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Excerpts from reflections on my travels and snapshots from our pilgrimage through Chartres, France and Andalusia, Spain.

Remembering our sessions in Chartres during the Sacred Number workshop where we explored “does Truth have to be embodied to be true?”

The images of the Mother abound in Chartres and Andalusia

The Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba is truly one of the wonders of human achievement. It is an extraordinary temple shrouded in mystery that truly expands the mind and the heart. I don’t think any single human being can see all there is to see in this place because there are so many worlds within worlds created by the many pillars and the sky lights. It’s like an Escher drawing. I feel one reason it is so fascinating is because what we see today was developed over centuries and by different traditions, Visigoth, Islamic and Catholic that didn’t destroy what their predecessors had built. This glorious fete to a harmonious co-existence of traditions is a central monument to the new theology of love we need to create that draws from the best of what mystical traditions worldwide have offered us from the beginning of time and discards the teachings and interpretations in those traditions that engender fear, separation from nature and others, and exclusivity.

Remembering our Andalusian Sama, our exploration of Granada and our theme to draw inspiration from the Convivencia ( the period lasting roughly 250 years during which Muslims, Jews and Christians in Andalusia lived in relative harmony) to create a new theology based in bio-ecology that draws from the best and most applicable tenets in all mystical traditions and social systems that can serve our evolution into true human beings aligned with nature TODAY.

Andalucia carries deeply personal memories for me anyway and it was also very moving to be reminded of. This permitted a flourishing of the arts and science which do indeed only flourish in times of peace. Is a similar ‘convivencia’ in the whole world conceivable in these horrific times? Surely we should work towards this.

The Alhambra, the Red Castle in Granada is truly magnificent. Austere and simple yet majestic from the outside and absolutely exquisite inside…which is one of the great teachings in mystical Islam: to be humble and unassuming from the outside and a mine of jewels inside. Though the palaces were very crowded with tourists and there were not many chances for me to commune in silence and stillness and really feel into the land and the structure like I do when I visit sacred sites, I feel the Alhambra interjected me and our whole group with pure awe and beauty. We were truly transformed and remade in beauty.

The Generlife Gardens which are a part of the Alhambra are very much in design of Persian gardens of Ferdos or paradise and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.


Photos: Andris Barblan, Georgianne Cowan, Gyorgi Szabo

Author: Banafsheh

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