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Heart with Wings

Unity of Religious Ideals

Beloved Brothers and Sisters of the One Human Family,

The only studies which are worth accomplishing are those which lead to the realization of God, and of unity first with God and then with the self, and so with all. (Sufi Message Volume 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals, Unity and Uniformity, HIK) This site honors the wisdom of all those religious traditions that have illuminated the hearts and minds of humanity.

In loving service, Nuria & Our Workers

Saka Dawa, May 26–June 24, 2017


Saka Dawa commemorates three important occasions which happened on the full-moon day in the month of 4th Lunar Month of the Tibetan calendar.

Those three important occasion are: 
1) The Birth of Bodhisatta Siddhattha Gotama,
2) The Attainment of Perfect Enlightenment by the Buddha, and
3) The Passing Away of Perfect Maha Paranirvana of the Buddha.

The Four Immeasurables - Brahma Viharas
May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

The Buddha taught the following to his son Rahula,
"Rahula, practice loving kindness to overcome anger.
Loving kindness has the capacity to bring happiness to
others without demanding anything in return.
Practice compassion to overcome cruelty.
Compassion has the capacity to remove the suffering of
others without expecting anything in return.
Practice sympathetic joy to overcome hatred.
Sympathetic joy arises when one rejoices over the happiness
of others and wishes others well-being and success.
Practice non-attachment to overcome prejudice.
Non-attachment is the way of looking at all things openly and equally.
This is because that is.
Myself and others are not separate.
Do not reject one thing only to chase after another.
I call these the four immeasurables.
Practice them and you will become a refreshing source of
vitality and happiness for others."

It is believed according to this religious tradition that the merits
of one's spiritual practice will be multiplied 100,000 times.

OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNI SVAHA

In loving service,
Our Workers

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Sat, 03 Jun 2017 00:48:00 +0000

Ramadan 26 May through 24 June 2017

Begins July New Moon, 9th Month of the Islamic Calendar



Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and as with all months in the Islamic calendar, its start is based on the sighting of the new moon.

There are several reasons why Ramadan is considered important:
The Qur'an was first revealed during this month
The gates of Heaven are open
The gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained up in Hell.

The Qur'an revealed
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)” [al-Baqarah 2:185]

The actual night that the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad is called Lailat ul Qadr, and to stand in prayer on this one night is said to be better than a thousand months of worship.

Ramadan is often called 'month of the Qur'an' because of this, and Muslims attempt to recite as much of the Qur'an as they can during the month. Most mosques will recite one thirtieth of the Qur'an each night during the Taraweeh prayers.

No one knows on which particular night the Qur'an was first revealed, but it is said to be one of the last ten nights of Ramadan.

The gates of Heaven are open and the gates of Hell are closed
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are put in chains." (Agreed upon)

Muslims believe that their good actions bring a greater reward during this month than at any other time of year, because this month has been blessed by Allah.

They also believe that it is easier to do good in this month because the devils have been chained in Hell, and so can't tempt believers. This doesn't mean that Muslims will not behave badly, but that any evil that they do comes from within themselves, without additional encouragement from Satan.

Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan, and some will try to become better Muslims by praying more or reading the Qur'an.
Muslims believe that this is one way that the chaining up of the devils is manifested, since there is no other reason for them to do so.

Special practices
There are a number of special practices which are only done during Ramadan.

Fasting the whole month long
Although Muslims fast during other times of the year, Ramadan is the only time when fasting, or sawm, is obligatory during the entire month for every able Muslim.

Ramadan is intended to increase self-control in all areas, including food, sleeping, sex and the use of time.

Taraweeh Prayers
These are long night prayers, which are not obligatory, but highly recommended.

Mosques are filled with worshippers who go to attend these prayers, which usually last for one and a half to two hours.

These prayers also give Muslims a chance to meet at the mosque every day, and so they also help to improve relationships in the Muslim community.

I'tikaf
I'tikaf refers to going into seclusion during the last ten nights of Ramadan, in order to seek Lailat ul Qadr by praying and reading the Qur'an. Some people live in the mosque during this time for serious reflection and worship. Others spend a few hours at the mosque or home.

Ramadan Mubarak to All!

In loving service,
Our Workers

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Sat, 03 Jun 2017 00:48:00 +0000

Martyrdom Guru Arjan Dev, 16th June

Guru Arjan (1563-1606) was the fifth Sikh Guru and the 
first Sikh martyr who gave up his life for the Sikh people

The Guru laid the foundation of the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar, India. He also designed the four doors in a Gurdwara, proclaiming that "My faith is for the people of all castes and all creeds from whichever direction they come and to whichever direction they bow." He also declared that all Sikhs should donate a tenth of their earnings to charity.

The greatest contribution he made to the Sikh faith was to compile all of the past Gurus' writings into one book, now the holy scripture: the Guru Granth Sahib. It was this holy book that made him a martyr.

Guru Arjan Dev's Martyrdom
Guru Arjan Dev included the compositions of both Hindu and Muslim saints which he considered consistent with the teachings of Sikhism and the Gurus.

In 1606, the Muslim Emperor Jahangir ordered that he be tortured and sentenced to death after he refused to remove all Islamic and Hindu references from the Holy book.

He was made to sit on a burning hot sheet while boiling hot sand was poured over his burnt body. After enduring five days of unrelenting torture Guru Arjan Dev was taken for a bath in the river. As thousands watched he entered the river never to be seen again.

The way in which he died changed the course of Sikhism forever.

TEACHINGS OF GURU ARJAN DEV JI

Equality of mankind – caste system was abolished by the First Guru. The second Guru started the practice of langar where all people in a Gurudwara could assemble to meditate, irrespective of the caste, and cook, serve and eat food together. The soul of every human was considered respectable and no human being was considered inferior to another. As caste system was abolished amongst the followers of the Gurus, literacy for all was advocated.

Equality between a man and woman was practiced. Every woman was considered capable of meditation, self realization and following all religious practices. A woman could independently follow her religion and was not considered impure on any occasion as also the man. Therefore, women were prohibited from wearing a veil. Dowry was prohibited amongst the followers of the Gurus. Sati was prohibited and widow remarriage was encouraged.

Equality in work and need to work was prescribed for all followers as also sharing of their income and wealth. As dignity of labor was stressed, all walks of people gained their self-esteem and joined the new religion. The Guru himself would devote substantial time in charity and organize relief camps in famines and natural calamities. The Guru also abolished the priestly class.

Equality of and respect for all religions was emphasized. The emphasis of the Sikh philosophy was on meditation and purity of action, not on the rituals, pilgrimages and dogmas. Therefore, in the compositions that were accepted in Sri Guru Granth Sahib came from respectable saints that owed allegiance to Islam or to Hinduism. Precisely, that is why, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple was laid by a Muslim Faqir, in the presence of many established and respected Sikhs.

In loving service,
Our Workers

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Sat, 03 Jun 2017 00:47:00 +0000

St. Peter's Day, 28th June



A Few Beautiful Teachings of St. Peter

On the Subject of Love
1Th 4:9 You should love one another.
1Th 5:11 Encourage one another and help one another.
1Th 5:12 Pay proper respect to those who work among you, who guide and instruct you in the Christian life.
1Th 5:13 Treat them with the greatest respect and love because of the work they do. Be at peace among yourselves.
1Th 5:14-15 Warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but at all times make it your aim to do good to one another and to all people.
Gal 6:10 As often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.

On the Subject of Forgiveness and Being Compassionate
2Co 2:7 You should forgive him and encourage him, in order to keep him from becoming so sad as to give up completely. And so I beg you to let him know that you really do love him.

On the Subject of High Ethical and Moral Standards
1Th 4:11 Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living.
Rom 12:2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God--what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.

St. Peter is mentioned so often in the New Testament -in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Epistles of St. Paul- that we feel we know him better than any other person who figured prominently in the life of Jesus. In all, his name appears 182 times. We have no knowledge of him prior to his conversion, save that he was a Galilean fisherman, from the village of Bethsaida or Capernaum. There is some evidence for supposing that Peter's brother Andrew and possibly Peter himself were followers of John the Baptist, and were therefore prepared for the appearance of the Messiah in their midst. We picture Peter as a shrewd and simple man, of great power for good, but now and again afflicted by sudden weakness and doubt, at least at the outset of his discipleship. After the death of Jesus he manifested his primacy among the Apostles by his courage and strength. He was "the Rock" on which the Church was founded. It is perhaps Peter's capacity for growth that makes his story so inspiring to other erring humans. He reached the lowest depths on the night when he denied the Lord, then began the climb upward, to become bishop of Rome, martyr, and, finally, "keeper of the keys of Heaven."

Our first glimpse of Peter comes at the very beginning of Jesus' ministry. While He was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, casting a net into the water. When Jesus called to them, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men," they at once dropped their net to follow Him. A little later we learn that they visited the house where Peter's mother-in-law was suffering from a fever, and Jesus cured her. This was the first cure witnessed by Peter, but he was to see many miracles, for he stayed close to Jesus during the two years of His ministry. All the while he was listening, watching, questioning, learning, sometimes failing in perfect faith, but in the end full of strength and thoroughly prepared for his own years of missionary preaching.

Let us recall a few of the Biblical episodes in which Peter appears. We are told that after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus withdrew to the mountain to pray, and his disciples started to sail home across the Lake of Galilee. Suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water, and, according to the account in Matthew, Jesus told them not to be afraid. It was Peter who said, "Lord, if it is Thou, bid me come to Thee over the water." Peter set out confidently, but suddenly grew afraid and began to sink, and Jesus stretched forth His hand to save him, saying, "O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?"

Then we have Peter's dramatic confession of faith, which occurred when Jesus and his followers had reached the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus having asked the question, "Who do men say that I am?" there were various responses. Then Jesus turned to Peter and said, "But who do you say that I am?" and Peter answered firmly, "Thou art the Christ, son of the living God." (Matthew xvi, 13-18; Mark viii, 27-29; Luke ix, 18- 20) Then Jesus told him that his name would henceforth be Peter. In the Aramaic tongue which Jesus and his disciples spoke, the word was kepha, meaning rock. Jesus concluded with the prophetic words, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock shall be built My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

There seems to be no doubt that Peter was favored among the disciples. He was selected, with James and John, to accompany Jesus to the mountain, the scene of the Transfiguration, to be given a glimpse of His glory, and there heard God pronounce the words, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."

In loving service,
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Sat, 03 Jun 2017 00:47:00 +0000