, therefore, I am stressing the need of being conscious on and in the breath. I have met with many different schools and spiritual circles in my life, and indeed all over the world. These schools come and go, but few last a long time. Why is this? Why do they not last? Again I have already given you one clue to the riddle, and that is the word gratefulness. In every inner circle we are asked, in one way or another, to give our little will to the higher will. And yet we have so little will, when we look and are honest with ourselves. Without being grateful for all life, and not just what we feel we “like” of it (discarding the shadow side that still exists), we get deviated from the path again and again. We fall back into the “blame-train”, often because we find it easier to blame others for our own predicament, unhappiness, or confusion than face up what we need to do in our inner work in order to know ourselves. We ride the blame-train with others who agree with us, as can often be seen in poor therapy circles and even in the endless stream of “new” teachings that come and go like the seasons of the year. And yet, if they were taught that all prayer needs to start with the sound of gratefulness in our hearts, and the praise of our Creator on our lips, they could develop, change as the needs arise, and thus truly be of service to our community and the planet as a whole. There is much that you could discuss from this paragraph alone. “Bismillah ar Rahman, ar Rahim.“ We begin in the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. How can we not be grateful if we say these beautiful words?
Without gratefulness, there can be no true will – His Will. Without His Will, there can be no real freedom, freedom from suffering, freedom in knowledge, and freedom for our fellow creatures, inter-connected as we all are in the subtle worlds. Without real teachings from a living source, and work on ourselves as we are instructed, we have little real to offer to the higher will. Perhaps just now, at this moment (if we are awake), we realize that we can develop something real - until there is finally only His Will. And this is not an “invention” of the mind. It is a living experience of reality.
But now let us consider another key to our work together and for the quiet corners of our hearts. What is this key? It is the simplest key of all, and that, once again, is the word breath. If we are not breathing, we are dead! If we are not conscious of the breath, in total gratefulness for the life we have been given, then we are only half awake and, more likely, “daydreaming” a path through our lives, a path that is filled with fantasies, both ours and others. If we are not grateful to be alive, then how can God smile? And indeed there is only He! If we are not awake, how can we “look to the signs”, as Rumi advises us, rather than invent situations to placate our self-righteousness, blame others for the state we find ourselves in our own lives (so often poisoned by the judgments we make on others), and thus, once again, avoid what we have to face in each moment of our lives and the inner work that is necessary....
(from "Inner Work I" by Reshad Feild, chapter "Gratefulness and Breath")