Devotional Practice

O Marvel ! A garden amidst flames. My Heart has become capable of every form. It is a pasture for gazelles, a cloister for Christian monks, a temple for idols, the pilgrim's Ka'aba, the tables of the Torah, the book of the Koran. Whatever way Love's camels take, that is my religion and my faith.

Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi (1165–1240) from The Interpreter of Ardent Desires

The practice of remembrance, or awareness of our inner reality runs through the way everything is done at Chisholme and in this sense, everything and every moment is an opportunity to express devotion.

As a formal exercise, a practice called Zikr is offered. It is a form of vocal recitation with movements, that comes through the Sufi tradition. Zikr literally means remembrance. From one point of view the practice is our remembering God, our reality, our essential nature, our spirit, or however you prefer to express it. The Zikr is said in Arabic, yet is itself an adaptation of pre-Islamic practices attributed to the Desert Fathers and even more ancient – arguably as old as the capacity and the desire in us to give voice and music to the mystery of our origin.

Devotional practices help to open the heart, encourage the cultivation of a positive outlook and strengthen our resolve along the way. As such they are essential to any course of self-discovery.


Photos © Sanne Gault