Friday, October 2, 2015 | Ibn al-Arabi and the Path of Love | Lecture by Eric Winkel | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | Suggested Donation $10

“Read what has been deposited in my ruled lines.” With this command, Ibn al-Arabi starts to see in the Youth the structure of the 560 chapters that will become the Futuhat al-Makkiyah, which he will dictate to his circle of friends. He is recording the knowledge he found etched in light throughout the body of the Youth. The knowledge is whole cloth, but perhaps the one threat that runs throughout is love. In the chapter on love, Ibn al-Arabi explains all by love: why there is a universe, how particles and molecules come together, how letters “join together” to “reproduce” words and become meaningful sentence, and why we always long for what we don’t have. The love he is talking about is “in love” in English, with other more noble and less insane forms of love being covered by other Arabic conepts. In fact the love he is speaking of is what will spread from Muslim Spain throughout Europe and beyond as chivalry and romantic love. The knight’s love for the unattainable lord’s lady can flourish precisely because it is not a “real” or consummated relationship. The love for what isn’t characterizes God’s love for the creation that isn’t yet, and our love for fame and fortune which is never enough (or consummated), and our love for this or that beloved who isn’t here. English seems too “bottom line” when translating these complex, layered, and intricate Arabic depictions of love. No wonder students in medieval universities were abandoning their Latin studies to learn Arabic—and read the Arabic poetry that came out of Spain and gave Europe the idea of romantic love.

Dr. Eric Winkel (Shu`ayb) is three years into the project to produce the first translation of Ibn al-Arabi’s Futuhat al-Makkiyah. At 10,000 pages, this work is one of the most important texts of Western civilization. Ibn al-Arabi uses many languages to describe the vision of the Youth at the Ka?bah, including grammar, mathematics, geometry, and Islamic Law, but perhaps the language of love is the most accessible to us today.


Monday, September 28, 2015 | Getting to the Heart of Your Matter (Part 3): We is Me | Lecture by Ilyas Kashani | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | Suggested Donation $20

If you take exceptional care of yourself — achieving a fine balance of a clean and nutritious diet, regular exercise, deep rest, and meditation/release — does that make you a healthy person? Is health really just a private experience?

As a result of our interconnectedness, which is multidimensional, it is practically impossible to filter out the waves of experience that ebb and surge through our local and global atmospheres. And in the face of what appears to be a ceaselessly volatile world, the inescapable nature of shared experience can be quite unsettling and troubling, and for many, quite debilitating. Not only do we share time and space in an obviously social experience, but we are intertwined in a subtle fabric that is energetic and psychic.

In truth, the smallest unit of health is not the individual, but is in fact the ‘community.’ And if we look carefully at what constitutes a community, one might soon realize that individual health is inseparable from the cosmos itself.

As troubled as the world might be, we cannot change others, much less the world. The task of changing ourselves is difficult enough. Individual awakening, however, is the key to global well-being. We have a hand in at least that much, individually-speaking.

When it comes to doing our ‘work,’ honest and rigorous self-evaluation is at the heart of spiritual growth. However, relationships provide the context for us to see ourselves. In fact, we need others to see ourselves, we need others to grow our selves.

This presentation is an exploration of health and well-being in the context of a spiritual community. Topics include: holistic perspectives and strategies for spiritual wayfarers; spiritual concerns for the mentally-ill; psycho-emotional challenges of spiritual travelers; and heart-centered communication. Join us for this informative discussion that gets to the heart of your communal matter.

Ilyas Kashani is a “hakim” or practitioner of Traditional Islamic Healing and Medicine (TIHM). His training in TIHM began at six years of age through his father. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech. He has studied various traditional and modern holistic therapies since 1990, including Homeopathy, Reiki, Osteopathic manual medicine, meditation, qigong, and yoga. He holds a Master of Acupuncture degree from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute, and is certified in Chinese Herbology by the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture. In 2000, he founded the Circle of One, a 501c3 non-profit Center of Traditional Medicine, to serve people in need, regardless of their financial circumstances. At present, he is advancing the Hakim Wellness Project to revive the study and practice of TIHM. This effort includes the construction of a clinic, writing a multi-volume TIHM text, training the next generation of physician-healers, and producing a film documentary. To learn more, visit


Saturday, October 25, 2014 | DREAM, SLEEPWALKING AND AWAKENINGS: Ibn ‘Arabi on the Mysteries of Divine “Cinema” and Its Human Reflections | Lecture by James Morris

Virtually every author introducing Ibn ‘Arabi has highlighted his characteristic under- standing of manifest creation as a kind of divine Imagining (khiyal) or cosmic shadow- theater. But what does that vast metaphysical vision mean for us, for our experience of life and its dramas and transformations? Drawing on a few key passages from the key penultimate section (559) of his “Meccan Illuminations”, which summarizes the central teachings of each preceding chapter in that immense work, we shall explore the ways his accounts there of spiritual realization and awakening revealingly parallel more famil- iar dimensions of cinema and related arts in our own experience and cultural setting.