One of my longtime most favorite quotations concerning work – in honor of the American Labor Day Weekend: In his book, The Masters of Wisdom, J.G. Bennett wrote that… “At the time of the Mongol invasion, the Grand Master [of the Central Asian Sufi’s known as the Khwajagan] was Khwaja Arif Riwgarawi. Riwgara was a village about twenty miles from Bukhara. According to a popular legend Chinghis Khan stopped in Riwgara before beginning the siege of Bukhara. Most of the population had fled, but Khwaja Arif remained and was seen working at a loom of his own invention. Chinghis Khan was impressed by his tranquil demeanor and by the skill with which he worked. He asked through an interpreter for an explanation. Khwaja Arif replied: ‘My outer attention is on my work and my inner attention is on the Truth; I have no time to notice what is happening in the world around me.’ Chinghis Khan was so pleased with this reply that he ordered the inhabitants of Riwgara should be left in peace…” The fate of Bukhara was not so benign: “The siege of Bukhara was over in a week and the Mongols entered the city on the 10th February 1220. The citadel held out for another twelve days and all the defenders were killed…” In other places, the ability to maintain an inner tranquility in the midst of the hubbub, and while engaged in outer activity, has been described as “solitude in the crowd”. I suspect that having such a skill could even have benefit in today’s world! So – If any of my friends are experimenting along these lines, I hope they will communicate – we can exchange observations, etc.
Archive for August, 2013