Author Archives: Neil Douglas-Klotz

Online conversation with Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri and Neil, Saturday, 16 May, 12 pm South Africa, GMT +2

We will be talking about “humanity” today–where we were, are, may be. Big subject. This will be live-streamed via YouTube, recording appearing later at the same link as below:

SATURDAY 16 MAY 2020
12:00PM, South Africa (GMT +2)

A conversation between Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri & Dr. Neil Douglas Klotz (Shaykh Saadi) on ‘Insights of Divinity Through Humanity from Sūrat an-Nās’

All times are Central African Time +2hrs GMT
Livestream: A conversation between Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri & Shaykh Saadi Dr. Neil Douglas Klotz on ‘Insights of Divinity Through Humanity’ from the Surat an-…

Beatitudes Online Retreat to Begin April 26

Beginning next Sunday 26 April, 6pm UK time, I will be offering an online, progressive retreat for 9 weeks focused around the Aramaic Beatitudes in Matthew. We will revisit the Beatitudes and their relevance to current life concerns, starting with personal healing, then expanding our focus and meditation to our communities, nature and the world. This also allows me the opportunity to update some of the teachings on the Aramaic Beatitudes since I recorded the Sounds True “Healing Breath” series nearly twenty years ago. 

Practices like the Beatitudes, which encourage both depth and connection, shared in a group over period of weeks, can have effects that go beyond our personal self. In our case, we will meet staring just after the new moon and ending on the summer solstice. Since we will be meeting during Ramadan, I may also share an occasional attunement from the Sufi tradition, as well as refer to the Aramaic Beatitudes in Luke. We will be meeting using the Zoom technology (You do not need to pay for an account; check this out at zoom.us). Each meeting will last about an hour and a half, once a week.  Recordings will be made for those who are not able to join live.

Please go to the following home page link to join the special groups.io list for the Aramaic Beatitudes retreat. This is the only way in. I ask that people who join do so for the whole series, rather than just drop in and out. Same as for an in-person retreat, really. Once we begin, the group will be locked, again for security, given various problems that Zoom has experienced recently.

https://abwoon.groups.io/g/BeatitudesSpring2020

Go to the bottom of this page and you will find a link to “Subscribe.” I will be posting all of the Zoom details for this series only through this group. This is partly for security’s sake, and partly to make sure that my Zoom account will handle all those wanting to join. I will also be posting the recordings in this group, in case you miss a meeting, as well as hosting questions and/or sharing.

A donation is requested for this series, and donations can be made via PayPal to: donations@eial.org

(Or if you don’t have a PayPal account, please use the link below this message, where you can make a donation via PayPal of any amount via credit card without an account.)

This retreat will be most helpful for those who have experienced the Aramaic work previously, either through a) an in-person retreat with me, b) going through one of the previous Sounds True recorded series or c) having minimally read The Hidden Gospel. This means that I will not be starting from basic explanations during this retreat, so that we can dive right in together.

For those who are new to the Aramaic Beatitudes in Matthew, you might wish to spend some time with the words before each session, staring with (yes) the first Beatitude for the first session. The easiest way to do this is by downloading the Prayers of the Cosmos teaching audio here.

One can also find the CD online, both here in Europe and in the USA.

If this journey works in your life just now, I hope you can join us. May all we do return to praise Reality!

Yours in peace,

Neil





Neil Douglas-Klotz

March 25, 2020

These are two selections from the meditation and teaching that I shared in the online Desert Flowers group (https://abwoon.org/desert-flowers/) on March 22, 2020.

The first is a short commentary on the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus for today (13 min):

Aramaic prayer text used by Neil in the video here.

The second is a longer healing meditation using Aramaic words of Jesus for the four elements (20 min):

To join the Desert Flowers group, please go to the following page on our site:

We are still in the middle of Christian Lent with Passover following a few weeks from now and Ramadan shortly thereafter. These are all traditionally times of going inside more, doing without, changing our behaviour to help benefit others: surrender and resurrection, freeing ourselves from inner and outer Pharaohs (self-constructed fantasies), then receiving a message from Reality that empowers our actions. It is also a time in our culture when selfless leadership distinguishes itself from the “selfie” variety, in all of our institutions. Let’s be part of the former. 

Stay well, stay safe and let your actions match the integrity of your prayer and practice.

Yours in peace,

Neil Douglas-Klotz

Donations for this work gratefully accepted via PayPal to: donations@eial.org

Desert Flowers Special Meeting on Zoom This Sunday: March 22, 5 pm UK time

Dear Friends,

Our thrice-yearly Desert Flowers online group will meet online via Zoom this Sunday, 22 March at 5 pm UK time ( for reference: 10 am North America West Coast time).

I will be sharing a few prayers and practices from the Aramaic Jesus tradition suited for these “virus times.” The group continues to meet, meditate and share over the following two weeks. The one-hour meeting will be recorded, video and audio, and links then posted to the Desert Flowers group.

If you would like to join the Desert Flowers group, please read about it and sign up via the link below:

Desert Flowers

There is no charge; donations are gratefully accepted.

Yours in peace,

Neil

Free webinar on Saturday, 25 January

I am pleased to be sharing an hour webinar online tomorrow with my esteemed mentor Shaykh Fadhalla Haeri, who has been working on a new translation of and commentary on the Qur’an, as well as new friend Issa Baba. The theme is “What does it mean to be a Sufi in the 21st century?” Sponsored by the Beyond Initiative, a project that I very much support.

Register for this webinar at this link for the Virtual event on January 25th, 2020 at 6pm GMT (remember to convert this time to your location).

This webinar will take place on Zoom, so you will need to download this free software on your computer or mobile device. The meeting code is in the poster above. I have been told that the audio at least will be recorded for accessing later.

Yours in peace,

Neil

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/vpQvceGhrT8qSkVSz_oj8uaDvmVO-ZL-nA?fbclid=IwAR1oyWsNP7BCgAWYuOhMfgjWbirAlSINGs766uhfgXkt-63tuxaMEvL7V-0

Gibran’s Little Book of Wisdom Released

Government is an agreement 
between you and me.
You and I are often wrong.

Fife, Scotland: 2 September 2019

The last of my four “little books” of Kahlil Gibran is now out, this one full of wisdom for daily life–living in community and living alone, plus Gibran’s often trenchant and humorous sayings, stories and verse on politics, religion, and economics. (My European friends will need to wait another few weeks for the release here.)

The book also contains the source of JFK’s famous “Ask not what your country can do for you…” speech, in its entirety. Here’s a short excerpt from Gibran’s article written in 1925:

When the spring sings its hymns, the dead of the winter rise, shed their shrouds, and march forward.

Come and tell me who and what you are. 

Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country? If you are the first, then you are a parasite. If the second, then you are an oasis in a desert.

Are you a merchant using the need of society for the necessities of life for your own monopoly and exorbitant profit? Or are you a sincere, hard-working and diligent person facilitating the exchange between the weaver and the farmer and charging a reasonable profit as a broker between supply and demand? If you are the first, then you are a criminal, whether you live in a palace or a prison. If you are the second, then you are a charitable person, whether you are thanked or denounced by people.

The book contains many stories, my favorite entitled here “A Voice from the Storm,” in which the narrator (Gibran?) encounters an ex-political leader now living as a hermit in the mountains, who tells him:

No, my brother, the West is not higher than the East, nor is the West lower than the East. And the difference that stands between the two is not greater than the difference between the tiger and the lion.”
“There is a just and perfect law that I have found behind the exterior of society, a law that equalizes misery, prosperity, and ignorance. It does not prefer one nation to another, nor does it oppress one tribe in order to enrich another.”

The book closes with a section entitled “Wisdom Beyond Words,” in which we hear some of Gibran’s deepest and most beautiful insights:

Let him who would have wisdom 
seek it in a buttercup or
in a pinch of red clay. 
 
I am still the singer. 
I shall sing the earth, 
and I shall sing your lost dreaming, 
which walks the day 
between sleep and sleep.

I hope you enjoy this last one. it has been an enjoyable two year’s journey for me to select and re-edit one of the best-known and yet under-valued writers of the 20th century, a refugee to America from what was then called “Syria.” Would he be welcome today?

You can order the book through the Abwoon Network site, via various online sources here.

–Neil

End of Year Greetings and News for 2019

31 December 2018

Dear Friends of Abwoon,

Greetings and blessings of Hogmanay, our end-of-the year celebration here in Scotland. While we are experiencing an unusual run of warm-ish weather (10 C, near 50F to you Americans), the early-fading winter light still draws one inside to consider the year past as well as the one ahead.

Below, I have shared a video body prayer based on the first Beatitude in Aramaic. Clearing the heart at the end of the year is a wonderful practice whether one is in the northern hemisphere or, like our Australian friends, baking in the southern heat.

Publishing News: The first two “little books” extracted, edited and, in some cases, re-translated from the works of Kahlil Gibran were released in the USA last year to a very reception, with translations in several other countries. Re-approaching Gibran as an native Middle Eastern (or West Asian) person seems to have struck a chord with many. You can find links to the “Life” (i.e., nature-based) and “Love” (relationships) books at https://abwoon.org/online-store/books/.

The third volume (Kahlil Gibran’s Little Book of Secrets)will appear in April, featuring the author’s focus on life’s puzzles and riddles—those questions that cause us to stop and ask “why?” Good and evil, life and death, justice and innocence, success and failure, as well as the inner way that attempts to bridge paradox and unite opposites. Case in point:

Knocking on the Door

It would be fruitless for the visitor

to knock on the door of the house

if there were no one inside

to hear the knocks

and open the door. 

What is a human

but a being

standing between

the infinitude of his interior

and the infinitude

of his surroundings? 

Were it not for what we have inside,

we would have nothing outside.

We can see the influence of Gibran’s early life story on his fascination with such questions. He was uprooted from his native Lebanon at the age of twelve by his mother, who brought his siblings and him to the USA in 1895. Like many migrants and refugees today, she was escaping a hopeless situation: poverty, a failed marriage, and a husband in prison for embezzling from the government. Gibran experienced a radical dislocation from his relatives and friends in the move to late 19thcentury urban Boston, a very different culture from that of his childhood. We can imagine that from an early age Gibran began to see things from two points of view—that of the native of rural Lebanon and that of the American city dweller. Seeing from two points of view at the same time, a split awareness, could only be integrated by either taking a higher view, or going crazy.

Other publishing news: The fourth Gibran book (“Wisdom”) will be released in autumn 2019 and will focus on his writings on practical wisdom for daily life, both in community and in solitude. Following up on the success of The Little Book of Sufi Stories, I am also working on a new little book of ecological wisdom due to be published in 2020.

Travels and Seminars in 2019: I will be in the USA once next year, in April for consecutive weekends in Cincinnati, Ohio (5-7 April) and Boulder, Colorado (12-14 April ). These will share some of my recent work with the ancient nomadic roots of spiritual practice and are entitled “The Beautiful Names of Life.” Following these two I will again lead an Easter Aramaic Jesus retreat at Bishop’s Ranch in Sonoma County, California (18-21 April).

Weekend retreats in Europe will continue throughout the year. A number of them (Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and England) will be in the form of Aramaic Jesus “sesshins”—alternating chant, movement and silence. As appropriate to the group, I will also be offering guidance on how people in chanting or contemplative prayer groups can add this element to their ongoing work. In Scotland(16-19 May), southern France(19-22 September) and southern Germany(17-20 October), I will be sharing versions of the “Beautiful Names of Life” retreat. Next summer, I will again be sharing the all-school class at the Ruhaniat European Summer School (29-June -6 July) in north Germany, focusing on the “beautiful names of life” as well as the Sufi and Zen flavors of the lineage I experienced with my teachers.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in the New Year…

You can find details of all these retreats at https://abwoon.org/workshops/ the website of the Abwoon Network, where you can also find links to books, audio downloads, podcasts and videos.

As our beginning of the year thank-you, Abwoon Resource Center offers you a 25% discount on all our own (i.e., self-produced)audio downloads until January 15if you use the following offer code: NEWYEAR19 (must be all CAPS).

Body Prayer: Here is the practice I promised, based on the first Beatitude in Aramaic (from the book of Matthew): Tubwayhunl’meskenaee b’rukh dilhounhie malkutha d’ashmaya.(“Tuned to the Source are those who live by breathing Unity, their ‘I can!’ is included in the universe’s own sound”).Counter-melody:Alaha Ruhau(Sacred Unity Breathes!)

I invite you to join me in my office and take a few minutes to chant and enter the silence, as we find our home in the one breath together, preparing for the new year. Even in dark times, we can breathe, find our center and then feel what is really ours to do in life.

Love and blessings to you all for a healthy and balanced New Year!

Neil