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----into the unknown Posted: 28 Mar 2012 08:41 AM PDT Each day, each moment is a step into the unknown. How can we feel anything but amazement? Abu-Said Abil-Kheir The sum total of our life is a breath Posted: 28 Mar 2012 08:40 AM PDT The sum total of our life is a breath by Abu-Said Abil-Kheir English version by Vraje Abramian The sum total of our life is a breath spent in the company of the Beloved. from Nobody, Son of Nobody: Poems of Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir, Translated by Vraje Abramian / Photo by bee wolf ray / I find it fascinating that breath and life and spirit are synonyms in most languages a nd cultures. When you read sacred writings and the word spirit is used, substitute the word breath and see how the meaning changes and expands. This connection between breath life spirit is much deeper than the simple observ ation that the living breathe and the dead do not. We tend to think in terms of borders and boundaries, constantly noting what sepa rates ourselves, mentally and physically, from everything else. But the reality is that there is a constant flow of awareness across those borders. Every one of us has the unseen movement of the breath. Through the breath, what is outside b ecomes inside; what is non-self becomes self. And what was self is released agai n out into the world. This is communion, nothing less. That inbreath of yours is the outbreath of another. The air we breathe is the br eath of all. A deep breath opens the chest and expands the heart. A full breath requires us t o feel. We feel ourselves, and we feel others. Feeling, too, is communion. When feeling is shut down, the breath is shut down, and life has become limited. The currents of the breath continuously teach us that the boundaries of self exi st only in the mental map. In reality, we flow out into the universe, and the un iverse flows back in. The only way to secure our borders is to stop breathing, w hich is, of course, death. Life requires breath, and we live in each other, in t he same breath. When we really breathe, with a sense of the fulness of life, we might just come to the same conclusion that Sheikh Abu-Said Abil-Kheir came to: An individuals li fetime may be brief or long, the experiences of life may be tangible or fleeting , but this communal breath life spirit in which we participate, is the very brea th of the Beloved.

Abu-Said Abil-Kheir Turkmenistan (967 1049) Timeline Muslim / Sufi Shaikh Abu-Said Abil-Kheir was one of the earlier Sufi poets. He lived more than two centuries before Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi yet, like Rumi, much of his mystic ism follows a similar path of annihilation in divine Love. Abu-Saids poetry ranges from the ecstatic and celestial, to struggles with abando nment. His poetry has an immediacy and even a sort of devoutly wry petulance tha t can draw comparisons with the great Bengali poet, Ramprasad. Abu Said referred to himself as Nobody, Son of Nobody, to convey the mystics sense of having completely merged or disappeared into the Divine, leaving no trace of the ego behind. He lived in Mayhana in what is modern day Turkmenistan, just north of Iran and A fghanistan in Central Asia. More poetry by Abu-Said Abil-Kheir