Singing Birds, Abu Bakr’s Prayer and Cooking Instructions

We start this week’s selection with a now classic article by René Guénon on the symbolism of “The Language of the Birds”, which

can also be called “angelic language”, and is symbolized in the human world by rhythmic language, for the science of rhythm, which has many applications, is in fact ultimately the basis of all the means which can be brought into action in order to enter into communication with the higher states of being.

• Directly from the earliest times of Islam, as transmitted by Imam al-Ghazali, we present the translation of a prayer attributed to the first of the “righteous caliphs”, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq. Literally a world away from most contemporary portrayals of Islam, and yet as close to the source as could be.

By the Torah of Moses,
the Gospel of Jesus,
the Psalms of David,
and the Furqan of Muhammad!

• For dessert, here is one of the most famous of Zen Buddhist classics, the Instructions for the Cook (Tenzo Kyokun) by Dogen, explaining how the spiritual way is in deep harmony with the art of preparing food and serving others.

When you serve the monastic assembly, they and you should taste only the flavour of the Ocean of Reality, the Ocean of unobscured Awake Awareness, not whether or not the soup is creamy or made only of wild herbs.