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TOPIC: Going Beyond the Form in Worship - (August, l994) Cherag Regina Coeli McKnight 

Pir Vilayat Khan at 1992 Leaders' retreat  

"It has become more fashionable these days to meditate than to pray, but meditation reduces to stress-reduction when it is not connected to one's worship.  "PVK tells of his experience of meditating with a group focusing on their auras.  He opened his eyes to find that the meditators were no more luminous than before.  "What am I doing here," he asked himself.  Later that day, at the worship service, singing and praising and lighting candles, he saw in that same group the "light was tremendous." 

So--important that we not think of UW as just a ceremony.  We are participating in something whereby we are being transformed, lifted from our humanness into our spiritual dimension.  It is import. for us to discover our nostalgia for the sacred.  Through worship, the heart literally is opened to the Divine Presence.  The Cherag presides not as a personality but as a representative of God on earth. 

Invocation:  "Toward the one....." be aware of a surrendering of identity--as light of moon/star is overawed by the rising sun.  "United with all"-Taj's image of many rivers merging into the ocean.  Open to that living stream of blessing.  "If you invoke these beings, this blessing, and this radiance, and come empty to be filled, you can receive this blessing.  One needs only to truly want to.  Feel the opening of all barriers between Heaven and Earth, between ourselves and the Buddhas and the Christ beings and the Illuminated Souls whose presence is always here.  By invoking them and opening to them, we feel their blessings in our being more strongly and we then become a channel for this blessing to the world. 
PVK==lighting of the candles is the high point of the service.  It fills the space with Presence, because with each, we are invoking the presence of the masters, saints, and prophets of that tradition.  We must think of these beings, invite them.  He says HIK said that it is better that there are few people and more angels at UW than a lot of people and no angels. 
The scriptures are the message of God to humanity at different times and places.  (Inheritance, Prophets TODAY) Cherag attempts to be in the consciousness of the prophet when reads each.  Receive the readings in that spirit.  When the scriptures are presented to the altar, it is our offering.  We are offering our reverence, homage, and gratitude--not a dead cow--a gift of ourselves. 
Benediction:  Become the vessel, open, empty. 


the Bhagavad Gita  

I am the same to all beings, and my love is ever the same; but those who worship me with devotion, they are in me and I am in them.  Give me thy mind and give me thy heart;  give me thy offereings and thy adoration; and thus with they soul in harmony, and making me thy goal supreme, thou shall in truth come to me. 

Upanishads: (Svetasvatara, part 4 and Mundaka part 3) 

Of what use is the Rig Veda (the scripture) to one who does not know the Spirit from whom the Rig Veda comes and in whom all things abide?  For only those who have found him have found peace. 

He is immesurable in his light and beyond all thought, and yet he shines smaller than the smallest.  Far, far away is he, and yet he is very near, resting in the inmost chamber of the heart. . .This invisible Atman can be seen by the mind wherein the five senses are resting.  All mind is woven with the senses; but in a pure mind shines the light of the Self. 

The Dhammapada 25:373, 387  

The sun is bright by day, the moon shines by night, 
the Brahman is bright in his meditation;  but Buddha, 
the Awakened, is bright with splendor day and night... 
When, with a mind in silent peace, a monk enters his 
empty house, then he feels the unearthly joy of 
beholding the light of Truth. 

The Divine Songs of Zarathustra  

With Truth moving my heart, with Best Thought inspiring 
my mind, with all the might of spiritual force within me, 
I kneel in homage to Thee, my Master, with the songs of 
thy loving praise ever on my lips. 
And even at the last, when I shall stand at Thy Gate as a 
suppliant, I shall hear distinct, the sweet echo of my prayers 
from Thy Abode of Songs. 

Four Winds  Navaho Prayer 

You who dwell in the house of dawn, in the house made 
in the evening twilight,...with the zigzag lightning flung 
over your head, come to us soaring!  With the rainbow 
hanging high on the ends of your wings, come to us 
soaring!  I have made the right offering;  I have prepared 
the smoke for you. 

The Tanakh :   Ezekiel 47 

He led me back to the entrance of the Temple, and I found 
that water was issuing from below the platform of the 
Temple...{ He told me}   "Every living creature that swarms 
will be able to live wherever this stream goes;  the fish 
will be very abundant once these waters have reached 
there. . . All kinds of trees for food will grow up on both 
banks of the stream.  Their leaves will not wither nor 
their fruit fail; they will yield new fruit every month, 
because the water for them flows from the Temple. 
Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing. 

The Koran 24:34  24:36  

Light upon Light:  Allah guides to His light whom he will..... 
His light is found in temples which Allah has 
sanctioned to be built for the remembrance of 
His name. 

I Peter, II 

For know you not that you are the temple of God, and the the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  You are the temple of the living god; and are built upon the foundations of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone; in whom each several building, fitly framed together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit. 

Laying aside therefore all malice and all guile and all hypocrisies and envies and all evil speakings, come unto God, as unto a living stone, that ye also, as living stones, may be built up into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God. 


1782  God's message does not come only in words.  What comes in words is small compared with the radiance the message brings to all things and all beings.  It comes in the form of a sacrament, as bread and wine; and bread and wine symbolize life and love. 
Ragas 525: 
Thy light hath illuminated the dark chambers of my mind; 
Thy love is rooted in the depths of my heart;  Thine own eyes 
are the light of my soul;  Thy power worketh behind my action; 
Thy peace alone is my life's repose;  Thy will is behind my every impulse;  Thy voice is audible in the words I speak; Thine own image is my countenance; 
My body is but a cover over Thy soul;  my life is Thy very breath, my Beloved, and my self is Thine own being. 

Meditation:  This is not my body; it is the temple of God.(cross) 
                    This is my body; it is the temple of God.(star/crescent) 

Song:  Hazrat Inayat Khan's  "I searched..." 

Hildegard of Bingen  

Be not lax in celebrating.  Be not lazy in the festive service of God.  Be ablaze with enthusiasm.  Let us be an alive, burning offering before the altar of God! 

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