Songs of the orient

When I tune into my heart there resides the song of the orient in there.
It does not beat in the rhythm of the country I was born in, nor in another that may have been in generations of my family. It beats in the scintillating, colorful sounds of the orient.
It always has and it always will. Since my childhood I have been fascinated by tales that seemed to stem from arabic cultures. No one in my family has ever taken an interest in any of it. My brother had some interest in it when he was working in Doha, but other than that no one has ever thought about it.

Many years I have traveled to places that I felt I needed to see and experience: Turkey, Lebanon, the UAE, Qatar,… and I am certain that once covid regulations have settled, I will travel some more. There exists this deep longing in my heart that has never fully settled. One of course is the longing for God as the Sufis say- it is the heart that heeds the call for one’s creator. The other one is a restlessness, yet a stillness that descends upon me when I am in these countries. It is something so ancient that my mind, as much as it is trying to analyze it, cannot comprehend.

There have been past lifetimes as an Arab and only the heart knows this truth.
I find myself weeping most of the time thinking about all these periods that I spent over there. Even Venice was a reminder of my ancient oriental roots.
Sometimes the orient is displayed as cruel and harsh, as if it was the enemy, but for all I know is that it was always an open experience: People were always friendly, I have been invited to many peoples’ homes, they wanted to chat with me, hear about my stories as I also listened to theirs. The food was always incredible and after long days of walking, visiting sights and shops, I always felt as if heaven had sent me all these people to share a few hours with.
The Sufis say that Allah lives in every living being, all is part of God consciousness. Allah has sent his breath down into our hearts and has created us, so that He can experience Himself through each and every action that we take. Each breath that we take, is a reminder of Him. As much as we may try to control or change them, they are none other than our own created images and the world we are living in.

In oriental lore it is always the heart that opens the doorway to another kingdom. If we look at Rumi and Shamz, we find love to be the opener of doors to full illumination.
It is no other than love that can heal and fully realize our own innate divine nature. In Buddhism it is called the Buddha mind. It is a sattvic, still and content mind, that creates no obstacles or ripples.
The more still the mind becomes, the more aware one becomes of one’s subtle surroundings. Once a certain threshold has been passed, it is impossible to go back. Someone said this to me once: “It is impossible to unsee.”

So through the seeing heart we shall perceive wonder, peoples’ joys, their sorrows and anxieties, their thoughts and also their subtle disconnection from their own true nature. They perceive themselves to be separate whereas all is one.

My oriental heart shall tell you many tales of beauty and of love. Of fights and offerings, of devotion and annihilation. It shall tell you of its divine origin and the many lifetimes that have passed that I spent on this planet. It shall envelope you with its beauty and charisma that chases dreams through the night until it sees dawn beckoning.
It is the heart that we need to understand, not the mind.
For it is only the human egotistical mind that wants and chases things.

So trust your heart, because it will lead you towards love…eventually.


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