Bismi'llah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim...for the sake of Prophet Muhammad saws and Sheikh Nazim may Allah protect his secret.
Thanks to all those kind people who left their comments.(In this moment there are too many to answer one by one.) Each one of us believes and prays, worships or meditates in his or her own way. I believe all those ways are valid and reach to the Source Of All.The more sincere and the more concentrated the closer and deeper.Often pain and suffering deepens our need and our desire for meaning in life. Loss of a loved one makes us look deeper and harder for something permanent.
In these last few days I have had much support from all kinds of people but perhaps I have felt it most from those close to me physically and who are believers.
Bilquis's mother, Dolores, is a wonderful old lady of eighty five with such a faith and such an indomitable spirit. She is so kind and hard working and loved by all.Through her and her sister Carmen I have recieved much love and understanding and a great deal of support from their prayers.
Also, the day before Bilquis's death I had spoken to Abdl Ahad, one of Sheikh Nazim's Spanish murids who lives in Orgiva...and informed him that Bilquis might go that very day. Without telling me anything, he jumped on a bus and came the 1000 kms up to San Sebastian to accompany me in the hospital room on Bilquis's last and most terrible night.
In an almost Godless crematorium (which they now call Tanatorio here after some Greek god I think) he read sura Ya Sin for Bilquis standing firm and strong by her coffin as it waited to be consumed in the flames.(some of you may know that it is completely against the Muslim religion to burn the dead.... but also that it is nearly impossible to get a proper burial now .. with or without much pushing and hasssling and all the papers and connections and family ties in place.) He had slipped a "tawiz" or protection into the coffin when we saw her before in the hospital, he told me afterwards.A phone call from Hamida of Orgiva advised me to pray that the flames did not touch her .. as they had had to do recently for her husband's own brother.
In the afternoon there was a Christian funeral in the local Parochial Church of Zarauz.
Almost a week later the storm, internally and externally, begins to die down. Yesterday was a beautiful day both externally, with a blue sky and sun shining on the green hills and fields of the Pais Vasco,an internally where I felt such peace and protection as I was taken around in the car of Bilquis's "consuegro" (that is her son's father in-law).
Once again a person of quiet and deep faith who shines with goodness and kindness. I went to help him as an interpreter in a problem with a van that had been repaired by his local garage and then left without payment. It was an Irish person it turns out (as I discovered from papers inside the van) who it seems had had a pub in England and run through the profits leaving many debts.I assume he was on the run when his van broke down in "Azpeitia" and so the story goes.When I was asked to get involved in what was, after all, a fairly hopeless case, I had the feeling that this was not the real reason why I was going out on this somewhat strange journey .. but that there was some other wisdom in it.
Recently in the midst of all my recent troubles, the car had broken down and,being the head gasket on an old and English car, it was not worth repairing.Here I am 1000 kms from home with no car and little money wondering how to resolve the problem with two or three alternatives at my disposal.My preferred on was to buy another car and send the old one to the scrap heap... but I was finding it very difficult to encounter something suited to my needs and pocket ... The standard of living is much higher up here and there just isn't the second hand market for cars like that of Andalucia.
My assignment was in the reliable friendly local garage of a good believing man who loves cars and tinkering and helping others."Torribio" is his name and when I saw a little Ford Fiesta diesel on the forecourt, God Bless him, he became involved in the project to buy it as if I were his own son or younger brother.
All of my difficulties were soon resolved as we test drove it and decided to come back in the afternoon after an invitation to a copious lunch at his family home in nearby Elgoibar.My insurance company was helpful, the two secretaries at the garge bent over backwards to help ..Torribio drove me back to Zarauz for money and relevant papers and soon I was the proud owner of the little car.The boss of the garage adjusted the lights, changed the oil, charged up the battery, replaced a brake light bulb. topped up the windscreen washers and insists I go back on Monday to change the timing belt.
Apparently the little car had only come in two days before and had not been prepared for sale yet.It's nine years old, has a 1.8 diesel engine, five doors, being a little hatch back just big enough to fit my stall in,and marks 92000 kms on the clock.(the owner correctly informed me that that could be 192000, as the clock only goes to 100 ooo.) Whatever .. I'm completely chuffed with it .. and am sure it was "written" for me ..I felt the hand of God in the whole thing .. a small gift as if from my Sheikh .. it all happened as if by magic ... I felt no real part in it .. it was as if it was being done for me.
So now I have transport again with which to start my new life.
The whole thing of Bilquis is so all-embracing in it's effect on all parts and levels of my life that it is too difficult to say anything yet. It will take time to assimilate it and thenmore time to express what I have assimilated. For the moment the process is going on and I prefer to keep quiet about it. I will only say that there is one strange phenomenon, and that is a feeling of "re-birth" which is assailing me.
There was a strange symbolical event which involved a double "13", on the first day of Ramadan this year. I knew that those two thirteens were for me and Bilquis and have been wondering if my turn would be soon after hers, as often happens especially with older couples ho have spent whole life times together. One goes, and soon after, the other... but in this case maybe Bilquis's thirteen was physical death and rebirth in the after-life and mine a personality death and rebirth into a new way of living. We'll see.
I have been in contact with a person who is also a follower of Sheikh Nazim and who's husband died last year of cancer. Bilquis had been in regular contact with her, helping and supporting by phone during her trials and we sent a little charity last Christmas when it all intensified.
Her experiences have been similar to mine and she has been a great support, espcially in the last two or three weeks when I felt I was nearly going mad with it all.
Apparently she has had a similar "re-birth" exprience as one suddenly has to adjust to a new situation in which it is necessary to develop all kinds of coping skills which were perhaps originally dealt with by the former partner.
I may go to see Abdl Salaam who lives near her in Catalunya and pay some visits to discuss and interchange experiences and ideas which could be very helpful and therapeutic.I have a desire to get right away from all the places where I have been with Bilquis for a while.Orgiva, Zarauz, even Cyprus, are so laden with memories..perhaps there is a new life for me in a part of Spain I do not know.For the moment abdl Salaam is alone in his house as his children have retiurned to their mother in Orgiva, so maybe the company would be good for him and we have worked together in the markets before..in fact I started out helping him and taking one meter on the end of his lengthy stall years ago in the "Marcha Verde" in Granada.
My prayer time program is calling the adhan for fajr now, so I must leave this for a while... but for sure I'll be back with further developments.
Thanks again to all and for kind comments.
I would like to leave a quote from Nisargadatta of the Advaita Vedanta tradition which somehow satisfies my overactive mind by its perspicacious analysis of how to access that true mystical Reality which really we are all seeking and Bilquis is either enjoying or much closer to right now I'm sure.
"Watch yourself closely and you will see that whatever be the content of consciousness, the witnessing of it does not depend on the content. Awareness is itself and does not change with the event. The event may be pleasant or unpleasant, minor or important, awareness is the same. Take note of the peculiar nature of pure awareness, its natural self-identity, without the least trace of self-consciousness, and go to the root of it and you will soon realize that awareness is your true nature, and nothing you may be aware of, you can call your own. When the content is viewed without likes and dislikes, the consciousness of it is awareness. But still there is a difference between awareness as reflected in consciousness and pure awareness beyond consciousness. Reflected awareness, the sense "I am aware" is the witness, while pure awareness is the essence of reality. Reflection of the sun in a drop of water is a reflection of the sun, no doubt, but not the sun itself. Between awareness reflected in consciousness as the witness and pure awareness there is a gap, which the mind cannot cross."Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
It's sometimes difficult to stop with Nisargadatta .. the danger being, a bit like with Ibn Arabi, that the descriptions are so clear and incisive that one can fall into the trap of thinking that one has made the material one's own, merely by having read and understood it. However I will add a few more quotes that have been useful and soothing to me in the past few days.
"You can do nothing. What time has brought about, time will take away. This is the end of yoga, to realize independence. All that happens, happens in and to the mind, not to the source of the "I am".Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
All you have to do is to understand that you love the self and the self loves you, and that the sense "I am" is the link between you both, a token of identity in spite of apparent diversity. Look at the "I am" as a sign of love between the inner and the outer, the real and the appearance. Just like in a dream all is different, except the sense of "I", which enables you to say "I dreamt", so does the sense of "I am" enable you to say "I am my real Self again. I do nothing, nor is anything done to me. I am what I am and nothing can affect me. I appear to depend on everything, but in fact all depends on me."Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Karma, or destiny, is an expression of a beneficial law: the universal trend towards balance, harmony and unity. At every moment, whatever happens now, is for the best. It may appear painful and ugly, a suffering bitter and meaningless, yet considering the past and the future it is for the best, as the only way out of a disastrous situation.Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
To act from desire and fear is bondage, to act from love is freedom.Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
To know that the known cannot be me nor mine, is liberation. Freedom from self-identification with a set of memories and habits, the state of wonder at the infinite reaches of the being, its inexhaustible creativity and total transcendence, the absolute fearlessness born from the realization of the illusoriness and transiency of every mode of consciousness - flow from a deep and inexhaustible source. To know the source as source and appearance as appearance, and oneself as the source only is self-realization. "Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj