Monastic Rules and the Death of a Sufi Saint

This week we bring to our library some of the rich Vinaya literature—guidance for the monastic life—of the Theravada Buddhist tradition, in parallel with a Christian counterpart from the Carmelite order.

The two volumes of translations from the Pali encompass the rules and the customs of the monks.

Discipline is for the sake of restraint, restraint for the sake of freedom from remorse, freedom from remorse for the sake of joy, joy for the sake of rapture, rapture for the sake of tranquility, tranquility for the sake of pleasure, pleasure for the sake of concentration, concentration for the sake of knowledge and vision of things as they have come to be, knowledge and vision of things as they have come to be for the sake of disenchantment, disenchantment for the sake of dispassion, dispassion for the sake of release, release for the sake of knowledge and vision of release, knowledge and vision of release for the sake of total unbinding through non-clinging.

• And the ancient Rule of St Albert Avogadro is presented along with an excerpt from The Ten Books on the Way of Life and Great Deeds of the Carmelites:

Although an understanding of this way of life consists in experience alone—and this understanding cannot be given fully in words alone unless from someone who is experienced, nor can it be completely grasped by you unless with equal application and toil you strive to learn it through experience—nevertheless, you will be able to follow the teaching of this way of life much better and be encouraged to practise it more fervently if you understand the worthiness of its members and founders, and are acquainted with the original pattern of life of the Order.

• Finally, an original French article by Eric Geoffroy about the deaths of the saints in Islam, with attention to the symbolism and the ascetic implications of the Sufi ars moriendi: “La mort du saint en Islam”:

“ Conduis-toi dans ce monde comme un homme qui jeûne, et envisage ton dernier jour comme la fête de la rupture du jeûne (‘îd al-fitr) ”.

• Your attention is drawn to the upcoming: Sacred Gardens course, a practical & philosophical workshop with Emma Clark, from 9th to 11th May in Wells, UK..