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This morning, I had an enigmatic message in my Outlook mailbox.
“Please do contact me, we need to discuss about Al-Mughni”
I figured it came via my website. As I sent it to junk mail and blocked the sender, I wondered who is Al-Mughni? Perhaps it is an alias for the poor Nigerian who is stranded at an airport and desperately needs funds deposited into their account?
As it turns out, Al-Mughni is one of the 99 names of Allah. This is how it is pronounced in a very beautiful and lyrical chant.
When I googled Al-Mughni, I came across this interesting website – Wahiduddin’s Web. The chap who writes it is Richard Shelquist, a Renaissance man who in the course of his spiritual explorations came across Sufiism, the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. It’s a pretty interesting site, worth a delve into.
Al-Mughni is The Enricher, The Bestower of Wealth, The Fulfiller of Needs.
On the website, I came across ‘Sufi Wazîfa practice’. The Arabic word wazîfa literally means assignment, duty or daily ration and is commonly used to describe a Sufi practice of focusing the attention, by means of recitation or meditation, on a particular Divine Quality in order to allow that quality to be expressed more openly and more powerfully in one’s day-to-day life.
…if a peaceful person comes into the room, someone might say, “It’s wonderful to see a peaceful person.” The dervish, however, would say instead, “Isn’t it wonderful to see Divine Peace coming through this person?” What they mean by this is that the human personality has the potential to become the vehicle of the Universe’s archetypes. This is the intention behind the practice of wazâ’if… to connect a specific quality in oneself to its source…
Awakening, by Pir Vilayat Khan
The goal of wazîfa practice is to develop an intimate connection to these Divine Qualities and allow the Qualities to be reflected openly and freely in our lives. A common wazîfa practice is, for example, to use the Beautiful Names as part of a daily spiritual practice by choosing a couple of the Divine Qualities which seem to be lacking or out of balance in one’s life, and reciting each of the chosen qualities while deeply and powerfully imagining and feeling the successful expression of those Divine Qualities in one’s own life experience.
Reciting and meditating upon the Beautiful Names (Asmâ’ ul-Husnâ) of Allâh can be a very powerful and productive practice. Apparently, one who recites this name, Al-Mughni (The Enricher), 10 times for 10 Fridays will become self-sufficient.
I found this beautiful painting of Al-Mughni by Hafeez Shaikh on his website.
It was also interesting for me to encounter Islam in this fashion, beginning with a spam email, then via the Sufis and beautiful artwork. I don’t know much about Islam, but I do really love the mystic, inner depths expressed in the writings of Rumi. His spirituality enters the realm which transcends religion and much of his work is dedicated to waking people up, and encouraging them to experience life themselves, rather blindly following the scholars of the day.
“A wealth you cannot imagine
flows through you.
Do not consider what strangers say.
Be secluded in your secret heart-house,
that bowl of silence.”
For of course, true wealth is found within.
I worked some more on Clan House. This is the first drawing that I didn’t finish in class. I want to have more control over the parts I erase so I bought a couple of fine edged rubbers to add to my batterie de atelier.
A tricky new thing that I am finding out about drawing, in addition to How to Draw, is ‘how do I know when I’m finished’? I can figure that out pretty easily with an art quilt, a poem or haiku, a photograph, a video or clay sculpture. With drawing, I am still finding my way to the end.
With Clan House, the finish came when the night woods couldn’t look any more like night woods and a chink of light shone through the doorway
and when I had refined the shapes of the totem animal ghosts, handprints & the spirit guide.
When the Muscogee meet a stranger, they ask, “Naginseemaleghee dadee?“ [This means "Who do you cling to?"] While families include people who are directly related to each other, clans are composed of all people who are descendants of the same ancestral clan grouping. Like many Native American nations, the Muscogee Creek are matrilineal; each person belongs to the clan of his or her mother, who belongs to the clan of her mother. Clan members do not claim “blood relation” but consider each other as family due to their membership in the same clan.
In my journey through the woods, along the river and back into the past, to my Muscogee roots, I ask myself and those I meet, “Who do I cling to?”
Perhaps this member of the Bird clan knows the answer.
Last week I took some keys to my drawing class. A person should always have at least one key on their journey. You never know when you will encounter a door, just the very door that you need to enter. Unless you have the correct key, or word, you will not get through.
I found these lovely French keys at the Totnes Market, three for a fiver. They are not merely stamped from metal, but have been crafted and have the hand of the maker on them. They feel very good to hold.
When I drew them I really noticed all of the detail. The bows (top part with a hole) are beveled and the shafts are ridged with rings.
The bit (part that goes inside the keyhole) on this one has a doorway in it.
Next, I drew just the bit. It looked very stark on the paper at first. It had to become a house in the winter woods with a chimney and clan animals on the outside.
I wonder what or whom I’ll find inside?
Imagine a Woman
Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.
Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.
A woman who listens to her needs and desires.
Who meets them with tenderness and grace.
Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past’s influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.
Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.
Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.
Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.
Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.
Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body.
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.
Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.
Imagine yourself as this woman.
© Patricia Lynn Reilly, 1995
This weekend we threw open our doors and windows and invited guests into our penthouse home and studio for Devon Open Studios, 2012 which runs from the 8th to the 23rd of September.
It’s great fun. I love meeting people and talking with them about my artwork, their artwork, creativity, technique, risk-taking, artists and places which inspire us. In short, everything. This is my 3rd Open Studio at 20 Court Street. It’s a great way for me to show my artwork. We love having people over and I feel very confident and comfortable because I’m at Home with what I make. At other times when I’m ‘out in the world’ with my artwork, at a gallery, show or fair I take the confidence which began with my Open Studio experiences with me.
Visitors first arrive in our foyer hung with some of my earliest art quilts and my first experiments with hand stitch.
When I greet people, I offer a guided tour or to let people wander on their own. All of my work has a story associated with the making of it. We’ve put short descriptions up next to each piece and I’ve put a book next to a couple of my art quilts for people who may want to learn more.
I love the hanging rails and multi-directional light fixtures which allow me to quickly style the gallery spaces in the hallway and the foyer.
I’m normally in the north wing where my studio is and Steve floats between the living room and kitchen, where we serve tea, coffee and homemade cake.
We have artwork in every room in our home. People are very respectful of our space and wait to be asked over the thresholds of my studio and our bedroom.
I love to tell the story of our wedding quilt ‘Cleaved’, illustrated with the actual pieces of river-gathered slate, our wedding invitation and a ‘just married’ photograph from our wedding day.
I also have a few retail opportunities. As Steve said to one of our visitors, “This is what our home normally looks like, but with price tags.’
Pop-up business cards: just pull the tab and your card will magically appear!
Beside my art quilts, I’m showing some smaller works with my photographs printed or composed onto silk or cotton sheer fabric.
I’m usually up to some sort of work in my studio in between visitors
and take every opportunity to show off my new lamp to people!
We’ve set ‘Enter the Forest of Dreams’ up in our living room.
Steve usually shows the bed. I’ve been so involved in the construction and making of it over the past thirteen years and nine months that I’m still getting used to it as a finished piece. Whereas Steve, who is a natural-born writer and story-teller can weave a tale about the bed from its inception in 1999 through today. So I usually perch somewhere on the edge of the room and listen and watch.
We’ve put my templates for the valance on the wall near the bed.
And when there are a few people gathered round, we will remove the bed quilt and mattress and show people the knight and his lady who rest beneath the forest floor and the river of dreams.
So it has been a great start to this round of Open Studios. A couple of people asked me if it has been a ‘success’. I’m not quite sure where they’re coming from, but my definition of a successful Open Studio is setting a good vibe, meeting some amazing new people, spending time with familiar friends over the kitchen table and knowing that many of my visitors leave with a full heart.
Oh yeah, I’ve finished my Inner Critic and have been introducing it to people and letting then know about my ‘Stuff Your Inner Critic‘ workshops on the 15th and 22nd of September.
I’m open for the next two weekends – details here.
“I have no cats, perhaps because I am one,
tiptoeing gingerly through life
or gathering myself into a glossy ball
of indifference and self-sufficiency.”
– Edmund White