I'm at a meeting with the OraWorldMandala staff and it's something of a party with vino tinto and fake pig skin chips and of course I brought some mangos and the star for me is this gentleman Ali. He's past the youth but no less earnest and Muslim though wasn't born that way. I couldn't tell though from the shape of his face and fire in his eyes I could swear he was born hard square loving arab muslim and all of it.
And the whole time we're trying to talk out ideas about non-violence and reconciliation, put them into practice with the May 31st event and the October 2nd event Ali is relentless about action.
Karen Armstrong makes a strong point (in _Islam_) that Islam and Judaism are "othropractical" religions, as opposed to Christianity being an "orthodoxical" religion. Whereas the latter places importance on speech and belief (ie accepting the lord into your heart) the formers actually want you to do certain things -- if you don't practice Ramadan and tithe and all that, you're not really a Muslim. Is her point anyways and Ali shows that pretty well, with no tolerance for ank-style silent meditation nights and getting together and sharing energy. The brother is big and in motion and wants to do something.
He's been getting to know the Hindu community here in DF, which I think mainly consists of the Hare Krishna folk, and is frustrated at being invited to participate in their events (which already is awesome, considering the last fifity and few hundred years of Hindu/Muslim nonsense) instead of to help present them. He doesn't want to see their temple, he wants to help them build one.
What can Ali do for them? He's been reading some Gandhi, always dangerous, and getting into this idea of Ahimsa is Love and Love is Submission (Islam, in Arabic) and that means I am devoted to You and really, at every moment, what can Ali do for you.
Neither of us are supposed to be drinking but it's a postmodern world and after the deep red has faded to dregs of Chilean Merlot it's even harder not to interrupt someone with your latest greatest important idea that supercedes the eternal doctrine of listening. Which is maybe why they recommended against the Merlot in the first place. But eventually we sort it out, inspired by the Jayeshbhai part of the Self.
We're going to map out a mandalic route through Mexico city and try a morning/day/night walk hitting a holy house of all the major religions, once we can get figure out where they are.
What can Ali do for them?
But first we're going to start with Safai. Gandhi's pet activity and nourished in us all by everystar from our mothers to sacred plant experiences to Gandhi's very ashram. And all this talk of the here and now got me excited enough to demand we set a date and time that very minute to gather together -- at least the two of us, the foundation must be built -- and get to together and clean one of these nasty parks or something.
So it's going to be 11h00 on Sunday May 6th which has nothing to do with Maximillian and they don't celebrate that here anyhow. We're going to meet at the lotus feet of Gandhi, at his statue across from the Museum of Anthropology in the Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City, United States of Mexico. We'll each bring a broom and the converted Sufi and imported Indian will clean Gandhi's piece of Mexican parkland and look forward to new beginnings, today and every today here ever after.