Heart Prayer, the Oupnek’hat, and Lives of Man

Welcome to our November newsletter!

• We begin our selection with a new addition to our Sacred Audio Collection: audio recordings of the “Jesus Prayer” or “Prayer of the Heart”, as used in the Orthodox churches from the earliest times. We present authentic recordings, directly from within the Greek monastic hesychast tradition.

   kyrie eleison

• Next, as a landmark of Comparative Religion studies, we share a parallel-text edition of the Oupnek’hat. This first European translation of the Upanishad was made from the Persian and influenced generations of Western scholars.

The Self is in the heart. There are the 101 arteries, and in each of them there are a hundred smaller veins, and for each of these branches there are 72,000. In these the backbreathing moves. Through one of them, the Udana (the outbreathing) leads us upwards to the good world by good work, to the bad world by bad work, to the world of men by both.

• Finally, in an excerpt from a Sufi work by the revered Yemeni master ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad, we present three chapters on the “lives of man,” from the immediacy of death to the vision of God in the afterlife.

The Intermediate Realm is the abode which lies between the world and the life-to-come. It has more affinity with the latter, and is in fact a part of it. It is a place where spirits and spiritual things are predominant, while physical bodies are secondary but share with the spirits in their experiences, whether felicity and joy, or torment and grief.