My attempt at illustrating the first page of my copy of Maulana Rumi’s (RA) Mathnawi. The dark ascetic figure in the lower right corner is a print from a painting by Sadequain. No reblogs please.

My attempt at illustrating the first page of my copy of Maulana Rumi’s (RA) Mathnawi. The dark ascetic figure in the lower right corner is a print from a painting by Sadequain. No reblogs please.

An Ottoman era manuscript depicting the historic encounter between Maulana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (RA) [seated on the horse] and Shams-e-Tabrizi (RA) [in dark robes and a fez].Source

An Ottoman era manuscript depicting the historic encounter between Maulana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (RA) [seated on the horse] and Shams-e-Tabrizi (RA) [in dark robes and a fez].

Source

Ibrahim’s [Abraham] spirit of sacrifice
Isma^il’s [Ishmael] obedience
Zakariya’s [Zachary] quietude
Yunus’s [Jonah] sense of exile from his own people
Ayub’s [Job] patience
Yusuf’s [Joseph] love for his land
Musa’s [Moses] mystic robes
Muhammad’s humility

It is said that a Sufi incorporates within him/herself these eight qualities of the prophets.

My preferred playlist (IDM/downtempo) while driving through mountains/alpine forests (thinning air amplifies the almost mystical silence typical of high altitude valleys and ravines. Ambient music with its soft, poetic interludes facilitates this experience → solitude in the midst of natural abundance: rock, river and sky):

Four Tet
Mount Kimbie
Dante Carfagna
Boards of Canada
Air
Aphex Twin (Ambient works)
Quiet Village
Arovane
Laika
Prefuse 73
DJ Shadow
Monolake
Caribou
and of course, Bjork

"To return to things themselves is to return to that world which precedes knowledge, of which knowledge always speaks, and in relation to which every scientific schematization is an abstract and derivative sign-language, as is geography in relation to the countryside in which we have learnt beforehand what a forest, a prairie or a river is.”

© Maurice Merleau-Ponty
as quoted in David Abram’s
‘The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human-World’, 1st Vintage Books Edition, 1997

If the relative attunement to environing nature exhibited by native cultures is linked to a more primordial, participatory mode of perception, how had Western civilization come to be exempt from this sensory reciprocity?

© David Abram, ‘The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human-World’, 1st Vintage Books Edition, 1997

Intent creates edifices before us and invites us to enter them. This is the way sorcerers understand what is happening around them.

© Carlos Castaneda, ‘The Power of Silence’ (via dialoghost)

"In Nepal, the air had been filled with smells — whether in the towns, where burning incense combined with the aromas of roasting meats and honeyed pastries and fruits for trade in the open market, and the stench of organic refuse rotting in the ravines, and sometimes of corpses being cremated by the river; or in the high mountains, where the wind carried the whiffs of countless wildflowers, and of newly turned earth outside the villages where the fragrant dung of yaks was drying in round patties on the outer walls of the houses, to be used, when dry, as fuel for the household fires, and where smoke from those many home fires always mingled in the outside air. And sounds as well: the chants of aspiring monks and adepts blended with the ringing of prayer bells on near and distant slopes, accompanied by the raucous croaks of ravens, and the sigh of the wind pouring over the passes, and the flapping of prayer flags, and the distant rush of the river through the far-below gorge.

"There the air was a thick and richly textured presence, filled with invisible but nonetheless tactile, olfactory, and audible influences. In the United States, however, the air seemed thin and void of substance or influence. It was not, here, a sensuous medium — the felt matrix of our breath and the breath of the other animals and plants and soils — but was merely an absence, and indeed was constantly referred to in everyday discourse as mere empty space."

© David Abram, ‘The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human-World’, 1st Vintage Books Edition, 1997

As a child, whenever I visited my grandmother during our summer vacations, I would explore the narrow, unpaved alley behind her house. This is where a poor colony of Afghan refugees had settled many years ago. The rickety white metal door in my grandmother’s back garden, always half covered in brambles, opened directly into this alley. It was like a gateway to a completely different world. I distinctly remember Afghan women in their oft-worn, faded but wonderfully florid traditional dresses (I was quite familiar with the outfits and jewellery since my maternal ancestors hail from Kandahar), waking up early in the morning, kneading cow dung into round patties and sticking them in neat formations all along the whitewashed exteriors of their simple houses for the sun to dry. These were subsequently used as fuel in the alfresco clay ovens or tandoors  for cooking the days’ meals. I would spend hours watching them go about their daily chores. I made many friends among the children as well as the livestock!

To this day, the smell of cattle dung wafting from farms alongside roads and highways, particularly on crisp winter mornings, stops me in my tracks and brings back memories of my beautiful childhood alley and its resilient, exiled Afghan women.

© Zaina Anwar | Sept 2014 | http://indigenousdialogues.tumblr.com/

"Western industrial society, of course, with its massive scale and hugely centralized economy, can hardly be seen in relation to any particular landscape or ecosystem; the more-than-human ecology with which it is directly engaged is the biosphere itself. Sadly, our culture’s relation to the earthly biosphere can in no way be considered a reciprocal or balanced one: with thousands of acres of nonregenerating forest disappearing every hour, and hundreds of our fellow species becoming extinct each month as a result of our civilization’s excesses, we can hardly be surprised by the amount of epidemic illness in our culture, from increasingly severe immune dysfunctions and cancers, to widespread psychological distress, depression, and ever more frequent suicides, to the accelerating number of household killings and mass murders committed for no apparent reason by otherwise coherent individuals.

"From an animistic perspective, the clearsest source of all this distress, both physical and psychological, lies in the aforementioned violence needlessly perpetrated by our civilization on the ecology of the planet; only by alleviating the latter will we be able to heal the former. While this may sound at first like a simple statement of faith, it makes eminent and obvious sense as soon as we acknowledge our thorough dependence upon other organisms with whom we have evolved. Caught up in a mass of abstractions, our attention hypnotized by a host of human-made technologies that only reflect us back to ourselves, it is all too easy for us to forget our carnal inherence in a more-than-human matrix of sensations and sensibilities. Our bodies have formed themselves in delicate reciprocity with the manifold textures, sounds, and shapes of an animate earth — our eyes have evolved in subtle interaction with other eyes, as our ears are attuned by their very structure to the howling of wolves and the honking of geese. To shut ourselves off form these other voices, to continue by our lifestyles to condemn these other sensibilities to the oblivion of extinction, is to rob our own senses of their integrity, and to rob our minds of their coherence. We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human [emphasis mine].”

© David Abram, ‘The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human-World’, 1st Vintage Books Edition, 1997

ninewhitebanners:

For over twenty years, Jamba Dashdondog has operated the Mongolian Mobile Library. By truck, horse, camel, and motorbike, the Mobile Library brings children’s books to nomadic families around Mongolia. The books include Mongolian-language translations of children’s books from around the world, and books of folktales written by Dashdondog himself. Read an indepth interview with him here.
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ninewhitebanners:

For over twenty years, Jamba Dashdondog has operated the Mongolian Mobile Library. By truck, horse, camel, and motorbike, the Mobile Library brings children’s books to nomadic families around Mongolia. The books include Mongolian-language translations of children’s books from around the world, and books of folktales written by Dashdondog himself. Read an indepth interview with him here.
Zoom Info

ninewhitebanners:

For over twenty years, Jamba Dashdondog has operated the Mongolian Mobile Library. By truck, horse, camel, and motorbike, the Mobile Library brings children’s books to nomadic families around Mongolia. The books include Mongolian-language translations of children’s books from around the world, and books of folktales written by Dashdondog himself.

Read an indepth interview with him here.