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Welcome. If you are new to the Sufi practice of chilla, you may find this introduction helpful:

A Short Guide to Chilla,

 

 

OCTOBER: Pathfinding Chilla:

 

 

  1. This is a Pathfinding chilla; designed to help you look at your life path today and think deeply how you want it to be.
  2. In preparation, think about the path you are on, and reflect on whethtr yourself. Notice if you are open to fresh possibilities.
  3. As the next step in your chilla, choose and visit an art museum. Once inside allow yourself to wander intuitively rather than targeting certain exhibits or collections, especially if you are familiar with the museum.  One of the artworks holds a secret for you about your way forward. You are to find this piece of art, which you will recognize because it compels you, grabs your attention, says: ‘look at me’.
  4. Sit with the artwork for at least an hour or more, until it reveals to you the secret about your path.  You may make notes about what comes up, but allow at least 30 minutes to silently and fully receive your vision.
  5. After that, and as soon as possible, make a record of your experience.  This can include writing, drawing or whatever media allows you to express what you have experienced.
  6. Over the next three days begin to take steps in your life to follow the instructions embedded in what was revealed by the artwork.

 

References:

 

Pathfinder (Ofelas) Movie, director Nils Gaup, 1987 – released 1989

 

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking (Knopf, 2005)

 

Excerpts from the TS Eliot, ‘Four Quartets (East Coker and Little Gidding)’

 

Antonio Machado poem, Caminante No Hay Camino (Wayfarer, There Is No Path)

 

Anni Albers, Textile Artist

Currently retrospective at Tate Modern, London, 11 October 2018 to 27 January 2019

 

David Whyte, ‘Heartbreak’ in Consolations (Many Rivers Press, 2014)

 

The recording of this session
will be posted soon.

The recording of this session
can be found here.

The Sessions

A transcript of
Binah Taylor's
talk on Pathfinding
is available here

Click here to read about how some participants experienced this chilla.

A transcript of
Umtul Valeton-Kieken's
talk on Purification
is available here

The recording of this session
can be found here.

 

Sources:

Purification, Sufi Inayat khan, Volume IV

The Fruitful Darkness, Joan Halifax

Free Medicine, Pir Elias Amidon

 

 

 

NOVEMBER: Purification Chilla:

 

Purification ceremony chilla

1. Create a ceremony of Purification using the five elements to support your intent. It is not essential that you use all the five elements. It is your choice whether you do so or not.

2. I make some suggestions for possible activities with each element ( see below ) but in the end it is up to you to create the right ceremony for you and your circumstances. Be creative but purposeful. The chilla is not about doing many interesting activities but about doing what is right for you in order to be purified.

3. Remember that the power of this chilla will depend on the energy and commitment and attitude that you bring to it.

4. The ceremony can be done at any time during the day or night. It is recommended that you set aside about five hours for it, but in the end it is up to you how much time you devote to this.

The day before the ceremony

1. Consider deeply what you want to be purified from. Be specific in this.

2. Create your ceremony and write down the structure and any creative inspirations that accompany it.

3. Prepare everything that you will need for the ceremony, including poems, prayers and music.

4. Support your experience by eating lightly or even fasting. Drink plenty of water. Refrain from unnecessary talking.

The day or night of the ceremony

1. Begin by doing purification breaths.*

2. Do your ceremony.

3. Come back slowly to your normal daily life.

4. Contemplate about your experience and write about it or express it in any other way suitable to you.

Suggestions for activities

You are free to choose from the following or make up your own similar activities, based on the elements

Earth

Take a mud bath or a mudpack for the whole body.** Stay in the bath or keep the pack for as long as twenty minutes, but no longer and focus on how the power of the earth is purifying you.

Water

Take a very long shower or bath, rinsing of the earth and consciously experiencing the flow of water on your body. Focus on how the power of water is purifying you.

Fire

Make a fire or light one or more candles. Watch the flame(s).

Burn something personal and precious to you. Focus on how releasing this personal possession is a purification for you.

Air

Go outside and breathe deep, take a walk if you can. Do your breathing exercises. Focus on how the power of air is purifying you.

Ether

Pray and/or meditate on being purified and end the ceremony with a blessing or prayer.

 

* The five purification breaths of Sufi Inayat Khan

Do each section five times.

1. Element earth: breathe in through the nose and out through the nose, while being aware of the element earth and the colour yellow.

2. Element Water: breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, being aware of the element water and the colour green.

3. Element fire: breathe in through the mouth and out through the nose, being aware of the element fire and the colour red.

4. Element air: breathe in through the mouth and out through the mouth, being aware of the element air and the colour blue.

5. Element ether: breathe as it comes naturally, being aware of the element ether and the colour mauve, greyish purple.

 

* Thich Nhat Hanh, breathing exercise:
Breathing in, I calm my body and mind, Breathing out, I smile, Dwelling in the present moment. This is the only moment.

 

**About the mud bath or mudpack:

Unfortunately it is mid winter, so most of us will have to create a mud bath or mudpack for the whole body inside. You could go to a Spa, or Wellness Centre if you wish, but you can also buy all kinds of mud/clay (for instance mud from the Death Sea) for your bath or pack in health food stores or on the internet. It is advised to buy mud/clay, especially meant for this purpose, it will be clean and not block your drains. You can find recipes for mixing your mud with for instance some ground oat flakes, natural oil and for a nice scent some essential oil. For the mudpack you may need assistance to spread it all over your body, wrap yourself in a towel, sheet and/or blanket and lie down comfortably and warm.

It is advised to do the bath or pack for no longer than 20 minutes.

Sources:

Purification, Sufi Inayat khan, Volume IV

The Fruitful Darkness, Joan Halifax

Free Medicine, Pir Elias Amidon

 

 

 

 

The recording of this session
will be posted soon.