Dear Yogis,

MONDAY 6.30 HYPERMOBILITY.  This looks like an ongoing series, this evening “the micro-cosmic orbit”
TUESDAY 7.30 THE LIFE OF RUMI.  A long awaited lecture series about this inspiring poet.
I will be sending out the ID’s if you want to join and are not on the list, let me know.  Payment is via the homepage PAYPAL button. and click on PAYPAL.  Simple.

Another weekend in paradise.  I have to remind you of this,  as we live on a blessed island, a place of peace and safety in a less than safe world.

The cat is out of the bag, the genie is out of the bottle – another way of saying that covid will now always be with us, we have to boost our immune systems to deal with this new virus.  It is a living thing (so as Buddhist we should refrain from killing it), an opportunist, and it will not attack us if our immune system is sufficiently robust to deal with it.  As I write this WA is once again in lockdown,  a worker at a quarantine hotel in Melbourne has tested weak positive, and fragments of virus have been found in water storages in Gisborne and Castlemaine (not far from Woodend where I live).  Happy days!


While all this has been happening happy husbands have been building studios for their wives.  Maybe too many folk cloistered in the house for long periods of time has prompted this, but whatever it is I think it is a good thing for everyone.  Especially for the wife!  She gets a special “room of her own” to escape to.  Most families would think the kitchen is a woman’s “room of her own” but with the rise of cooking shows, and husbands/sons who want to cook, the kitchen is not the escape it used to be.  Maybe in future men will build “cooking studios” for themselves or properly outfit the men’s shed to cope.  It occurs to me this could be the first step in a different type of family, where husbands and wives live in separate lodges, and come together when the opportunity provides.  It is not unknown in other cultures and in some cases in our communities would provide “peace in our time!”


“Knowledge and wisdom are the lost properties of the believer.  We should not be ashamed to acknowledge the truth from whatever source it comes to us, even if brought to us by former generations and foreign people.  For him who seeks the truth there is nothing higher than truth itself”. Thus wrote al-Kindi (801-66) the thinker with whom the history of Islam begins.

The first commandment of the Qur’an for Muslim civilisation was: “READ!”  The archangel Gabriel conveyed the order from God to the Prophet Mohamed to “read in the name of your Lord….” Reading, reflecting and writing were central to early Islam.  The Upanishads are also held in high esteem in Muslim countries as we do here.  If you want to know more about these texts come to our Gita Classes on a Sunday morning.

Today across the globe and thanks to the internet age,  book reading is become a lost art.  An  Arab Individual reads on average a quarter of a page per year,  compared with eleven books by an American person, five by a British person and between 11 and 15 for the average Australian.   In European countries 21 out of 100 people read books regularly.

It is said that “Poetry is the record of the Arabs” and the number of people of every nation who recognise the names (and poetry) of Rumi, Khayyam and Gibran attest to this.  In the Arab world there are poetry reciting competitions on Friday nite television which attract audiences of over 70 million, rivalling The American Idol or The X Factor in the West.  Winners of the “Sha’ir al-Milyoon” (Millionaire Poet) show receive prizes up to 1.3 million dollars – more than the Nobel Prize in Literature.

‘My heart has become capable of all forms:
a prairie for gazelles, a convent for monks, a temple for idols, a Ka’bah for the pilgrim,
the tablets of the Torah, the Book of Qur’an.
I profess the religion of love, and regardless of which direction
its steed may lead, Love is my religion and faith.” (Ibn Arabi)

It is significant today that Ibn Arabi’s books, written over 700 years ago are banned in Salafi controlled Saudi Arabia.  Combined with Rumi’s love of God, Ibn Arabis powerful, scripturally sound interpretation of the meaning of God helps modern Muslims (and “readers” across the globe) come to term with the contemporary world, and lead lives of greater harmony.