Tag Archives: Lud Dimpfl

Let’s Go Heisenberg on the Angst

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Lud Dimpfl with Filis Frederick

PR–224
An Opal to Suddenly Remember

My holy man introduced me
To a friend whose name is Equipoise

He deserves more respect:
I keep him in my pocket

A fine way to treat a friend!
Though he stays affably unflappably there

A Steinway unplayed yet
Unoffended for unattended

Equipoise and I we don’t go way back it’s
True as do I and alabaster

Turquoise moon or sapphire star
But I admire the unhand of mire

When I greet Equipoise like an old pal
An opal to suddenly remember

Who somehow also forgets
About who treats whom how

When things are scary disaster
He simply cuts through to the blue sky

Asking me why do I care?
Is the sky not still standing?

Aren’t amethysts still a pretty purple
And banded agate geodes

Aren’t they still
(As in silence)

Hollow inside
And hallowed?

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:

“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”

Gentle Readers,

Sorry Readers.

This last month has been a challenge for me. and I stubbornly refused to post this sans my uusal photo of inroduction. But incredibly I couldn’tremember my compu expert lady’s advice (but she is suddenly awol) anent that and so it’s been postponed to the point that (in my despair) I post it without the photo I would have like to post of my beloved erst Sufi preceptor, Lud Dimpfl.

I do tend to feel I should follow the usual basic format of this blog which then involves starting with a poem that epitomizes my point du jour.  But as you will see (see below) todays

Points are varied.

So I  will choose a poem about attitude since that was the most important advice of my erst sufi preceptor Lud Dimpfl. He was always talking about attitude. So above is my favorite of my attitude poems.

Well this post is past due and would be even paster due if I as usual kind of started from scratch. So THIS TIME I am taking this opportunity to remind readers that there is much MORE TO THIS WEBSITE THAN MY (SORT OF) M0NTHLY BLOG POSTS.  In terms of poems, quotes, and Sufi stories. So here are some select items:

My poem section if you click on it shows headings like these:

Angels

That Ironic Stem of Light

I have never liked the phrase
The better angels of our nature and now
I find it was coined by Abraham Lincoln

(Who suspended habeus corpus–
So stuff gets complicated one could argue)

But still it connotes there might be some
Rotten angels in the barrel . . .
Though come to think of it the name Lucifer

Has that ironic stem of light
And then also of course you have Lucy

With her famous football ploy—
Like I say
Things are complicated . . .

Angst

“You can dissect a joke just as you can a frog.
But it tends to die on you.”
–E. B. White

An angst observed
Would make a good poem title
Because that would be a constructive thing:

Dissect the crap out of it so it will die
So here’s this:
Let’s go Heisenberg on the angst

Like just now for example
I had a little internal pique brewing
When something was mildly disappointing

Like I was shaking the ketchup bottle
And so I braced myself determined
To give it the front of my hand and when

Whack one hit the jackpot . . .
My angst was palpably disappointed
(Probably because it had wanted to whine some more)

Faith

Quizzical Eyes, Inquiring As to Your Faith

Life is like a cat sometimes
In your lap perhaps spurred on or purred out
She jumps off preferring the couch

And with muzzle-snide paw-licking slaps
Asides that seem such a cruel
And pale wraith of former moments

With cat larynx spherical music
Which champagne had gone
To your head but then you wake

And she’s in your lap again
With quizzical eyes
Inquiring as to your faith

Quizzical Eyes, Inquiring As to Your Faith

ATTITUDE

Wondering Now About Divine Communication

(To Lud)*“The one whom I have called God, whose personality I haverecognized, and whose pleasure or displeasure I have sought, hasbeen seeing His life through my eyes, has been hearing throughmy ears. It was His breath that came through my breathing . . . “
         –Hazrat Inayat Khan  (The Personality of God)

 
When I was a Sufi and I needed
To call my preceptor for advice
Even though he was at his work
He would sound like an excited child
At the prospect of an Eric interaction

One wonders about if God hears prayers
The same way as Lud (rhymes with blood)
Did my need for advice
And as for the advice
(Wondering now about divine communication)

It didn’t come in words
Even with Lud
His attitude was all I needed
And God Lud said is all about attitude:
The beatitude of love
 

COURAGE

Courage Is a Thing to Look Beyond

“Be valiant, and powerful forces will come to your aid.”
–Goethe

Courage is a thing to look beyond:
I think it’s just a bent grass blade
For Aragorn* to track
But Aragorn can do that

And he isn’t even God not yet
Yes things aren’t what they seem
And my probably Midas hunch
(Or call it an angel in a dream)

Is that just beyond certain thresholds
Which divide this world
From the next most real one
Is a diaphanous (light-porous) screen

And on the other side this courage
Is something else:
A sweet smile perhaps
The smell of a rose . . .

*A hero of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

Bumper Stickers:


It’s Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood


Don’t Believe Everything You Think


The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves


Let Go Let God

Other Quotes

“I cut it and cut it and it’s still too short.”
–Old Carpenter Joke

“My friends tell me I’m asking for a lot. Are you a lot?”
–A line in a personals ad

“You don’t paint objects, you paint the way the light strikes them. Paint the light.”
–Bertram Abramson

“A thing can be explained only by what is more subtle than itself: there is nothing subtler than love; by what then, shall love be explained?”
–Abu ‘L–Hasan Sumnun (As related in Al-Hujwiri’s Kasfh Al-Mahjub –The Revelation of the Mystery–Circa 1100 A.D.)

STORIES:

Related by Joseph Campbell

      “There is a charming story told of the great nineteenth century Indian saint Ramakrishna. A lady came to him in some distress because she realized that she did not actually love and truly worship God. ‘Is there, then, nothing you love?’ He asked her; and when she replied that she loved her baby nephew, ‘There,’ said he, ‘there is your Krishna, your Beloved. In your service to him, you are serving God.’ ”

(from Myths to Live By)

Stories Related by Murshida Ivy Duce of Sufism Reoriented

      A story Murshida Ivy Duce used to tell about Meherjee, one of the  mandali of  Indian (Parsi) mystic, Meher Baba. She had always an odd feeling that there was some wonderful thing of peace about him but she couldn’t put her finger on it and then one day she said, “I have it!  He never worries!”

And when she confronted Meherjee about that worrying thing, he said, “Of course not! The master forbids it!”

 At sea amid a violent storm which threatened to capsize the ship, a woman asks the captain what is to be their fate.
He replies, “Can’t say, Ma’am.  It’s in the hands of God!”
To which she replied, “Oh! It’s as bad as that?”

Story Related by Hazrat Inayat Khan

      The Prophet (Mohammed) and his companion Siddiq were hiding behind a rock when a troop of men were following to attack them and when the noise of the hoofs of horses came to their ears, Siddiq said, “Hark they are coming!”

 “Why fear?” said the Prophet.

“They are very near!”

 “What matter?” said the Prophet.

 Siddiq said, “They are many and we are only two.”

 “No”, said the Prophet,“We are three: you and I and God.”

God be with you,

Eric Halliwell

*My old and yet beloved Sufi preceptor, Lud Dimpfl.

What They Do to 33 Year Old Carpenters

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Meher Baba and “ThreeB” (for Baba’s Beautiful Baby) AKA Diane Cobb

PR3–131
Fair Is Fairest of Them All

In Sufism atheism doesn’t make sense
Unless our atheist has first tried God
(Tried the Sufi God)
Because fair is fairest of them all:

How can you judge a God you have denied
Before you even tried?
And here’s atheists thinking small thinking
They’ve got me in a cul de sac of argument

(No escape):
They say with their clever entrapment smile
“Which God?”
And so I say to that well deny this:

The God that would be beautiful to you
Try to talk to that God
(In the walk-in closet of your heart)
Because in Sufism one picks one’s God

One chooses a God from the heart
A God specially designed closer than antibodies fit
With their locking ports which admit no strangers
Even my atheist friend

Said she wished she could believe
These reassuring fairy tales
But she never tried to talk to God
Not even the version of Whom

She’d have liked to believe in
Not even to present her terms of belief
She might be surprised
It worked for me because

God made me a counter offer
I couldn’t defuse:
I was kissed (on the lips)
By a lunar eclipse

Gentle Readers,
As I have frequently mentioned, I was an official member of a Sufi order. (Read sanctioned by Hazrat Inayat Khan, the founder of Sufism in the western world–circa 1920)

But maybe some have wondered why just the seven years? (1972 thru 1979).
What happened?
Once in a post seven years ago I confessed it all. And I have a hunch my current followers don’t go back that far, or if they do, they have either forgotten it or (for their long memory) are obviously devoted fans who will forgive the occasional throwback.

So this is a reprise of my post seven years ago, talking about how I got ignominiously dismissed from the Sufi order in 1979:

Gentle Readers,

(Sorry to be so late with this post. WordPress changed how they do things and I only just learned how)

Since last week, I’ve found some Lud* photos to illustrate this. Last week, I featured a photo of Lud’s daughter “Three B” (after Baba’s Beautiful Baby,” a name Meher Baba gave her, which stuck, for obvious reasons) In the photo one could see she was radiantly happy to be with Meher Baba.

I have already posted chronicling how Lud had been so sweet to me when I was dismissed from the Sufi order by Murshida Duce. How he rushed to see me and though I could not believe my ears, to apologize to me, for having suggested I write the letter I did to Murshida. And it was also sweet to thereby know that if it had been up to Lud that never would have happened, and obviously so, since the letter I’d sent Murshida contained nothing I’d not already told Lud, and which had elicited from him nothing but his saying how impressed he was with my honesty. And, of course, stressing the need for a plan to address the issues.

I had been worried, of course, so I had called Lud before I sent the letter off to Murshida. (I think I’ve already told of Murshida’s “Christmas Present” that year. Of how we should each send her a letter saying if we were happy as Sufi’s, functioning well under the requirements, or were having problems, even to the point of not wishing to continue, thus offering what I would have called an honorable discharge).

And Lud said not to worry so it was an honest letter. But afterwards Lud said, it was indeed, too honest. He said, (by way of explaining that he’d never told Murshida about my issues), “I saw you had a good heart, and so I just assumed it all would work out.”

Who knows the value of having someone like Lud say that. Perhaps it was just for that, that I was a Sufi.

I don’t know how many of my gentle readers have ever been thrown out of a group like the Sufis. I remember Murshida saying she’d been asked if Sufis should shun ex-Sufis who’ve been dismissed from the order. She said that would be a horrible thing, since that’s when they needed friends the most. Of course, Murshida saying that, and it being taken to heart, well, while I did have pretty good luck with my close friends, and my wife, Sally, I certainly saw much evidence of being shunned.

And there were others not so close, who proved my friend then, as well. And if any are reading this you know who you are and please know too you have an honored place in my heart.

It’s so much easier to suffer judgment when the judgment isn’t shared by your friends, and even some objective observers. But, and I cannot emphasize this too much, the real psyche-saver in this was Lud.

As for the judgment police, I don’t judge anyone for judging. It’s not the worst sin I have forgiven. (Or committed) And fairness demands no double standards. And as I used to tell my first grade students, “I am the fairest of them all.”

But I cannot over-emphasize my intense gratitude for Lud sparing me that horrible feeling of judgment and then, ostracism.

Because (and here’s a confession) it was Lud I loved. Though Murshida too, in a way powerful enough to make me burst into uncontrollable tears at her funeral. But honesty bids me also say, that sure had come as a surprise to me.

The summer before that fateful Christmas, it was my thirty-third birthday. And little did I know then the foreshadowing it was when, the night of my birthday my mother woke me up in the wee hours, drunkenly phoning to say, “Happy Birthday! Just had to remind you what they do to thirty three year old carpenters.”**

Sure enough, six months later, I felt crucified all right. Talk about synchronicity . . .

When Lud was dying, a few years later, we started writing to each other; I offered to get a marrow transplant if it would help with his bone cancer. But he said it wasn’t that type of thing. I wish though I’d have had a first hand way to judge how much better it is to actually make a sacrifice for someone you love (this transplant is a painful process for the donor) than it is just to know that you would.


And I loved him. I still do, wherever he is now. I will always cherish my last memory of him after I’d been dismissed, with us saying goodbye hugging and both of us crying and me apologizing for not having been a better mureed, and him, incredibly, for not having been a better preceptor. You see, to Lud the hardest thing in the world would have been to be denied the Sufi order. And so he felt bad on my behalf, that that had befallen me.

But if any of my readers knew Lud, and would like to share their stories, I’d love to post them in a blog post. Not to worry if they are short bits. I have some short bits myself that I haven’t gotten to, as it wasn’t enough to develop into a theme for a post. But if we all got together we could maybe do a charm bracelet thing, with a succession of freestanding anecdotes, quotes, or what have you. But about Lud somehow. Sort of like make up for that ill-fated birthday scrapbook. (To read about that, see December 23 post, “The Kind of Tears You Get From Laughing Too Much.” See https://rumi-nations.com/2013/12/23/the-kind-of-tears-you-get-from-laughing-too-much/)
God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

*Lud Dimpfl, my adored Sufi preceptor (assistant Murshid, or head guru)

**33 year old carpenters is of course a reference to Jesus’ age when crucified

The Mind Can Be Hard To Like

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Lud Dimpfl’s Sufi Mureeds (Initiated 1973)

A Diligent Student of Entertainment

It is said that I’m lazy
(I even say it)

But that’s not a fatal flaw
Not when so much of enlightenment

So much of the spiritual path
Is like a ride at Disneyland

Okay yes
I’m a diligent student of entertainment:

Of the cheap thrills of discovering
That the dark side of the moon

Is still the same potent symbol for love
(Aka beauty)

~.~.~

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”

~.~.~

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”

~.~.~

Gentle Readers,
First, about the photo above of my Sufi class, I am the dark guy in the back row just in front of the left (white) door jamb. The framed saying on the wall above says, “God forbid that we should ever have to bear all that we are capable of bearing.”
–Old Jewish proverb

In case any newcomers have wandered in, this is a metaphysical blog, heavily influenced by my personal experiences with Sufism (a branch of mysticism). And my Sufi exposure started from membership in a Sufi group in San Francisco (Sufism Reoriented, 1972-79) originally founded by Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927)*

You must know that each day I receive a set of quotations from Hazrat Inayat Khan (You can too**).

Which often gives me ideas for new blog posts. As in today’s daily excerpt of Inayat Khan quotes:

“By a study of life the Sufi learns and practices the nature of its harmony. He establishes harmony with the self, with others, with the universe and with the infinite. He identifies himself with another, he sees himself, so to speak, in every other being. He cares for neither blame nor praise, considering both as coming from himself. If a person were to drop a heavy weight and in so doing hurt his own foot, he would not blame his hand for having dropped it, realizing himself in both the hand and the foot. In like manner the Sufi is tolerant when harmed by another, thinking that the harm has come from himself alone. … He overlooks the faults of others, considering that they know no better. He hides the faults of others, and suppresses any facts that would cause disharmony. His constant fight is with the Nafs (the self-centered ego), the root of all disharmony and the only enemy of man.”

But this raises an interesting question. “Suppress facts?” Isn’t that a slippery slope? Or if harmony-seeking is your North Star, maybe it cuts through all the exception objections. The mind as we know, is always clever both at interpreting stuff in ways to undercut any attempt to bring it under control, and as well is clever at covering its tracks, when wreaking its will*** (e. g. like as not in this case, denouncing the repression of facts as an unscientific and dishonest practice. And next thing you know, calling the heart a hypocrite).

Which is a good reason for trusting more ones intuition than one’s reasoning faculties, which can be misled. But intuition . . . what a useful thing! Of course you must pardon me here; I am biased toward art forms. Who knows? Maybe that’s why I gravitated to this branch of Sufism. ****

God Be With You,
Eric Halliwell

PS—this blog was started in 2013, and so there is a vast accumulation of blog posts, which I imagine my current followers by and large either haven’t seen or have forgotten. And this sort of thing (these themes) is inherently timeless. And so I have decided to occasionally reprise a former blog post. One which I consider among my “greatest hits.” (forgive my effrontery)

Full Disclosure: I likely will rewrite them. Asi es la vida.

* (for more on Inayat Khan see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inayat_Khan

**see this url: https://wahiduddin.net/saki/saki_new.php

***Just to give an example from my own experience. You must know we mureeds (student Sufis) were given homework. We had to meditate 15 minutes every day, stipulating it was a spiritual theme connected to our raison d’etre. Now I have to hand it to my ego how cleverly it would derail my fifteen minute meditation. Clever because to have interjected some low desire or delicious bit of sarcasm about someone I didn’t like, etc. would have appalled me, a sincere student. But my ego would derail the spiritual theme with some really useful train of thought like a great invention for quickly making large quantities of homemade yogurt. (I did you know. I could go into business and make a bundle if I A. weren’t too lazy and B wasn’t busy with this blog, etc.) You know, really useful and “innocent” stuff. But it was like a sacrifice fly in the ointment of my meditation attempts. As another for instance, maybe I would get an epiphany about a solution to a problem I had been pondering, e. g. how to keep my melons from rotting on the ground. (Put them on a matt of straw!) Yes it’s worldly not spiritual (though I could argue that everything is spiritual at least in that the long way around proves the shortest way home. Hence reincarnation. But I digress.

Of course that was at least through a useful (but note, unspiritual) distraction, though worldly. But worldly was preferable to this bit of less subtle chicanery my mind pulled. Yes, I do remember an intransigent and domineering ego like when I was supposed to be imagining my breath as a swing back and forth. Well perversely my mind wouldn’t play along. Either it would do it out of rhythm like such as would cause hyperventilation, or more memorably, just bring the swing to a sudden halt. (The mind can be hard to like)

****My branch of Sufism was founded by Moinuddin Chishti , (1142–1236).and is one of four main branches of Sufism. I confess I can’t remember the other three. Perhaps becaused I am a Chisti chauvinist. Being an art lover will do that to you, because a distinguishing feature of the Chisti branch is it brought the arts into the service of (Dre I cll it god? Some fine people I have noticed aare pit off by the term. My belief is it’s due to the hypocrites who have taken over the main religions and who presume to speak for God. But it’s not a problem if you just cling to what doesn’t hurt the heart. It cuts through a lot of Gordian knots, and is reminiscent of when Jesus said, “By their fruits shall ye know them.”