Monthly Archives: July 2008

Oregon Consumer/ Survivor Coalition & stuff

Oregon Consumer Survivor Coalition delegation meets with Oregon’s

by Rebecca Eichhorn

In June 2008, representatives from the Oregon Consumer Survivor
Coalition (OCSC), Mental Health America, and several individual
consumers were invited to meet with Governor Ted Kulongoski. The
purpose of this historic meeting was to brief the Governor on matters
concerning mental health and consumer affairs in Oregon.

The hour long conversation offered an opportunity to familiarize the
governor with issues facing consumers and the public mental health

Some of the topic discussed at the meeting included:

** The history of the consumer movement

** the concept of “recovery”

** consumer/survivors as partners in treatment

** peer support services, and

** the need for a continuum of mental health services.

The Governor set the agenda and led the conversation asking questions
and indicating genuine interest in each topic discussed. There was
not enough time to cover the Governor’s entire agenda. However, the
topics that were discussed seemed well received and layed the
foundation for a future meeting and continued dialogue with the
Governor regarding consumer voice and issues facing the mental health

Rebecca Eichhorn, MS
OCSC Board Member
Consumer Affairs Specialist
Consumer Care Partnerships

New York Times covers Mad Pride!

Protests against forced electroshock-

From MindFreedom news-

(lazy blogger)

May 2008 Protests of Electroshock

by David W. Oaks last modified 2008-05-15 15:00

Electroshock — also known as electroconvulsive therapy — was protested by MindFreedom members in Cork, Ireland; Ottawa, Canada; Montreal, Canada. Here are brief reports from each.

May 2008 Protests of Electroshock

MindFreedom Ireland in Cork, Ireland on 3 May 2008 protesting electroshock.

BELOW are reports from three May 2008 electroshock protests: Cork, Ireland (photo in upper right); Ottawa, Canada; Montreal, Canada.

The reports were compiled by Sue Clark, who is chair of the MindFreedom ZAPBACK Committee to end electroshock.

Update: A photo is now on this web page for each of the three protests.

MindFreedom Lane County will also include protest of electroshock in their 17 May 2008 skit protest The Normathon.

The reports begin with Ottawa, followed by a brief report from Montreal, and then from Cork, Ireland.

May 2008 Electroshock Protests

Photo of protest in Ottawa, Canada on 11 May 2008 of electroshockOttawa protests electroshock on 11 May 2008

[Photo on right, more photos click here.]

by Sue Clark

Hello everyone:

Here are two articles re the ECT protest yesterday in Ottawa. The first one is from the CBC national news. There was a radio show yesterday on CBC radio at 7:30 p.m. I was told and there was a whole show on ECT. I will try to get the transcript. The first article from the CBC they put in Dr. Peter Breggin’s’ name wrong, and put in “Paul Breggin”.

The second article from said in the article “patients” I have free of psychiatry since 1990 and have not been a patient since then.

The ECT protest was also covered by CFRA radio, CJOH TV news in Ottawa, and A channel News in Ottawa. The CBC had a whole story on ECT on CBC radio on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and I did not hear the show. If anyone did, please let me know.

We will be holding the ECT protest every year on Mother’s Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Thank to all who participated in this ECT protest in Ottawa: Steven Wittenberg, my husband, Don Weitz, Graeme Bacque, Jane Scharf, Marco, Phillip and Jen, Cristian and Francois, Elisabeth Ziegeler and Jay, Debbie and Jennifer, Michael, Barbara Mainguy, Karen Dawe, and to the others who were there and to all the people who sent statements and encouragement to to the event: Mary Maddock from Mindfreedom Ireland, Helene Grandbois from Montreal, Dr. Bonnie Burstow from Toronto, Leonard Roy Frank from San Francisco, and Dr. John Breeding from Texas, and to David Oaks and his staff for their support and encouragement.

I will be on a radio show today on CHRY radio 105.5 at 5:30 p.m. which is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
talking about the ECT protest yesterday and other antipsychiatry issues.


Sue Clark-Wittenberg
MFI committee on ECT & Human Rights
Ottawa (613) 721-1833


Despite criticism, electroshock therapy commonly used in depression Last Updated: Monday, May 12, 2008 | 12:22 PM ET CBC News<;

(you can make comments at this link) – Sue

Despite protests calling for a ban on the treatment, electroshock therapy is frequently used by Canadian psychiatrists to treat severe depression.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) estimates that last year, the procedure, which dates back to 1938 and involves passing electrical currents though the brain to trigger seizures, was used more than 15,000 times in the country.

The figure has remained virtually unchanged since 2002, CIHI says, showing that the popularity of the procedure remains strong.

A report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last week shows the procedure is commonly used to treat drug-resistant depression in seniors.

However, critics of the procedure believe its usage should be stopped, and it is a painful procedure that leads to brain damage.

On Sunday, about a dozen protesters rallied in Ottawa, calling for a ban of the procedure.

Protest organizer Sue Clark-Wittenberg had electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) 35 years ago, and says it has kept her from getting an education and a good job.

“The bottom line is electroshock always damages the brain. Electroshock always causes memory loss,” she says.
ECT survives calls for ban

Dr. Nizar Ladha, a psychiatrist based in St. John’s, has been using ECT for three decades. He says the procedure does induce seizures, but they’re not painful and don’t cause convulsions.

“As an effective and lifesaving treatment, it rates right up there with the discovery of penicillin,” he told CBC News.

Ladha says he has seen ECT help fight depression and prevent many suicides.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association argues that ECT is safe and effective, though the Canadian Medical Association says it can cause memory loss.

But Dr. Paul Breggin, a New York-based psychiatrist, is in a minority of psychiatrists who says the procedure should be banned.

“We’re treating human beings as if they are a very crude machine which can be battered back into shape.”

Still, Dr. David Goldbloom, a psychiatrist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, predicts it will become even more popular, having survived numerous calls to ban it and two provincial inquiries.

“Each time the conclusion is the same — that the balance of evidence supports retaining this to try to help people with depression.”


Shock therapy ‘barbaric, inhumane,’ say protesters

Updated: Sun May. 11 2008 18:29:27<;

Past patients of electroshock therapy took to Parliament Hill today, requesting a ban on what they say is torture.

“Stop electroshock before it stops you,” chanted Sue Clark Wittenberg, a former electroshock therapy patient and vocal opponent to the practise.

Also known as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the American Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Psychiatric Association have deemed ECT to be safe and not cause brain damage.

The protesters claimed ECT is barbaric and inhumane.

Wittenberg said she was subjected to ECT 25 years ago. Now, she claims she suffers from memory loss and difficulty learning. Wittenberg and other patients want the Canadian Government to ban what is considered a therapeutic practice.

“The Canadian Psychiatric Association says on their website that electroshock therapy is safe. That is not true, look at me,” Wittenberg said.

Wittenberg claims 14,000 people in Ontario are subjected to electroshock therapy every year.

According to the Canadian Psychiatric Association, ECT is effective in the treatment of patients with major depression, delusional depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and catatonia.

Protest in Quebec in May 2008 of electroshockQUEBEC PROTESTS ELECTROSHOCK

Montreal protest to ban ECT Saturday May 10, 2008 (photo on right).

Our protest was real success. About 50 persons were there. We had our choir perform two times and chant our slogans.

We had a bannière with “Disons non aux électrochocs Urgence d’agir”.

I made two times a speach one more general on my motivations to make ECT banned and a translation I made of Sue testimony that she send me.

Two other speakers made speeches. Two TVs station were there TVA and Radio-Canada who made a very good report of the situation about ECT not just a report from the protest but also they documented the fact that our Ministry of Health did nothing from the Banken report recommendation 5 years after the report.

Nobody was interviewed to counterfact our statements. The Ministry of Health was interviewed and could just say they do nothing to monitor or to tcheck about the situation of ECT and the women and elderly that were shocked. On the web site of both Radio-Canada and TVA our statement are well put into evidence. We also had interviews for a radio program that will be on the air on next friday night at 8 o’clock cannot say the result of this. We will see.

In general the protest was energizing and everybody who was there will sing our songs with us and say our slogans. Really a very exciting event.

As Mary said we shall overcome
Take care


MindFreedom Ireland protests electroshock in Cork, Ireland

Press Release – For more information contact Mary Maddock of MindFreedom Ireland

3 May 2008

Members of MindFreedom Ireland, the organisation which campaigns for human rights in the mental health system, protested against the use of electro shock as a ‘treatment’ both in our Irish hospitals and worldwide.

It took place outside the G.P.O. Oliver Plunket St. Cork, Ireland between 1.p.m. and 4.p.m.

Many members of the public expressed their own shock! that this barbaric practice was still performed both worldwide and in our Irish hospitals today ‘in the name of help.’

They were more outraged that it could even be legally forced on vulnerable people.

Many of them signed a petition to abolish the practice.

Four electro shock survivors from Cork spoke out and confirmed that it did indeed cause brain damage.

Last year both Kathy Sinnott, MEP and Dan Boyle, Green Party took part in the protest.

The protest was part of a worldwide demonstration in conjunction with Mother’s Day in Canada, to highlight the fact that two thirds of the recipients of shock are women. Messages of solidarity from Canada were read out.

On the same day MindFreedom Ireland celebrated the ratification of the UN treaty on the rights of people with disabilities (this importantly includes people with psycho/social disabilities) which hopefully will stop forceful ‘treatments’ used in present day psychiatry including electro shock.

Mary Maddock was the focus of an article about electroshock in in a major Irish newspaper, to read the article click here.

Some important facts about electro shock commonly known as ECT ( Electro Convulsive ‘Therapy’.






Mad Liberation By MoonLight

KBOO Radio 90.7 FM

1- 2 a.m. Late Friday night

(yes, I know that it is technically Saturday morning- relax, it’s just a radio show)

July 25th, 2008

(Please do not note that the lunar calendar would generally put the show on July 18th but I can’t be in town that night- sorry for the incontinence. You can still listen to KBOO and be surprised at whatever you hear. Try not to get confused, I know I’m trying my best and it’s not working very well. The show will be on July 25th, 1:00 a.m. Friday night.)

This show is dedicated to Everyone

*who has ever been given a psychiatric label, *who experiences mental health challenges and of course to *anybody who has the misfortune (or good fortune) of being awake at that hour.

You can participate! Call in at (503) 231-8187

Please call in!

(Set your alarm if you aren’t usually up at that time)

Friday nights from 1 am to 2 am usually following the full-moon, will be a segment on KBOO radio (90.7 on your fm dial, to the left of NPR), also streamed on the internet on their website, will be time for of Mad Lib by Moonlight. The program is part of the usual Friday night show, The Outside World.

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Events News Release from MindFreedom

Some of the events are already past because I was late getting this up but much of it is still useful.

MindFreedom International News – 17 July 2008 – please forward

A Few 2008 Events About Changing the Mental Health System

The calendar of events below, in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and UK
may be of interest to those who passionately care about human rights
and alternatives in the mental health system.

[Disclaimers: Most but not all events are organized by MindFreedom or
sponsor groups. Listing is not necessarily endorsement. The
organizers are solely responsible for their content. Date listed is
start date. This listing is not meant to be comprehensive. If your
event is not yet listed you may submit e-mail to ]

For more info and links for below events go to:



Mad Pride Week in the City of Toronto – The Mayor of Toronto even
officially declared a Mad Pride Day! This wonderful series of events
is already underway, but there is still time to attend. A bed push
parade and party is scheduled for July 19, and a Mad Pride brunch on
the morning of July 20.

Watch for organizers from new affiliate, MindFreedom Ontario!

14 – 20 July 2008



BonkersFest – Poses the question ‘De-normalisation: The next civil
rights movement?’ This free event will take place on the actual area
where the infamous Bedlam was located. Past BonkersFests have drawn
three thousand participants.

BonkersFest is a showcase of mad creativity providing a day of
inspiring performance, art and music for the whole community.

19 July 2008



Mad Pride Asheville – “Part of a 9-nation disorganization of similar
festivals, featuring week-long festivals in London and Toronto and
others in Portland OR, Montreal, and various other cities in the US,
Canada, Belgium, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South
Africa and Ghana.”

19 July 2008



A vigil co-sponsored by MindFreedom International to remember Esmin
Green, who died so publicly while waiting in King County Hospital
Psychiatric Emergency Room:

25 July 2008



July 31, 2008 is the deadline for MindFreedom to receive a matching
grant by raising a grand total of $500.00 from first-time donors. If
we reach this goal, the Helios Resource Network will double the total
amount donated by granting MindFreedom $500.00 in matching funds.

If you would like to help us reach this goal, and support human
rights and alternatives in mental health, please become a MindFreedom
member today by donating any amount — small or large — to MFI
through the Helios Resource Network.

For information on how to make your tax-deductible donation count
toward the Helios grant, please go directly to this Helios Web page

Or read more about this important opportunity here:

But act now! The deadline is 31 July 2008!



Education Day on Human Rights & Alternatives in Mental Health –
“PRAWI of New Zealand is a sponsor group in MindFreedom
International. Director Anna de Jonge announces PRAWI is holding an
all-day educational event using DVD’s from the conferences of the
International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology.”

17 August 2008



Asylum! Conference and Festival – From the organizers: “The
conference will bring together organisations, activists, campaigners
and academics working for radical challenge and change in mental
health. It will showcase critical work on psychiatry and psychology
(‘Big Psy’) and the pharmaceutical industry (‘Big Pharma’), and
alternatives to diagnostic medical labels like ‘schizophrenia’ and
‘paranoia’.” This event is being held on the Elizabeth Gaskell
Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

10-12 September 2008



NARPA 2008 Conference – This year the NARPA conference will be held
at the University of Texas at Austin, and will feature speakers
Michael Perlin, Catherine Penney, and Susan Stefan, and others.

1-4 October 2008



International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry’s
2008 conference – The ICSPP is a sponsor group of MindFreedom. This
is an excellent conference, especially to network dissident mental
health professionals critical of the current psychiatric system.

10-12 October 2008



Alternatives 2008 – Since the 1980’s, the US federal government helps
fund a large conference of several hundred mental health consumers
and psychiatric survivors, many of whom are leading consumer-driven
projects such as support groups and drop-in centers.

29 October – 2 November 2008


ACTION: Please forward this events calendar!

For more info and links for above events go to:


For hard-to-find books and gear go to MFI’s Mad Market here:

New DVD: “Little Brother, Big Pharma”!


Wherever you live, volunteer today for human rights and alternatives
in mental health!

MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site:
e-mail: office(at)mindfreedom(dot)org
MFI office phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743 fax:
(541) 345-3737

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Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, Uncategorized, wellness and systems change

I am back from NPYM

I have just returned from North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Non-programmed Quakers from all over the Pacific Northwest gathered at the OSU campus in Corvallis, Oregon. Unfortunately, I have no news. I spent the time as a teacher with the children’s program with grades 3-5.


My time spent with the rest of thegroup was;imited to mealtimes, for the most part.

I did attend the community night program on Saturday night. The only thing I have to report from that is that Quakers have a sense of humor. This contradicts conventional wisdom. Many are also very talented musically.

The other item of interest is the Epistle written by the grade 3-5 children’s program. This was read and added added to the minutes of the Plenary Session on Sunday and will be distributed to thousands of quakers throughout the world. It went like this:

To the North Pacific Yearly Meeting:

We the members of the grade 3-5 children’s program explored the query of how to answer that of God in everyone through the following activities:


Frisbee Golf

Worship Discussion,

Quaker Musical Chairs

Story telling

Ultimate Frisbee

Sidewalk Art

Making medicine pouches

Made up Language



Playing with bugs

a Helicopter

Everybody’s It

(I’m sure I’m missing some)

In Peace, The Grade 3-5 Friends.

Now some pictures I found interesting:

Click for larger

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Filed under animated gif, animation, comedy relief, personal story, silly

Kabir, as translated by Rabindranath Tagore

Kabir: 1398-1518

Notes from other sources-

Kabir ranks among the world’s greatest poets. In India, he is perhaps the most quoted author, with the exception of Tulsidas. Kabir has criticized perhaps all existing sects in India, still he is mentioned with respect by even orthodox authors. Vaishnav author Nabhadas in his Bhakta-Mal (1585) writes:

hindU turuk pramAn ramainI sabadI sAkhI
pachchhapat nahiN bachan sabahiN ke hit kI bhAkhI

[His “ramaini” “shabda” “sakhi” (sections of his “Bijak”) are accepted by Hindus and Turks alike. He spoke without discrimination for the good of all]

He lived perhaps during 1398-1448. He is thought to have lived longer than 100 years. He had enormous influence on Indian philosophy and on Hindi poetry.

His birth and death are surrounded by legends. He grew up in a Muslim weaver family, but some say he was really son of a Brahmin widow who was adopted by a childless couple. When he died, his Hindu and Muslim followers started fighting about the last rites. The legend is that when they lifted the cloth covering his body, they found flowers instead. The Muslim followers buried their half and the Hindu cremated thier half. In Maghar, his tomb and samadhi still stand side by side.

Here I quote some of his verses from his “Bijak”, from the section called “sakhi”. My translation follows the Gurumukh TIkA by Puran Sahib done perhas a century ago. He was associated with the Kabirpanthi center at Burhanpur. Kabir’s writings can be hard to translate, not only because the language is old, but Kabir’s expressions are different from what we are used to seeing.

The verses below use the term “hira” (diamond). It should be noted that during the time of Kabir, diamonds were very rare. At that time, diamonds were found only in India and nowhere else.

Bijak/Sakhi 168:

hIrA soi srAhiye
sahai ghanan kI choT

kapaT kurangI mAnavA
parakhat nikrA khot

Admire the diamond that can bear the hits of a hammer. Many deceptive preachers, when critically examined, turn out to be false.

[Here diamond is siddhanta (the basic principles or doctrine).An experienced diamond cutter can hit the diamond using a chisel so that the chips will break off as expected. A diamond because if its crystalline structure tends to break off at specific angles. Similarly the true doctrine would come out shining when it is critically examined].

Bijak/Sakhi 170:

hIrA tahaN na kholiye
jahaN kunjroN kI hAT
sahajai gaNthI bANdhike
lagiye apni bAT

Don’t open your diamonds in a vegetable market. Tie them in bundle and keep them in your heart, and go your own way.

[Don’t discuss gyan (knowledge) with those who can not understand it].

Bijak/Sakhi 171:

hIrA parA bajAr maiN
rahA chhAr lapaTAy
ketihe murakh pachi mUye
koi pArakhi liyA uThAy

A diamond was laying in the street covered with dirt. Many fools passed by.

Someone who knew diamonds picked it up.

[Those who understand gyan-siddhanta (true knowledge/principles), pause to acquire it].


Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the
lotus, and there gaze on the infinite beauty.

koi prem ki peng jhulaao re

Hang up the swing of love today!
Hang the body and the mind between the
arms of the beloved, in the ecstasy of love’s joy:
Bring the tearful streams of the rainy clouds
to your eyes, and cover your heart with
the shadow of darkness:
Bring your face nearer to his ear, and speak
of the deepest longings of your heart.

Kabir says: `Listen to me brother! bring the
vision of the Beloved in your heart.’

The following poems include some repeats from different translators:

Looking at the grinding stones,
Kabir laments
In the duel of wheels,
nothing stays intact.

Where do you search me?
I am with you
Not in pilgrimage, nor in icons
Neither in solitudes
Not in temples, nor in mosques
Neither in Kaba nor in Kailash
I am with you o man

I am with you
Not in prayers, nor in meditation
Neither in fasting
Not in yogic exercises
Neither in renunciation

Neither in the vital force nor in the body
Not even in the ethereal space
Neither in the womb of Nature
Not in the breath of the breath

Seek earnestly and discover
In but a moment of search
Says Kabir, Listen with care
Where your faith is, I am there.

O servant, where dost thou seek Me?

Lo!I am beside thee.

I am neither in temple nor in mosque:

I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:

Neither am I in rites and ceremonies,

nor in Yoga and renunciation.

If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me:

thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.

Kabir says, “O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath.”


It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;

For the priest, the warrior.the tradesman,

and all the thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.

It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;

The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter–

Even Raidas was a seeker after God.

The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.

Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End,

where remains no mark of distinction.

O friend!hope for Him whilst you live, know whilst you live,

understand whilst you live: for in life deliverance abides.

If your bonds be not broken whilst living, what hope of

deliverance in death?

It is but an empty dream, that the soul shall have union with Him

because it has passed from the body:

If He is found now, He is found then,

If not, we do but go to dwell in the City of Death.

If you have union now, you shall have it hereafter.

Bathe in the truth, know the true Guru, have faith in the trueName!

Kabir says: “It is the Spirit of the quest which helps;

I am the slave of this Spirit of the quest.”

Do not go to the garden of flowers!

O Friend! go not there;

In your body is the garden of flowers.

Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus,

and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty.

Tell me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?

When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment about me:

When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its folds.

So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;

And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;

And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;

When the mind is detached and casts Maya away,

still it clings to the letter.

Kabir says, “Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path  is rarely found.”

The moon shines in my body, but my blind eyes cannot see it:

The moon is within me, and so is the sun.

The unstruck drum of Eternity is sounded within me;

but my deaf ears cannot hear it.

So long as man clamors for the [?] and the [?],

his works are as naught:

When all love of the [?] is dead, then

the work of the Lord is done.

For work has no other aim than the getting of knowledge:

When that comes, then work is put away.

The flower blooms for the fruit: when the fruit comes,

the flower withers.

The musk is in the deer, but it seeks it not within itself:

it wanders in quest of grass.

When He Himself reveals Himself,

Brahma brings into manifestation

That which can never be seen.

As the seed is in the plant, as the shade is in the tree,

as the void is in the sky, as infinite forms are in the void–

So from beyond the Infinite, the Infinite comes;

and from theInfinite the finite extends.

The creature is in Brahma, and Brahma is in the creature:

they are ever distinct, yet ever united.

He Himself is the tree, the seed, and the germ.

He Himself is the flower, the fruit, and the shade.

He Himself is the sun, the light, and the lighted.

He Himself is Brahma, creature, and Maya.

He Himself is the manifold form, the infinite space;

He is the breath, the word, and the meaning.

He Himself is the limit and the limitless:

and beyond both the limited and the limitless is He,

the Pure Being.

He is the Immanent Mind in Brahma and in the creature.

The Supreme Soul is seen within the soul,

The Point is seen within the Supreme Soul,

And within the Point, the reflection is seen again.

Kabir is blest because he has this supreme vision!

Within this earthen vessel are bowers and groves, and within it is the Creator: Within this vessel are the seven oceans and the unnumbered stars. The touchstone and the jewel-appraiser are within; And within this vessel the Eternal soundeth, and the spring wells up. Kabir says: “Listen to me, my Friend! My beloved Lord is within.” O How may I ever express that secret word? O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that? If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed: If I say that He is without me, it is falsehood. He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one; The conscious and the unconscious, both are His footstools. He is neither manifest nor hidden, He is neither revealed nor unrevealed: There are no words to tell that which He is. To Thee Thou hast drawn my love, O Fakir! I was sleeping in my own chamber, and Thou didst awaken me; striking me with Thy voice, O Fakir! I was drowning in the deeps of the ocean of this world, and Thou didst save me: upholding me with Thine arm, O Fakir!Only one word and no second– and Thou hast made me tear off all my bonds, O Fakir! Kabir says, “Thou hast united Thy heart to my heart, O Fakir!”

I played day and night with my comrades, and now I am greatly afraid.

So high is my Lord’s palace, my heart trembles to mount its stairs: yet I must not be shy, if I would enjoy His love.

My heart must cleave to my Lover; I must withdraw my veil, and meet Him with all my body:

Mine eyes must perform the ceremony of the lamps of love.

Kabir says: “Listen to me, friend: he understands who loves.

If you feel not love’s longing for your Beloved One, it is vain to adorn your body,

vain to put unguent on your eyelids.”

Tell me, O Swan, your ancient tale.From what land do you come, O Swan?

to what shore will you fly?

Where would you take your rest, O Swan, and what do you seek?

Even this morning, O Swan, awake, arise, follow me!

There is a land where no doubt nor sorrow have rule: where the terror of Death is no more.

There the woods of spring are a-bloom, and the fragrant scent “He is I” is borne on the wind:

There the bee of the heart is deeply immersed, and desires no other joy.

O Lord Increate, who will serve Thee?

Every votary offers his worship to the God of his own creation: each day he receives service–

None seek Him, the Perfect: Brahma, the Indivisible Lord.

They believe in ten Avatars; but no Avatar can be the Infinite Spirit, for he suffers the results of his deeds:

The Supreme One must be other than this.

The Yogi, the Sanyasi, the Ascetics, are disputing one with another:

Kabir says, “O brother! he who has seen that radiance of love, he is saved.”

The river and its waves are onesurf: where is the difference between the river and its waves?

When the wave rises, it is the water; and when it falls, it is the same water again.

Tell me, Sir, where is the distinction?

Because it has been named as wave, shall it no longer be considered as water?

Within the Supreme Brahma, the worlds are being told like beads:

Look upon that rosary with the eyes of wisdom.

Where Spring, the lord of the seasons, reigneth, there the Unstruck Music sounds of itself,

There the streams of light flow in all directions;

Few are the men who can cross to that shore!

There, where millions of Krishnas stand with hands folded,

Where millions of Vishnus bow their heads,Where millions of Brahmas are reading the Vedas,

Where millions of Shivas are lost in contemplation,

Where millions of Indras dwell in the sky,

Where the demi-gods and the munis are unnumbered,

Where millions of Saraswatis, Goddess of Music, play on the vina–

There is my Lord self-revealed: and the scent of sandal and flowers dwells in those deeps.

Between the poles of the conscious and the unconscious, there has the mind made a swing:

Thereon hang all beings and all worlds, and that swing never ceases its sway.

Millions of beings are there: the sun and the moon in their courses are there:

Millions of ages pass, and the swing goes on.

All swing! the sky and the earth and the air and the water; and the Lord Himself taking form:

And the sight of this has made Kabir a servant.

The light of the sun, the moon, and the stars shines bright:

The melody of love swells forth, and the rhythm of love’s detachment beats the time.

Day and night, the chorus of music fills the heavens;

and Kabir says”My Beloved One gleams like the lightning flash in the sky.”

Do you know how the moments perform their adoration?

Waving its row of lamps, the universe sings in worship day and night,

There are the hidden banner and the secret canopy:

There the sound of the unseen bells is heard.

Kabir says: “There adoration never ceases; there the Lord of the Universe sitteth on His throne.”

The whole world does its works and commits its errors: but few are the lovers who know the Beloved.

The devout seeker is he who mingles in his heart the double currents of love and detachment,

like the mingling of the streams of Ganges and Jumna;In his heart the sacred water flows day and night;

and thus the round of births and deaths is brought to an end.


Behold what wonderful rest is in the Supreme Spirit!

and he enjoys it, who makes himself meet for it.

Held by the cords of love,

the swing of the Ocean of Joy sways to and fro;

and a mighty sound breaks forth in song.

See what a lotus blooms there without water!

and Kabir says “My heart’s bee drinks its nectar.”

What a wonderful lotus it is,

that blooms at the heart of the spinning wheel of the universe!

Only a few pure souls know of its true delight.

Music is all around it, and there the heart partakes of the joy

of the Infinite Sea.

Kabir says: “Dive thou into that Ocean of sweetness:

thus let all errors of life and of death flee away.”


Behold how the thirst of the five senses is quenched there!

and the three forms of misery are no more!

Kabir says: “It is the sport of the Unattainable One:

look within, and behold how the moon-beams

of that Hidden One shine in you.”

There falls the rhythmic beat of life and death:

Rapture wells forth, and all space is radiant with light.

There the Unstruck Music is sounded;

it is the music of the love of the three worlds.

There millions of lamps of sun and of moon are burning;

There the drum beats, and the lover swings in play.

There love-songs resound, and light rains in showers;

and the worshipper is entranced in the taste of the heavenly nectar.

Look upon life and death;

there is no separation between them,

The right hand and the left hand are one and the same.

Kabir says: “There the wise man is speechless;

for this truth may never be found in Vadas or in books.”

I have had my Seat on the Self-poised One,

I have drunk of the Cup of the Ineffable,

I have found the Key of the Mystery,

I have reached the Root of Union.

Travelling by no track,

I have come to the Sorrowless Land:

very easily has the mercy of the great Lord come upon me.

They have sung of Him as infinite and unattainable:

but I in my meditations have seen Him without sight.

That is indeed the sorrowless land,

and none know the path that leads there:

Only he who is on that path has surely transcended all sorrow.

Wonderful is that land of rest, to which no merit can win;

It is the wise who has seen it,

it is the wise who has sung of it.

This is the Ultimate Word:

but can any express its marvellous savour?

He who has savoured it once,

he knows what joy it can give.

Kabir says: “Knowing it, the ignorant man becomes wise,

and the wise man becomes speechless and silent,

The worshipper is utterly inebriated,

His wisdom and his detachment are made perfect;

He drinks from the cup of the inbreathings

and the outbreathings of love.”


There the whole sky is filled with sound,

and there that music is made without fingers and without strings;

There the game of pleasure and pain does not cease.

Kabir says: “If you merge your life in the Ocean of Life,

you will find your life in the Supreme Land of Bliss.”

What a frenzy of ecstasy there is in every hour! and the

worshipper is pressing out and drinking the essence of the

hours: he lives in the life of Brahma.

I speak truth, for I have accepted truth in life;

I am now attached to truth, I have swept all tinsel away.

Kabir says: “Thus is the worshipper set free from fear;

thus have all errors of life and of death left him.” There the sky is filled with music: There it rains nectar: There the harp-strings jingle, and there the drums beat. What a secret splendour is there, in the mansion of the sky! There no mention is made of the rising and the setting of the sun; In the ocean of manifestation, which is the light of love, day and night are felt to be one. Joy for ever, no sorrow,–no struggle! There have I seen joy filled to the brim, perfection of joy; No place for error is there. Kabir says: “There have I witnessed the sport of One Bliss!” I have known in my body the sport of the universe: I have escaped from the error of this world.. The inward and the outward are become as one sky, the Infinite and the finite are united: I am drunken with the sight of this All! This Light of Thine fulfils the universe: the lamp of love that burns on the salver of knowledge. Kabir says: “There error cannot enter, and the conflict of life and death is felt no more.” —

[?]= unable to transliterate Sanskrit or Arabic characters

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Filed under Kabir, Mystic Poetry, poetry, Tagore

Mad News from MindFreedom


July 25, 2008 VIGIL and Demonstration – Kings County Hospital
Center, Building G, New York, USA

Please POST/ Forward


Contact: Lauren J. Tenney, MA, MPA, Psychiatric Survivor FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE Cell: 516-319-4295

WE THE PEOPLE Call for an End of Abuse, Torture, and Neglect in the
Wake of Ms. Green’s Death While Detained at Kings County Hospital
Center’s Psychiatric Emergency Room.

Advocates, human rights activists, and community members are holding
a vigil and demonstration to mourn the death of Ms. Esmin Elizabeth
Green. WE the PEOPLE are calling attention to the reported horrific
inactions and complete neglect that Ms. Green was subjected to while
detained at the Kings County Hospital Center’s Psychiatric Emergency
Room, 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203.

According to the Associated Press, after being involuntarily
committed to the institution, Ms. Green sat waiting for a bed to
become available for nearly 24 hours before she collapsed on to the
floor. She lay there helpless for nearly an hour until she received
medical attention, which came too late[i]. Further, according to the
New York Civil Liberties Union, facility staff possibly falsified
documents, stating that Ms. Green was “up and went to the bathroom”
and was “‘sitting quietly in the waiting room’ – more than 10 minutes
after she last moved”[ii]. The surveillance tape shown on CNN Video
portrays Ms. Green dying on the floor as people pass her by[iii]. In
fact, on the Internet, one can find a mass of comment on this tragedy
by individuals all over the world – a question repeatedly asked,
“Where is the humanity?”

All people must be treated with dignity, humanity, and respect. We
must not tolerate violations of human rights that individuals who are
assigned psychiatric labels often endure.

We ask you, wouldn’t you be depressed and possibly even ‘agitated’ if
you were going to lose your home and employment? Reportedly, this is
what led to Ms. Green’s commitment[iv]. Any one of us could be
labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis and subjected to inhumane
‘treatment’ if we are thought to be ‘agitated’, particularly if we
are poor.

How many more people labeled with “mental illness” will be subjected
to torture and neglect before something is done to protect human
rights within psychiatric systems? David Oaks, Executive Director of
MindFreedom International states, “I encourage us all to reflect on
the need for a deep nonviolent revolution in the field of mental
, far beyond the “reforms” that have gotten us to where we are
today, with televised death via neglect of a mother of six”.

In 1875, a New York Times article cites abuses of inmates at the
Kings County Asylum, spurred by Mr. Nelson Magee, a former inmate.
Then-Commissioner Norris reacts to the investigation, “This sort of
thing is very common among lunatics; they are always imagining
themselves in great danger of being killed by their keepers”v. How
many more centuries have to go by before action is taken to end these
abuses and neglect?

WE the PEOPLE stand for change. We have been abused by the
psychiatric system. Our brothers and sisters continue to be abused
and murdered, as evidenced by Ms. Green’s untimely demise. Massive
human rights violations happen every day in psychiatric institutions
but this horrific inaction was captured on videotape. We will call
attention to the every day tortures committed in the name of
psychiatric “help” including diagnosing life’s challenges as
”illness,” forced pharmaceuticals, restraint, seclusion, and
electric shock treatment (ECT) with a Vigil to honor Ms. Green’s
memory beginning at 2 PM.

There are many questions as to what led to Ms. Green’s death. Was it
in any way related to the toxic and debilitating drugs that people
labeled with “mental illness” are intimidated, coerced, and forced
into taking? A thorough investigation is necessary to determine the
extent of the torture, ill treatment and other human rights
involved in this case and in the practices of the
institution as a whole. We must stand united to demand social
justice, equal rights, and environments free from torture and detention.

On July 25, 2008, we invite all people to join us and stand united in
support of the demand that everyone receive the full benefit of their
human rights and the preservation of their liberty, dignity and respect.

Who: All People.

What: Candle Light Vigil to mourn the loss of Ms. Esmin Elizabeth
Green and condemn violations of human rights.

Why: WE THE PEOPLE call for an end of abuse, torture, and neglect in
the wake of Ms. Green’s Death on June 19, 2008, while detained at
Kings County Hospital Center’s Psychiatric Emergency Room.

Where: Kings County Hospital Center, Psychiatric Emergency Room,
Building G. 606 Winthrop Street Brooklyn, NY 11203

Date: July 25, 2008

Time: 5 PM – 10 PM, Candle Light Vigil, 8:30 PM

We welcome your involvement as an organizational co-sponsor or an
individual endorser of this effort. If you would like to speak at
this event, please contact us.



For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Contact: Lauren J. Tenney
Cell: 516-319-4295

Contact: David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom Phone: 541-345-9106


[i] Retrieved July 8, 2008 from

[ii] Retrieved July 8, 2008 from

[iii] Retrieved on July 8, 2008 from

[iv] Retrieved July 8, 2008, from

[v] Retrieved July 9, 2008 from


Urgent action: Please forward to all appropriate places on and off
Internet, especially to concerned people and groups in New York State.


Mad Pride

MindFreedom International News – 14 July 2008
Nonviolent Revolution in Mental Health!

Mad Pride 2008 Skyrocketing!

Mad Pride has been growing fast! Below are just a few of the Mad
Pride events this month in many nations.

Coverage in the Sunday New York Times, international events that draw
thousands of participants (Thank you, MindFreedom Ireland!), and the
skyrocketing enthusiasm of Mad Pride organizers, all point to the
great strides taken by this movement over the last six months. Mad
Pride celebrates the human rights to be different, and promotes human
rights in mental health.

According to MindFreedom’s calendar of events, the second half of
2008 will see this trend continue.

Here is a brief look into a few Mad Pride 2008 events:


This weekend, from July 11 – 13, 2008 at the Country Fair in Eugene,
Oregon, you can visit the “Doors of Expression” booth and uncover Mad
Pride at this famous, annual event.

Mental Patients Liberation Alliance holds 28th Annual Bastille Days
Demonstration, “HELP Stop Psychiatric Oppression.” from July 11 – 14,
Albany, New York.


From July 14 – 20, Toronto will celebrate Mad Pride Week, including
their second annual bed push.

Through July 14, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Gallery Gachet is
holding panel discussions, performances, readings and film events to
celebrate “World Mad Pride.”


On July 14, MindFreedom Ghana is holding its third annual Mad Pride

On July 17, in Cape Town, South Africa, there will be a Mad Pride
Parade followed by a celebration and music.


On July 16, in Leeds, West Yorkshire, there will be music, poetry and
more, celebrating Mad Pride.

Bonkersfest 2008 will be held on July 19, in London. This is probably
the largest Mad Pride event in the UK (Last year it drew three
thousand participants!) and will be held at the site of the infamous
Bedlam Hospital.

For updates and more, visit our Mad Pride Campaign page:


ACTION: Please forward this Mad Pride News to all of your mad and mad-
friendly friends, relatives and colleagues!


Mad Pride = United Strength in Numbers = You!


* Win human rights campaigns in mental health.

* End abuse by the psychiatric drug industry.

* Support self-determination of psychiatric survivors.

* Promote safe, humane, effective options in mental health.

* Show your MAD PRIDE!

Join here:

MindFreedom is a nonprofit human rights group that unites 100 sponsor
and affiliate groups with individual members.

MindFreedom is one of the very few totally independent activist
groups in the mental health field with no funding from governments,
drug companies, religions, corporations, or the mental health system.

MindFreedom is the only group of its kind accredited by the United
Nations (NGO Consultative Roster Status).

All human rights supporters are invited to join MFI by donating here:


MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site:
e-mail: office(at)mindfreedom(dot)org
MFI office phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743 fax:
(541) 345-3737

Please forward!

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Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, wellness and systems change

Not thinking right and I know it…

No poetry this post, sorry. Tune in next time, soon.

Yes I take drugs.

I take 4 different psych meds, not high dosages and I’m unable to notice any annoying side-effects. There have been several times in my mentally-ill life that I have been med free and doing fine, thank-you. The last few years I have needed, or seemed to need, some chemical support to stay operational. This doesn’t count the insulins I need to survive type 1 diabetes.

Late last week I got 2 calls in one day telling me I was “not selected” for jobs I interviewed for, both were jobs I’m very well qualified for, thought I did great in both interviews. The clincher on one was when they said they found someone who was more experienced in a particular area. It just so happens that, no ego here, I am probably the very most experienced and qualified in this specific area in the state. Made me feel like a loser. Made me feel paranoid about my mental-health rep and the possibility that people I had listed as references who are so very supportive to my face may actually be undermining my job search. “Objection!”…” But Judge, this goes directly to the subjects state of mind!”… “Okay then, I’ll allow it…”

A few days back (…4?…5?) I ran out of 2 of the most important psych meds. One helps me sleep (among other things) and the other is an SSRI. Now, I know all about abrupt SSRI withdrawal, personal and observational data gained at some difficulty. But, thing is, I have been broke. Can’t afford even the co-pays. Also, 2 days back I ran out of one of my insulins; again, can’t have what ya can’t pay for. My sleep has been very odd- it;s like I’m sleeping but can’t tell if I’m awake or dreaming. I sweat very heavily (yeah,too much info, sorry).

I have been getting more and more “weird”. I have thoughts and perceptions I know aren’t right. It has become harder to carry on even simple conversations with family members because I have to keep editing myself, trying not to say something too strange or something that might worry my wife or younger son (who still lives at home).

I haven’t brought my lack of meds up at all. I know we don’t have money. I have feared that my wife would call my mother or some other family member. I am so sick of begging, being dependent. It reinforces my feeling of being a pathetic loser. BTW- I know that this is also probably an example of not thinking right.

I haven’t called anyone who might be helpful- well, I called someone but they weren’t answering and so I stopped trying. I have become more and more paranoid that people will find out how worthless, pathetic and crazy I am. I have become increasingly afraid to talk to anyone.

Friday, 4 days ago?, I was already losing it but the day went to hell way beyond what I could handle. But I tried to handle it anyway. I did everything wrong, at least in the eyes of the people around me, especially my wife. Her car broke down (I’m no mechanic) and she took my car to work, swapping it back later in the day. The bank account was overdrawn and I ended up using the last of my unemployment money to get the balance back to zero.

Thing is: I was so shocked to find the account overdrawn. I knew exactly what was in the account and the day before I talked to my wife about not using the “apparent” balance showing on the account- it was just ghost money that would soon be gone. She made 2 relatively small payments- for gas and $20 cash (perfectly legit uses for money)- and added to the two $35 overdraft fees put us a hundred bucks in the hole. I saw in our future a black hole of overdraft fees that would continue to pile up until we couldn’t do anything about it. (This is not an unreasonable fear in itself- it’s happened before.)

Comedy break:

During the day she wrote another hundred dollars in checks to cover important medical co-pays she needed to get her insurance set up with a new provider. I talked our son into getting a $100 cash advance to cover the upcoming overdraft.

She got a ride home from work after suggesting that we get a “drink” on the way when I picked her up.

She got home from a co-worker. She indicated she still wanted to go get a drink.

We’re still on Friday. Instead of taking her to get a drink I took my son to his bank to get cash and then went to our bank to deposit cash. I went home. My wife was half asleep but I could tell she was mad. Why had I prioritized going to the bank (before it closed)? Why had I spent all our cash covering the bank overdraft?

So, I made it worse. I went out and found a mechanic neighbor who said they would help me diagnose the problem with her car. We found that things were much worse than I could fix on my own (or without money to invest in a real mechanic).

By the time I got back I knew I was in the doghouse and in the very back of said animal abode.

The next day she was still mad. I was beginning to really lose it. My brain was definitely not functioning well. Being incapable of reasonable conversation, made the relationship problems worse. I was even more afraid to tell that I had no meds and was experiencing alternate reality that was more and more scary.

I didn’t go to Friends Meeting- I was too agoraphobic at this point. I didn’t wantto have to talk to anyone if possible.

Comedy break:

The saga continues: So, over the course of the weekend I got weirder and weirder. Tried to stay inconspicuous. Not a complete success.

This morning: cried from 8 am to 10. Then walked around the neighborhood trying to find cans and bottles that I could take to Safeway and get some oatmeal and toilet paper (I judged these to be the most important things I could get). Cried from 12 to 1pm, until got a call from my wife at work. She asked me what was wrong. “nothing”. She said she was going to call my mother and get money to buy meds. I begged her not to do this. She hung up. I cried some more. She called back and said that she would go to the pharmacy and write hot checks to cover the meds. I sobbed until she arrived with a bag of drugs. I had shit in my head that I will not share with you, kind strangers, but just know that it was very bad.

Now I have taken pills, even ones I don’t usually take (some sedatives). My wife has some difficulty being around me when I’m “not right”. I have stayed mostly in our room and either just kept my eyes closed or read a stupid crime novel.

Why did all this happen? How come I let it get so far? Why can’t I call on people when I need help? (Wait: I can answer that last one- Most people don’t want to hear from you when you are “not right”. They want to have you feel better, right now. When you don’t get better right away they get nervous, impatient and can’t wait to hang up. Also, I am not good on the phone. I can’t usually talk comfortably to people I can’t see.)

Comedy break:

Madness, feeling like you can’t think right, feeling pathetic/ worthless and suicidal- these are not good ways to be. I don’t go out of my way to feel like this. In fact I have put an extraordinary amount of time and thought into making sure I don’t go there. But sometimes, the best laid plans….

I know I’m not alone. I spend a lot of time with people who walk the edge. I know that slipping is common and that isolating is a very common response to the slippery slope.

Later this week I will be teaching 3rd through 5th graders at a conference in Corvallis, as part of a children’s program designed to allow parents to attend and give children a pint-sized dose of the conference topic: That of God in Everyone (It’s a Quaker conference- North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

The main result of this engagement that relates to issues at hand is that I will have to postpone the monthly radio show till next week- a full week after the Full Moon. So:

Mad Liberation by Moonlight is postponed until Friday 7/25, I think.

More pictures:

Ouch, Spidey, that lookedlike it hurt…

What is it with me and comic book characters today?

BTW- this following false Advertisement was done by a woman who is “sick of the pink, flowery, sound of music” shtick that goes with feminine hygiene products.

Good luck, stay safe, do as I say, not as I do, please be as happy as the circumstances will allow, if not more so. Until next time…(soon)…

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Filed under animated gif, animation, can't pay for meds, comedy relief, CS/X movement, Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, not doing well, personal story, pictures, silly

I just got the internet turned back on today: Sufi Poetry Fest!

For some reason my ISP insists that I send them money regularly. Sometimes this conflicts with other priorities (such as eating, paying rent, etc.). I have also updated the music page- some new recordings, some remixed, some just monkeyed with; check it out.

Today mostly I wanted to share some Sufi poetry from various periods (717 CE to the 1300s) and from Persia to Turkey.

Farid ud Din Attar– a mystic poet who lived approximately 1119 -1230 CE. His best known work is Conference of the Birds, an elaborate allegory of the soul’s quest for reunion with God.

Intoxicated by the Wine of Love.
From each a mystic silence Love demands.
What do all seek so earnestly? ‘Tis Love.
What do they whisper to each other? Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts.
In Love no longer ‘thou’ and ‘I’ exist,
For Self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul,
Behold the Friend; Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds,
Will find the secret of them both, is Love.

translation Margaret Smith -The Jawhar Al-Dhat

In the dead of night, a Sufi began to weep.
He said, “This world is like a closed coffin, in which
We are shut and in which, through our ignorance,
We spend our lives in folly and desolation.
When Death comes to open the lid of the coffin,
Each one who has wings will fly off to Eternity,
But those without will remain locked in the coffin.
So, my friends, before the lid of this coffin is taken off,
Do all you can to become a bird of the Way to God;
Do all you can to develop your wings and your feathers.”

translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

So long as we do not die to ourselves,
and so long as we identify with someone or something,
we shall never be free.
The spiritual way is not for those wrapped up in exterior life.

translation also by Margaret Smith

There’s always room for


The Jesus of your spirit is inside you now.
Ask that one for help, but don’t ask for body-things…

Don’t ask Moses for provisions
that you can get from Pharaoh.

Don’t worry so much about livelihood.
Your livelihood will turn out as it should.
Be constantly occupied instead
with listening to God.

Mathnawi II:450-454

Yunus Emre

He lived in what is now Turkey sometime from 1240-1241 to 1320-21 CE.

The drink sent down from Truth,
we drank it, glory be to God.
And we sailed over the Ocean of Power,
glory be to God.

Beyond those hills and oak woods,
beyond those vineyards and gardens,
we passed in health and joy, glory be to God.

We were dry, but we moistened.
We grew wings and became birds,
we married one another and flew,
glory be to God.

To whatever lands we came,
in whatever hearts, in all humanity,
we planted the meanings Taptuk taught us,
glory be to God.

Come here, let’s make peace,
let’s not be strangers to one another.
We have saddled the horse
and trained it, glory be to God.

We became a trickle that grew into a river.
We took flight and drove into the sea,
and then we overflowed, glory be to God.

We became servants at Taptuk’s door.
Poor Yunus, raw and tasteless,
finally got cooked, glory be to God.

translated by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan – ‘The Drop That Became Sea’

Ask those who know,
what’s this soul within the flesh?
Reality’s own power.
What blood fills these veins?

Thought is an errand boy,
fear a mine of worries.
These sighs are love’s clothing.
Who is the Khan on the throne?

Give thanks for His unity.
He created when nothing existed.
And since we are actually nothing,
what are all of Solomon’s riches?

Ask Yunus and Taptuk
what the world means to them..
The world won’t last.
What are You? What am I?

translated by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan – ‘The Drop That Became Sea’

We entered the house of realization,
we witnessed the body.

The whirling skies, the many-layered earth,
the seventy-thousand veils,
we found in the body.

The night and the day, the planets,
the words inscribed on the Holy Tablets,
the hill that Moses climbed, the Temple,
and Israfil’s trumpet, we observed in the body.
Torah, Psalms, Gospel, Quran-
what these books have to say,
we found in the body.

Everybody says these words of Yunus
are true. Truth is wherever you want it.
We found it all within the body.

translated by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan – ‘The Drop That Became Sea’

Your love has wrested me away from me,
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.
Day and night I burn, gripped by agony,
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

I find no great joy in being alive,
If I cease to exist, I would not grieve,
The only solace I have is your love,
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Lovers yearn for you, but your love slays them,
At the bottom of the sea it lays them,
It has God’s images-it displays them;
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Let me drink the wine of love sip by sip,
Like Mecnun, live in the hills in hardship,
Day and night, care for you holds me in its grip,
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Even if, at the end, they make me die
And scatter my ashes up to the shy,
My pit would break into this outcry:
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

“Yunus Emre the mystic” is my name,
Each passing day fans and rouses my flame,
What I desire in both worlds in the same:
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Rabi´a al-Adawiyya

was born in Basra around 717 CE. As a child, after the death of her parents, Rabi’a was sold into slavery. After years of service to her slavemaster, Rabi’a began to serve only the Beloved with her actions and thoughts. Since she was no longer useful to the slaveowner, Rabi’a was then set free to continue her devotion to the Beloved.

Rabi’a held that the true lover, whose consciousness is unwaveringly centered on the Beloved, is unattached to conditions such as pleasure or pain, not from sensory dullness but from ceaseless rapture in Divine Love.

Rabia was once asked, “How did you attain that which you have attained?”
“By often praying, ‘I take refuge in You, O God, from everything that distracts me from You, and from every obstacle that prevents me from reaching You.'”

I have two ways of loving You:
A selfish one
And another way that is worthy of You.
In my selfish love, I remember You and You alone.
In that other love, You lift the veil
And let me feast my eyes on Your Living Face.

Doorkeeper of the heart:versions of Rabia. Trans. Charles Upton

The source of my suffering and loneliness is deep in my heart.
This is a disease no doctor can cure.
Only Union with the Friend can cure it.

translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

I have made You the Companion of my heart.
But my body is available to those who desire its company,
And my body is friendly toward its guest,
But the Beloved of my heart is the guest of my soul.

translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

Brothers, my peace is in my aloneness.
My Beloved is alone with me there, always.
I have found nothing in all the worlds
That could match His love,
This love that harrows the sands of my desert.
If I come to die of desire
And my Beloved is still not satisfied,
I would live in eternal despair.

To abandon all that He has fashioned
And hold in the palm of my hand
Certain proof that He loves me—
That is the name and the goal of my search.

Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

Sanai (1118-1152) (Abû’l-Majd Majdûd b. Adam Sanâ’î) is revered as one of the first great mystical poets of Persia. He produced many lyrical poems and a religious epic, The Walled Garden of Truth or the Enclosed Garden of Truth (The HADîQATU’ L-HAQîQAT).

Don’t speak of your suffering — He is speaking.
Don’t look for Him everywhere — He’s looking for you.

An ant’s foot touches a leaf, He senses it;
A pebble shifts in a streambed, He knows it.

If there’s a worm hidden deep in a rock,
He’ll know its body, tinier than an atom,

The sound of its praise, its secret ecstasy —
All this He knows by divine knowing.

He has given the tiniest worm its food;
He has opened to you the Way of the Holy Ones.

‘The Puzzle’

Someone who keeps aloof from suffering
is not a lover. I choose your love
above all else. As for wealth
if that comes, or goes, so be it.
Wealth and love inhabit separate worlds.

But as long as you live here inside me,
I cannot say that I am suffering.

translation by Coleman Barks – ‘Persian Poems’

‘The Way of the Holy Ones’

Don’t speak of your suffering — He is speaking.
Don’t look for Him everywhere — He’s looking for you.

An ant’s foot touches a leaf, He senses it;
A pebble shifts in a streambed, He knows it.

If there’s a worm hidden deep in a rock,
He’ll know its body, tinier than an atom,

The sound of its praise, its secret ecstasy —
All this He knows by divine knowing.

He has given the tiniest worm its food;
He has opened to you the Way of the Holy Ones.

translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

Those unable to grieve,
or to speak of their love,
or to be grateful, those
who can’t remember God
as the source of everything,

might be described as a vacant wind,
or a cold anvil, or a group
of frightened old people.

Say the Name. Moisten your tongue
with praise, and be the spring ground,
waking. Let your mouth be given
its gold-yellow stamen like the wild rose’s.

As you fill with wisdom,
and your heart with love,
there’s no more thirst.

There’s only unselfed patience
waiting on the doorsill, a silence
which doesn’t listen to advice
from people passing in the street.

translation by Coleman Barks

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