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Prayer to Mansur Al-Hallaj

Source: Prayer to Mansur Al-Hallaj

Prayer is about listening to the world and is part of an internal conversation. The Sufi prayer is about listening closely. Each stanza of the poem begins with a word that entreats God guide me in sensing the world more deeply, not as something I hear, but as something all my senses are able to engage with.

We think of leadership as action and speech, but it is about sensing the world in a sensitive and mindful manner. Leadership is about a conversation and the questions we ask. It opens up space where there are no preconceived answers and followers can be part of conversation and lead, as well. Leadership and its communication is about community, a gathering of people who do not always agree, but hold something in common.


A Great Need

The great Sufi poet Hafiz wrote this several centuries ago, but I think it applies today as much as ever. We find each other when we find community and common purpose which is part of human being. We find strength in difficult times and that is found in the richness of holding hands and not letting go.


Of a great need

We are all holding hands

And climbing.

Not loving is a letting go.


The terrain around here


Far too




Oh, my friend

Spring has sprung the last couple of days. I reminded myself about paying attention to the little things in life. About this time last year, I was discouraged and it was paying attention to small things, things I take for granted like brushing my teeth. I simply began to say, “Take a moment and do this.” It worked, as slowly I found myself seeing the extraordinary and underlying beauty of life. I turned in and found words which sounded like majestic melodies. Sufi poet Ezzeddin Nasafi wrote this poem about building bridges with love. I discovered this begins inside me and moves outwards, a flow and gift from me to the world.

Oh, my friend:
Love makes the world of creation a
and the ecstasy of ascension a will.
Look around yourself and see a universe
saturated by the fragrance of love.

If there was no loge and the endurance for
such longing, then who could
beautify words
into majestic melodies?

If there was no breeze to gracefully
caress the
hair of the beloved, then how could
the lover
see the revealing face of the beloved?
Such longing is to gracefully return to the
Provider, in the state of perfection.

Oh, my friend:
do not become a slave of worship, but
understand the meaning of worship;
understand the meaning of Divine, Allah,
and practice to be pious and peaceful;
become a true human being, as becoming a
true human being is the key to salvation.

Oh, my friend:
if you have chosen an inner path,
that we all are travelers, our moments are
passing and we are passing with them.

Your wealth will not remain forever
and your
pain will not last, so do not become a
slave to
your wealth nor to your pain.

If you are a person of an inner path,
then you
are a person of peace, so make peace with
yourself and your surroundings.

How do I listen?

I commented on a re-blog, Here’s an Idea that Mimi‘s post coincided a PBS show about a branch of neuroscience called Contemplative Mindfulness. Rudolph Tanzi is central in this work which has grown from other recent research by Richard Davidson, Ellen Langer, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mindful practices have been with us for centuries and are found in Christ’s, the Buddha’s and Mohammed’s teachings. Mindful listening begins with me, moves outward, and is eloquently described by Hafiz, a Sufi poet. Mindful listening requires humility those teachers emulated in their lived practice as the servant as leader.


Do I

Listen to others?

As if everyone were my Master

Speaking to me





Stay human friends.

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