Prajapati O Neill sent in the two pieces (below) by Cherag Candidate, Gabriel Mezei which, if I understood correctly, were written at the Cherag training at the ‘94 Leader’s Camp in California this past summer. As I typeset the Cherag’s Prayer, modeled on Murshid’s prayers, I was especially struck be the 3rd and 5th stanzas. Beautifully put and thank you Gabriel! You may wish to use these prayers as a part of your daily meditations or as a part of your preparations for the Service. Any body else got some prayers that have been written under a simmilar inspiration? Don’t be bashful, send them in to share with us all.
Many of the Cherags from SIRS may not on my mailing list or for that matter many or any at all from the Sufi Movement in Europe or elsewhere. Let me state in no uncertain terms that this publication is intended for Cherags of the Church of All which, as I see it, transcends any sort of sectarianism that may exist among the various organizations that have developed out of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s seed planting where the Message is conserned. As I understand it, there are seperate organizational structures for the management of the Church of All in the various organizations previously mentioned.
However, this particular publication is by and for Cherags regardless of organizational orientation. Unless I misunderstood something, I understand that the Message is for everyone and that we are all working for the same Cause. This Cause continues forward with indifference to human organizations and our main task as Cherags is to honor and follow this Divine Impulse as it arises within each of us. In my understanding, this is the fundimental Organization that we are following and which we must honor as the most authentic guiding principle of our work. As Murshid has said, organization is needed as a vehicle but at the same time we need to realize that organizations are always limited and limiting. If we are to do our work we need to have a degree of tolorance for the natural shortcomings of organizations and add our personal part to constantly improving how our organization works. We are engaged in a completely new and experimental approach to the spreading and application of the Message so we have to expect we are in for some difficulties as we attempt to fulfill our parts to bring clarity and substance to the task before us.
All of this is to say that if you know any Cherags, call them and make sure that they are receiving this publication because it is intended for all Cherags who have ever been ordained as such. You may even know some Cherags who have dropped out of circulation and are no longer on any mailing lists. Give them the address of this publication so that they can invove themselves. It is my wish that this small work that I am doing will help to connect us all together in spirit and, I hope, inspire and lend support to each of us through our being in contact with each other. This is one reason why I hope that you will want to submit articles or ask questions or make comments to the other members of the Cherag community through this journal.
Please regard this publication as your mouth piece where you may feel free to express your thoughts, experiances, conserns and dreams which all of us, as Cherags, will no doubt be very interested to hear and consider. If there is something on your mind, you can be sure that there are other Cherags thinking about the same thing or have thoughts to share. I currently have about 400 Cherags of which about 50 are outside of the North American Continent and 80 candidates on my list which comes from the Sufi Order Secretariat in Seattle.
“When a person says to me, “I cannot work because people are not responcive,” “I cannot do anything because the weather is so bad,” or “I cannot accomplish anything because no one listens,” or “I cannot do because I cannot work outwardly,” or “I cannot do because I am not gifted, because there is opposition from my family, or from those around me, or from those hostile to the cause, those who live in my house, from my neighbors or associates,” these excuses all sum up in one thing, and that is that the person is not yet ready to do the thing. Once the desire is born in the heart, nothing in the world can stand before you. You will make a way through rocks; nothing can stand before you as a hindrance. Remember, therefore, that no excuse of any kind must disappoint you, once you heart has heard the call from within. You must go on inspite of all disturbing and opposing influences, and with faith and trust you will overcome all difficulties, and climb to the summits.”
Thank you for the Lamp of the Message. A newsletter of this caliber for Cherags(a) is long overdue... The services in the Seattle area are held every Sunday morning at 11a.m. at 7514 16th NW in Seattle. We also hold a Summer Solstice Universal Worship each year on the Sunday after the actual Solstice.
Thanks again, and may the blessings of God rest upon you!
In Service, Toward the One, Mikail Davenport
Dearest One— Hamid!
I was so greatful to learn of the welcome addition; Lamp of the Message, to the path of the Cherags...
With love and wishes for God’s Speed,
Thank you for taking on the work of this lovely newsletter. What a gift to us all! Enclosed... are the prayers in German. Zahir Roehrs (International Secretariat in Suresnes) should have them in French too. Probably he can connect you with Sourus for Dutch and Spanish.
Looking forward to the next issue!
June 20, 1994
Dear Cecil ...
Thank you for your service — it’s a nice product and very timely — continued good wishes and confidence.
In service and love,
Sept. 14, 1994
Dear Lighter of the Lamp of the Message,
I just recieved Vol.1,Issue 2 to see my name on the back cover as having no bonifide address in your records. Well, the address you sent the issue to is correct... This present issue filled a longing, and I’d appriciate the reenforcement of reading your first. I’ve been feeling rather isolated down here — after being in the large, loving and supportive Washington, D.C. Sufi Community — and realizing that the time is mine now for bringing the Message to this “far and wide” part of the South. I occasionally conduct a Universal Worship with myself in attendence. I lead a once-a-month Dances of Universal Peace at a nearby Augusta, Georgia Unitarian Church, whose — sadly for the dances — members are more prone to intelectualism than spirituality and do not attend. The one or two people who do come keep me going. There are, fortunately, many churches to attend, plus mosques, a Hindu temple and synagogues within close proximity. Also, various and assorted spiritual types involved in Universal Shaminism, Native American ritual and the healing arts among others, have asked me to share the Dances with their groups. The Unitarian Sunday School Director did have me do the Dances with the children all Spring. So, a little is evolving here and there in this Bible Belt area...
Thank you Cecil for your work.
Blessings, Nancy J. Kempf
Sept. 16, 1994
Please take my name off of your mailing list for Lamp of the Message. I did enjoy reading it but I am not a Cherag. Thanks anyway! Some unsolicited feedback on the discussion of the Divine Feminine Candle... After I got through reading how the name for this candle has not yet to be finalized, I thought, perhaps, this is an aspect of the feminine part of God. The Feminine is not traditional, it is not a solidified prescribed way. There is no major religion named after Her. She refuses to be named it seems. Could this candle, at the very least, have several acceptable names? Could Cherags pick the one that fits their attunement to the mother? All of the names suggested could be used. While I — if I were a Cherag — might be more comfortable calling this candle the Feminine Spirit candle, my fellow Cherag might be more attuned to the Tradition of Gaia or something else. Just a thought —
Sept. 19, 1994
Such a full, rich, inspiring issue (Fall,94). Thanks be to you and all of the unseen beings helping! Since you are using titles do you want a list of those who are ordained as a Siraj, as “Very Reverend”? Qahira, Prajapati, Sharif, myself, I think Atum also... What is the deadline for the next issue? I have articles brewing.
Dear Very Reverend Ms. Miller and all,
I would love to know who all of the Sirajs are and what they do, if anything, different and how we might all contact them. The main reason that I am refering to each of us as Rev. is so that we all get use to the idea and assume the role or at least develop a sense of being a Cherag. I had never really thought about the organization of the Church of All until I started doing this publication. It has been a real eye opening experience for me as I contemplate our global community and the tasks and issues before each of us and from a historical standpoint!
There are no deadlines for the on-line version of the Lamp or Heart. Please don’t wait for one. Keep those letters coming. And I hope no one minded my publishing these.
With a prayer for our mutual success,
I am sure most of us don’t have to think very hard to remember the day or the event that brought us onto the spiritual path. When we are ripe, the way opens before us. But when it opens there is usually someone there who opened the door for us and invited us in to the inner life and into the Family. Next you may have noticed that all of the sudden you could begin to see this family which is made up of those who have begun to awaken to the deeper side of life. These are people who may not normally speak of the spiritual life but once they recognize you through the exchange of a few sublte cues the way is opened between kindred souls.
As Cherags, we are and can be a door, an opening to those who are awakening to this deeper side of life through our work. We are the welcomers to those who would enter. Yet if we are not making ourselves available to the general public, we are, in effect, hiding the opening from those who are not quite sure how to enter. You may have seen Schindler’s List. If you did you will remember the very powerful scene toward the end of the movie when Schindler grieved over the fact that he could have been a lillte less selfish and saved three or ten or a hundred more Jews from the gas chambers if only he had opened his heart a little wider.
Tears came to my eyes watching this part. It made me think about our work as Cherags. Will we later regret that we didn’t work that little bit harder, lend aid to that one extra person, hold the door open for those few extras who couldn’t quite find it? There are many young people out there who need what we have to offer. How will they find us? Even if you cannot go around every week doing a Universal Worship service there are many ways that we can communicate the Message to the general public.
One idea is to make up a flyer with sayings of Murshid or readings from the scriptures and post them around town in areas where people will discover them. Put a contact number and address on it so that people can contact you if they are interested. But even if you don’t hear from anyone, you can be sure that such communications will be read and thought about. We don’t have any idea of how our work might effect people but it will have an effect if we are making an effort to communicate with the public.
Even negative responses are good. Merely thank them for their response and address their compaints from the perspective of the Message and with scriptures that they are familiar with. You will easily be able to encompass such individuals with the breadth of the perspective of the Message.
Contact the other Cherags in your area and see if there is some way to conduct a coordinated public awareness program such as ads in your local paper, etc. to let people know the what, when and where of your local services. Spreading the Message isn’t just a matter of conducting the Universal Worship service. Be creative, think of ways to further the Work by making the best of your own experience, talents and resources.