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away and away, over the bay…

And so, years passed,winnys shattered mast slowly grew and took form, grew halliards, stays and crosstays, grew rigging pins and rigging nuts and wires until afloat in amongst Spanish boats she was gain the belle of the ocean. Or almost.. intrepid souls began to venture out to scrub and clean her underbelly, paint her decks, to reinfoce and reshape her wonderus bowsprit.

Soon sailors travelled down to fair and green galicia to compleate the good ships krew; captin Gazza, Tim the Dancer, Vic the Viking, oran ‘guns’ stuart, oshan the moshan in the ocean, and paddy-o..gathered in sunny north spain. we awated the delivery of a liferaft, stocked up on provisions, filled up on Spanish olive oils to smuggle in to Ireland, and caught up with old friends; two gorgeous cousins met on first arrival in spain with broken mast. songs and music and joy!

Wilst coffy time was comancing one morning in the cock pit, a man from the mareena came and gave the news; the life raft had arrived! Big Chear. A few more tomatoes where bought up, bits and pieces collceted, we fuewled up and away away away!!

In to the ocean again with the sea and the spreay and in the sunshine, joy upon joy. With the wind on our nose we bashed through great steep waves which through the contence of the ship hither and thither un till all was made fast. Passed the beautifull cost of spain in the bight light we sailed on and on. the krew where divvied out watches, life on bord was established and almost all began to feel the moshan in there bellys, many offered there luches back up to the sea. Out of sight of land now we hove to and ate dinner as the sun set and a full moon rose and dolphins played around the boat. Though the night on watches, 2 hours on 4 hours off. some fond sleep, some found them selves thrown this way and that and wetness.

With the waves and weather on our nose relentlessly tossing the boat around, much sea sickness endured. Sprey kicked up from the found holes in the deck and send drips down below. In the forred (frount) cabin in which myself and oshan were stationed, freaquent streams and sea sprey fung its self upon us. Warter found its way in to our dry bags and sleeping bags. the wind was cold but the sun was warm and delicious fresh veg from spain, rich coffee, and songs kept spirits high, on the whole.



Another fairly uncomfortable night passed with the boat under sail and leaning at about 45degrees to the left. We fell out of bunks, and we got bak in, we got cold, ad we got warm and we drak sweet cups of tea as the moon rose and dolphins jumped about us in its light and as the dawn rose. Garry and tim began the rythim of reading mystical poems in their morning wach. Poems of the sufi mystic rumi and the first femail baha’i; tahireh who wrote with deep and beautifull passion and who was executed for unveiling her self in pulblic in coservative 19th century iran, whose last words were;’you can kill me, but you will never stop the emancipation of women!’


With the third day wind turned a little more in our favour and the kew began to regain lost sleep. The sun bathed us and we lased the wheelwith a bairing direct to Ireland and spent the day playing music in the cockpit. Life began to feel purely sweet!



Andanother day passed. The krew now well in the rythim of things, having developed good sleeping patterns, having scoped out the best bunks to sleep in and which to nt sleep in, with stronger sea legs and sea bellys. After being hundreds of nauticle miles from any land we began to loom in on ireland, still well over the horizon. Though the 4th night at sea, anticipation of arrival was growing and most slepped little, with songs sung though the night time watches. A windy dawn arrived, oran mentioned parboiling potatoes, and the frying a few times which sent oshan in to a breakfast frenzy. An incredible morning feast was created with the last of our delicious Spanish tomatoes and fryed potatoes and eggs and glory! the krew gathered in the sunbleached blowey rocking morning and felt material satisfaction, delicicious coffee, Ireland in view.

Oran and myself went for a nap having been up since our watch had started at 4 in the morning to be awoken by extatic crys, we emerged from the cabin to be met by gret green and rocky irish clifs, sunshine and vic and oshan pulling up fish by the fist full. Vic time on a trawler was made evident by exquisite gutting and filiting skills; gutting fish in 5 seconds flat!


And then along the coast and up a little river, past a multitude of boats, past boys fliging themselves off a tall pier on a small bicycle, and on to a jetty in the luscious town of croshaven. Damp and joyfull we embraced on the hard land and tripped out as the hard floor continue to wobble, waves appearing where no waves exsisted. We ate vicks fishes! We where in Ireland! We stll had a mast! joy upon joy!  




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Away, away, away hooray!

What Joy!!!!!

themast is up, bits are stowed, everything made fast, made shipshape and an illusive lifre raft has just been deliverd. so! now to sea! what joy!

we have had a glosrious time in La Coruna; music and wonder and singing in the main saloon and singing in the crown of the oldest light house, roamings in the old town, gorgeous gorgeous friends met but now we say good by, fair well, asta la vista, fair winds and happynes!

and now to the fair emrald ireland, across the curently sunny bay of biscay, you might be able to find our location on f you go to and search for winifeda or something.




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To the high seads, to homeward


Dear all,

so whilst the good ship winny has over the last coupple of years been slowly recovering from her dromattic demasting we have been considering where we would go next, to Hifa and the holy land or to homeward. the energys which had so effotlessly alingned and made the outward trip possible now seemed to be less easerly gathered until the onward option began to look like a furios and speedy journey to the holy land and back, not quite in the spirit of things. and on chritmass day this year Captin Garry anounced that we would be bringing the boat back home.

a failed mission? the few months in which we had spent sailing towards Hifa, cut short in the bay of biscay, had been so utterly full of glory, full of beauty, full of high adventure,extatic song, of friends met, of wonderment… we wollowed in paradice and blessings. to not reach the holy land is a bummer and a blow to the pride but in those days 2 years ago whilst we sailed down the british isles and out to sea we hit perfection so many times that in some ways to not reach Hifa was minor.

and now! in 2 days! an intrepid krew: Garry the Skipper, Salty Vic, Tim the Dancer, Tree House Oran, Oshan ‘danger’ Mahony, and myself, will set sail again to recross the bay of biscay and head not to the holy land in hifa but to the holy land in cork!

then winny will sail the west cost of irelalnd seeking music wonderment and adventure and we need krew to do it! that meens you! so if you are a musician, a mistic, a mad one, a mariner, or other wise, then please get in touch and help us to get the good ship back home!!


below is the itinerary, email to get onboard!


Masses of love,




When Where Destination Distnce What
Before all this…a pilgrimage and shake down cruise in May!
9.June La coruna Waterford/Cork 500
19.June Helvic Cross Hven
20.June Cork Concert Diddly
21.June Cork Kinsale 17 Concert Diddly
23.June Kinsale Clare Island 34
24.June Clare Island Bantry 35 Vist Cosmo and Phillidah
26.June Bantry Skelligs 36
26.June Skelligs Valentia Is 10
27.June Valentia Dingall 18
29.June Dingall KilBaha 50 Celebrate Stan R
30.June KilBaha Shannon Esuary 37 meeting the Limerick friends
1. July 36
3.July Limerick Kil Baha/ LeHinch 36
4. July KilBaha Le Hinch 33 Meet Innis friends
5.July Le Hinch Aran 21
6.July Arran Galway 24 Meet Galway friends
8.July Galway Inishboffin 30
9.July Inishboffin Broad Haven 52
10. July Broad Haven Killy begs 54 Meet Donegall friends
 Leave boat for earthing
30 uly Killy begs Arran 40
31. July Arran Tory Island 18 visit Island
1.Aug ToryIsland Romelton 32 Visit friends
3. Aug Romelton Port Rush 48 Meet Londerry friends
5.Aug Port Rush Ballycastle 16 Visit Corrymela
7.Aug Ballycastle Holy Island 50 Visit Holy Isand
08-Aug Holy Island Lough Gilp 30
9.Aug Canal Crinnan
11.Aug Crinnan Errid 36 Visit Errid
12.Aug Errid Iona 5 Visit Iona music
13. Aug Errid Ulva via Fingals 10 Home coming





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Haifa Bay and pilgrimage


The aspirations and envisaged high point of Winny’s 2012 songline adventure was fulfilled in May 2014. In the dark of the evening Rosie and I arrived in Haifa by train. We were unexpectedly offered a lift to our guest house, an act of unasked generosity by a kind Haifa lady who sat beside us on our journey.

Stretching above us were the illuminated terraces leading to the golden shrine which sheltered the sacred dust of the Bab and Abdul Baha. What excitement!,

The next day we entered those shrines and laid our heads in the dust of those holy thresholds. What places of holiness, what   an energetic atmosphere of   deep stillness. If ever there was a place to open ones heart and share its deepest contents, this was it! In those timeless moments we lay before those holy ones our deepest thanks and our deepest wishes.

Later heats brimming with emotion we marvelled and   meandered along the winding paths of the beautiful gardens which surround these shrines.   I became aware that the heart beat of these gardens are the souls who dreamed, spoke and lived the vision of unity; mystic, theological and social. The gardens embody the idea of unity at the level of earth. Unity is spoken of through   all the rich diversity of   shapes colours and designs. It is spoken through the grandeur of its   scale. With wonder one realises that this whole mountain side had been literally re-sculptured. Arid scrub land has been transformed into to a sumptuousness of ordered beauty and cascading terraces and waterfalls. It was as if nature itself had become the   temple and its adorning all the multitudes of rocks, plants, bushes trees and grasses. It felt as if all were performing an endless melody which celebrates   the divine in all things.

As dusk approached we scaled the top nine terraces. Out of breath we   looked down over the beautiful gardens, a green oasis surrounded by the busy city and all its traffic. Beyond the city was the safe harbour and many boats lying at anchor. Beyond that again six or so miles across the   sea is the point of attraction, the inspiration for the entire enterprise. All the people who work in this busy administrative centre from gardeners to members of the Universal House of Justice look to this place across the sea as their point of adoration, the   spiritual heart of the Baha’i world; the shrine of the one who expressed the spirit of the Ancient Beauty, Baha’u’llah.


The next day we were given a tour of what is known as the Ark, these are the buildings shrines and gardens in which the people who energise the development of the Baha’i vision work. Again ones mind becomes aware to the grandeur of this project; the amazing sweep of buildings and gardens speaks of a stupendous vision, It is a place that literally prepares for a time when humans will realise that the purpose of their lives is to create beauty.   It works to enable the human world to realise the idea of world unity and supported by spiritual practices. It prepares for the growth of a judicial system embedded in the idea of the oneness of the human family. It celebrates the souls who helped spin this vision of unity:, the wife, daughter, son and daughter in law of Baha’u’llah. We are shown the buildings which are built around this ark. The massive Univrsal House of Justice, the amazing centre for study of the holy texts, the international teaching centre and the building that contains countless holy relics. How amazing that the design of all these buildings and gardens   physically mirror the metaphysics of unity which inspired it . How amazing that this project which seems infused by such universal love by the people who are making it happen is developing in such a perfect way. All this ordered beauty is   centred on the shrine of Baha’u’llah across the bay beyond Akka.

It is to this spot that we travel next.

The house where Baha’u’llah spend the last 23 years of his life and the place where he breathed his last breath, is also the place where he is buried. His shrine is surrounded by a huge circular garden. It   lies a couple of miles outside Akka.

We are greeted by a friendly   smile from one of the many volunteers who   maintain the beauty of this place. We enter another world full of beauty and magic For visiting pilgrims there is a pilgrims house. Like everything else we have encountered   it also is full of a loving thoughtfulness. There are no cafes or places that sell nick nacks, but there are places to refresh yourselves, make tea. have picnics, chat and leave things safely. Our supreme moment is coming. The approach is via a long cypress tree lined avenue of white stone pebbles. You enter the shrine of Baha’u’llah, through a heavy wooden door. Inside all is bathed in a natural light, the decorations are sparse but exquisite in taste, in the centre of the shrine there is a small vibrant garden with four trees growing towards the ceiling. Above is a light airy space surrounded by windows, The room is simple and everything in it   bends together in perfect proportion . The atmosphere is light infused, deep and   rich. It is all   so simple yet so profound, so still yet so energetic, so deep and so totally sacred. It is another place that invites the head to bow and the heart to open. Deep deep thanks are given, for family, for friends, for the Winny’ song line, for being given the consciousness of life. There was a profound sense of the total grace that surrounds everything, there is a strong feeling that the future for all of us will eventually work out for the best. Had life had stopped for me at that moment it would be have been perfect!

Later we earthed our experiences wandering through the wonderful shrine gardens. Ancient olive groves, cypress and eucalyptus trees shade beds of roses and geraniums. It was all so beautiful. We found the old and glorious tree which has been part of our mediations since our last visit 30 years before. We sang some of those songs which had inspired Winnys songline: ‘Hollow reed’ ‘Create in me a pure heart, ‘Oh man of two visions,’ ‘Oh thou kind lord’ and others as a token of what might have been had Winny arrived in Haifa bay. The tree embraced us and the birds sang beautifully in the silence of our finishing.


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Olga and Apachie battle the forces of darkness and find caves

for a few days we stayed in konya; evenings and mornings with the lovely baha’i coupple Bulent and Filiz and ther incredibly energetic 3 and 4  year old boys. the were on a suggar free diet which ment that they where permanently super hyper. a good dose of sugar would have been wonderfull for giving them a little peek followed by a more mellow mentality. in the daytimes we would ride in to the middle of the city to link up with your new young sufi friends for adventure, hardcore tea drinking and mystical music. we went to visit caves and to sleep out in old houces in the surounding country. one night a bigger group developed and we went busking in a buisy street in the evening. we played soulfull sufi songs, i played rock and role, olive sang old folk songs, turkish songs. a croud gathered arround, at the end of our set a gentle ode to all glory was played by an increadibly luminos youth on an oud (lute), the croud gathered close and crouched down all around us and listed with great tendernes.

we had come to konya to visit the toomb of the mystical poet Rumi. every time we tryed to go something glorious stood in our way or destracted us. and never managed to arive in the holy spot. the sufi master had told us; “rumi said ‘dont look for me in a tomb'”. in konya we found many people joyfuseeking union with the Beloved, we found and hurd stories of beautifull sufi masters who expounded great truths, masters who both aided and hindered lovers journeys to the Beloved, and we deepend our connection with tea (our sufi friend Kevsar had said ‘without tea, there is no me’). all of our time in konya people had been telling us about capidocia. whilst we didn’t understand what capadocia was, everyone was adement we should go there and told us there where caves. it was 300km in the wrong direction but we let ourselves be convinced anyway.

after a final visit to our favret teehouce with the young shawl wairing sufi krew. we loveingly said good by and rode out of the city escorted by a gang of naughty biking boys, who had incredibly loud horns made of a air horns connected to a bike pump. they tried to ride us off the road but we were too strong and beat them off there bikes.

the road from konya was flat and long and buissy. the first evening we got a puncture, and then another at a petrol station, and then another in the same petrol station. the enthusiastic petroll attendantds gave us tea and then told us we could camp in the picnick arior and then cooked us some increadible eggs that we ate with them surrounded by maggazeens and engin oil in the petroil staion shop. the next day was long and flat and straight and unaventfull. towards late afternoon the top of an incredible looking volcano appeared out of the haze. we campped after having ridden 120km. the next day was hot. my bike was developing broken spokes. we rode out of the massive flat plain we had crossed, in to slightly more hilly reality. down a side track we found a village. we asked some men playing rumikub if there was a bike fixing man in the village, one of the men stood up and took us to his houce where he bodged my wheel back together with a hammer and gave us tipps on super fantastic puncture fixing techniques. it turned out that we where close to a 1500year old underground village. the man at the ticket ofice ghave us tea and let us in for free. into a hole we found a warren of tunnless and rooms winding down underground. it was a dwelling dug in to the softish rock by christians who needed places to hide from angry villans. emerging back in to an incredible outside sunset reality we climbed up a little cliff to see the sun setting behind an old volcano. this seemed to endeer us to a group of laffing women who sat on the edge of the little cliff. one of the women and her daughter befrened olive and within moments we had been given some mellon and were envited to stay in there houce for the night. they led us to their too roomed houce. olives hair was washed  and brushed by the womans two wonderfull daughters whilst i drew pictures with her 9 year old son. one of the daughters then taught us to dance turkish steps to banging tradtional tunes played on the tv. we all sat down for dinner and the man of the houce arrived home in hiss big ruggerd truck in which he had been driving mellons around. me and olive slept in the kitchen and the family slept in piles in the lving room.

after breakfast we mounted our trusty steads and rode off intent on reaching capidoca. the going was steady and slow, olive was developing a cold but trouped on regardless up and down the dry rizes and falls. we stopped for lunch by a caravansery; a old giant stone buildng where the cammels and traiders, the truck drivers of a tme passed, would rest enroute to far off places. as the sun was going down we arrived in the town of Nevsher and asked a group of kidds where capadocia was. they told us that we where in cappadocia. confused we desprately tryed to escape nevsheer as the darkness swepped in. lost and surrounded by confusion in the countryside a campsgight told us that we couldnt camp with them. neering desperation we rode down a steep hill around acorner and were met with a fully crazy sight. lit up in the night time in frount of us were a collection of giant and big pyramidic rock formations peppered with holes.

so this was the land of capadocia every one had been urging us to go to. we had hured roumor that one would be able to sleep in the caves and so with the help of a sweet man called mustafa (there are many sweet men called mustaf in turkey) we pushed our bikes up the steep hill to the cavey place. ariving up amoungst the towering pillars of rock a happy man appered out of one of the holey mounds with a massive smile on his face. he noteced our bikes and our bags and instantly invited us to stay in his cave houce cafe free of charge. up a ricketry staircase we entered his home, inside he gave us the grand tour; 7 floors of cave all couvered in turkish and persian rugs, insome places the rugs covered all the walls and the roofs also. he told us that he was the cave man and gleefully shreeked “yabadabadooo”.

sitting outside the cave, getting to grips with our reality we where suddenly surrounded by a gaggle of turkish hippies. they informed us that they had just occupied an old cave hostle. they took us with them to behind a friendly turkishmans tourist tat stall, where the rest of their gang was making dinner. in the semidarkness we sat and chatted and then food was produced, all fed furiously like a pack of lions then sat back with tea and ciggarettes. myslef and olvive retired to our cave dwelling and the cave man and to sleep…

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pando in turkland-movements, veg, interviews in konya

eatng breakfast in the dervish lodge the phone rand and was answered and passed to mee. on the other end was Ahmet, the baha’i man i had been trying to get in contact with. we managed to develop an understanding of where our guest houce was. within a few moments he appeared, an oldish man, graying, whild eyes, speedy movements. he bundled us in to his car with our stuff and leeving the bikes behind drove us across town to his houce where we met his two sisters; one, talkative and loveing and enthusiastic telling tails of canada, from where she was visiting after emigrating there 20 years ago, the other silent and mighty. we sat about and consumed delicious tea and delicious baclava and delicious rice and then where driven back to the guest houce where one bike was loaded in to the car. olive and bulent and bike whent back by car whislt i cycled furiusly trying not to louse sight of them. bike where stored in the houce after which all of us, including the sisters got in the car and where driven out to Ahmets gaurden houce, a pile of rooms surounded by a luchious guaren of frout trees and tomatoes and other ripe things. we shot stones from catapaults out of his window and then myslef and Ahmet wen to his friends bike fixing place to get some bits and pieces sorted on one othe bikes. a friend was met of a bus and then all sat about and ate etliekmek, a delicesy of Konya; long thin oven backed bread with mincemeat tomartoes spices and hurbs spread over the top. after a little digest the bike was collected and the others got into the car whilst i oncemore followed sweattely on the bike. we sat for a moment back at ahmets houce befor he took us off again. he had contacted a friend and was now takinmg us to an interview at a english language centre. we where met by a wonderfull perspiring man who asked usk questions like “do you like people?” and “what is your favorety animal?” and reguarly quoted Bruce Lee, explaining that bruce was his sufi master. he told us that he couldnt understand anything i said, but thought that olive vpice was pritty clear. a job was half offered and we where taken back by hahmet to his houce where a 19 dfay feast was about to begin. a 19day feast is a gathereing in the baha’i community that happens every 19 days(a baha’i mounth). these feests have 3 parts, a spiritual part of praying,meditation and somertimes singing, a administrative part, where the comunity hears news of the bahi comunity and plannes action, and then a feast part, of bulding comradship, love and connection, and of eating food. a sweet gathering commanced attended by a collection of the baha’is. friends where made and tails told. Amet (who told me he only slepped 2 hours a night because there was so much life to live) told a story of how he had been shot in his youth because of his connection to the baha’i faith, other less traumatic tails where also told.. the bahai friends left and all fell into slumber.
Ahmet and sisters where leeving the next day to drive 300 miles to visit another sibling, it was only the morning befor that they had returned to konya after visiting other family in another far away town. we where taken to another baha’i couple, bulent and filiz who had a stall at a vege market that day. we met them and a young spanish woman, who was also going to be staying with Bulent and Filiz. we found our selves at louse ends in the market sceen and left to find intrest and things in the centre of the city. we had mamaged to make contact with a local who seemed to be in to the sufi thing and arainged a meeting. various erronds where compleeted, we played some tunes in a book shop, where given an english translation of the Koran and some chocolate as a reward, we fixed problems on the bikes. despite confusion missunderstanding an lax timing we managed to connect with our young sufi contact. the small, supersweet, zen tea lady Kevsa apeared though a croud of torists flooding in to Rumis tomb. she took us to meet 2 other shawl wairing traveling shineyeyed ones; the fair and bright swiss joana and the delicet bulgarian shuggar monstar (self acclaimed) Elenor. we where now a crowd and worked our way though the greater crowed to a park by the houce of Shams (Rumis wild dervish teacher and beloved). all sat and buzzed with intrtest and excitement at oneand other. we were met by a bairfooted flute playing wonderer from istambull and a glorious and radient local called Mustafa. a boy was called and he returrend with tray after tray of tea whilst the gathering produced bits of bread, chees and delicious things and created a tasty meal. after food there was music and joyfull interaction. it began to get dark an myself olive and our mighty spanish friend had to leave to go back to the bahai coupple who where hosting us. back at the marked it got dark as wee helpped load up boxes of organic vege and oats. so me and olive and other clambered in to vans loaded up with organic produce and where driven back to Bulent and Filz’s houce for sleeping.

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PadOliv ina Turkey – Meetings With A sufi masta

me and olive where in konya in the middle of turkey, we had arrived on bikes. this was because we had been unable to sail a boat to haifa to compleate a pilgramage to the holyest places for Baha’is. this was because the mast had fallen down. haveing found ourselves in athens and in need of a new direction we decided that a pilgramage through turkey to a houce where Baha’u’llah, the prophet of the Baha’is had lived, would satisfie various thirsts, and in a way finish the pilgramidge. Konya, the home and resting place of the Sufi master Rumi was chosen to be a waypoint on our journe/pilgramidge/adventure…

we spent our first evening in the city of  devine love with an american woman from our guesthouce who was visiting after having danced and meditated for a week in the crazy wilderness of Cappidocia. she took us to a caffe where we were entertained by a pakistani lady;”i used to ride bike but i did too much wheely and fell off and my mother told me ” promice you will not ride bycicle” and i tell my mother everything so now i dont ride bike” .  she got me to play some tunes and some turkish girls to dance some turkish dances.

in the warm mid morning me and olive walked the crowdded networks of stalles and shops and marketplaces, though thin streets and bigger streets, sheltered from the sun by tarps strung high above, past woolen thirmell leggings, past buckets, goat bells of all different sises, past carts piled with pencils, past jewls and old rope. we wandered in to a big indoor frute market where a groupe of turkish men befrended us. we laghed together for a while and left with bags of veg thrust upon us. the way was found back to our residence and carrots where eaten. a man arrived and sat in the corner of a big sheltered carpeted and cushoned arior, off from the main cortyard of our guest houce. others arrived and sat about him. it emerged that he was a sufi master. we were asked if we would like to speek to him. we said ‘yes’ and a softly spoken woman called Dariya arrived to inturprit for us.

we sat about the sufi guru and asked him questions about some of Rumi’s poems. he gave answeres that partly satisfied or that where partly understood. he asked about our jobs and what we where doing in turkey. we told him we where vissiting holy places. he told us a story about a fish looking for water, sugesting that our search to find spirituality externaly, by traveling to holy places, was useless. this was intresting because the evening befor i had writen a song inwhich one of the verces went “people travel the world trying to find them selves//go to another county to reach an understanding//this way is an illusion, what is within is always within// its like a fish in the ocian, trying to find the water.” we explained that we where not trying to find ourselves but rather where looking for beauty excitment and adventure.

i told him about the sailing songline adventure pilgramidge to haifa and the subject of the Baha’i faith came up. he hadn’t hured of it befor and asked some questions. when i told him about Baha’u’llah, he  told me that he was a friend of Allah and that if there was such a Manifestation of God he would have been informed by Allah. he told me that in the Koran Mohamed had stated that he was the seal of the prophets. his status as the mester made it hard to have a resoned discussion with him; the master has knowledge and his devoted deciples suck from his full and milkey breast.. the translator had told us that if the master says 2+2=5, then it is true.  the Baha’i interpritation of Mohammed’s clame to be the seal of the prophets (understood by many Muslems to mean that he is the last maifestation of god, who’s teachings will take us forward in to eturnity) is that Mohammed was the last of the prophetic cicle. that is the manifestaions god who gave teachings to the world and prophesised the day of God, or heaven on earth. the Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah is the one fortold in the books of old, who has come with a message that “the earth is one country and mankind are it citizens” he has come with teachings  that will unite all the peoples and create this most glorious day.

the sufi master told me i was full up because of my Belief in Baha’u’llah, that i was like a buss full of people. inorder for me to learn anything i would have to let all of the people off the buss so that new people could get on. i told him that i was maybee only half full of people and that there was space for a few more. he gave us our first lesson. splitting a piece of paper in half with a line drawn, he explaned that there are two parts to reality. below the lighn he wrote the material world, the world of words, and the knowledge of mind. he told us that all of this was imperminant and subject to chainge. he told us that if we base our reality only on this world then we remain in confusion. above the line he wrote Allah at the top then the spiritual realm, and then the gonor or the infannit heart, or the soul. above the line , he said,  is the infanet unchaingable realm and is what the sufi is interested in. i couldnt find the right questions to find from him how it was that one accesed these realities. he told me that the only way was to live the sufi life style. he wouldnt tell me what this was, it seemed that i had to join the club first.

the next day we met again with the sufi masta. i asked him about some lines from an old sufi poem ‘the conference of the birds’ by Atta, where in it talks about forgetting what is and what is not islam.  he explained that in our quest for unity with the Beloved many things can get in our way; food,  clothes, hairstyles, greed, the ego and that ones religion can also become a barior, if it is not being practiced with the intention of drawing neerer to the Source. the masta then brought up the bahai faith again, forcefully denouncing it and accusing us of cultural impearialism. the vibe got a bit heavey and intence. there is a saying that if 2 people argue about god; they are both wrong. there was probalby some element of this in the meating. however the sufe smashed up the bad vibes by smileing a wide smile and asking me to play him a choon. me and olive whipped out the instroments and sang a one about death.

we where invited to go to a session that evening at a sufi center where the deciples and the masta would come together and ask questions. later that night we where whisked away by a sufi actor who was rehursing for a play about the ottoman empire inwhich he got to fight with sawds.  surendered to the whims of the univerce we folowe the sawed fighting sufi  on to a small mini buss that flew though the city night, off the buss, down a dark tree lined road to the dervish centre. inside a collection of about 40 people sat around the edge of a thickly carpeted room on the floor. the master arived and while young boys endlessly filled glasses of tea for us to drink and brought around biscets and treets ( i got to eat olivias and our translators buiscets), people asked questions and the master spoke. he spoke beautifully about desolving befor god and told us that one can see everything in the world extatically prasing god   and calling his name.

back at the guest houce i sat up late with an incredibly gorgius soul who volenteered at the guest houve and his sweet smily sufi friend. we drank tea and smoked ciggarettes and talked music, spinning around , joy and sufism…

‘A lover’, said the hoopoe, now their guide,
‘Is one in whom all thoughts of self have died;
Those who renounce the self deserve that name;
Righteous or sinful, they are all the same!
Your heart is thwarted by the self’s control;
Destroy its hold on you and reach your goal.
Give up this hindrance, give up mortal sight,
For only then can you approach the light.
If you are told: “Renounce our Faith,” obey!
The self and Faith must both be tossed away;
Blasphemers call such action blasphemy —
Tell them that love exceeds mere piety.
Love has no time for blasphemy or faith,
Nor lovers for the self, that feeble wraith.

Farid ud-Attar
 ‘Conference of the Birds’


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