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"Time for the Soul" (cyt-001)
Prepared by Rev. Cheraga Cynthia Taylor
based on a service delivered in Johannesburg , South Africa - May 1997 
Description of Altar for Universal Worship: 

First we place on our altar the beautiful Golden colored cloth with our 
universal symbol of the heart and wings facing the congregation, the symbol 
of Love, Harmony and Beauty. The Wings representing the raising of the 
heart towards God. 

We then place the candle representing "The God Light" center of the altar, 
on its special stand with the heart symbol, (at least that is how ours is 
in Johannesburg), on the left (audience facing altar) we place from the 
extreme left,  Hindu Buddhist, Zoroastrian candles and on the right hand 
side from the extreme right, Islam, Christian and Hebrew and lastly the 
candle representing "The Spirit of Guidance" is placed in front of the God 
Light. (slightly shorter) 

Flowers lovingly picked from the gardens of our wonderful gardeners, are 
placed on either side of the altar, indicating light and magnetism * the 
left being slightly shorter representing the negative aspect and the right 
slightly taller (the differences are only slight) representing the positive 
aspect. The flowers are placed of the    back corners of the altar. 

The books covered with golden cloth the same as the Altar are placed in 
front of each candle evenly spaced. And the Gayan is placed central in 
front of the 'Spirit of Guidance' Candle. 

A candle lighter is placed gently on the left of the altar for the Altar 
lighter to use. 

Incense is placed in an attractive incense holder in front of the two 
candles representing the 'God Light' and 'Spirit of Guidance Light' 

Discretely copies of the prayers are placed for those who need a prompt, 
Saum on the left and Salat and Khatum on the right.  

Three chairs are placed in front of the altar two next to each other on the 
left side and one on its own on the right hand side, and a small table 
placed with a glass of water for the Cherag/Cheraga's,  The participating 
Cherag/Cheraga's must consist of either two Cherag (male) and one Cheraga 
(Female) or Two Cheraga and one Cherag.  

The leader of the group walks up to the altar and lights the "God Light"  
and the incense saying the invocation quietly to himself, to Invoke the 
presence of God at our beautiful Altar.  This is done quietly before the 
congregations enters. (I don't know of this is done at all centers but in 
our Service in Johannesburg our Sufi leader does it). 

Towards the One 
The Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty 
The Only Being  
United with all the Illuminated Souls 
Who form the Embodiment of the Master 
The Spirit of Guidance 

The participants retire to the robing room prepared for them (if there is 
one) to wait the time to enter three chairs are placed, our 
Cherags/Cheraga's are dressed quietly in simple black skirt/trousers cream 
blouse/shirt (Cherag black tie) and our gowns, (either black or brown as 
agreed by the center).  The three Altar bearers sit quietly holding hands 
forming a power circle and quietly tune them selves to the forthcoming 

Our Two Cherag's and Cheraga stand to enter into the temple, the Lighter 
first, reader second and the Cheraga (me) last.  You can provide you own 
personal preference for music for the service.  

The Cherag who will light stands before the first chair nearest the 
congregation, the one who will read in front of the chair nearest the altar 
(on the left) and the Cheraga who will give the address in front of the 
chair on the right.  They stand for a couple of seconds and then sit 
together, The Congregation is standing as they walk to the altar and also 
sit when the Cherag/Cheraga sit 

The Cherag who lights stands and takes the taper and uses the God Light to 
light it. Then says the Invocation,  

Towards the One 
The Perfection of Love,  Harmony and Beauty 
The Only Being  
United with all the Illuminated Souls 
Who form the Embodiment of the Master 
The Spirit of Guidance 

Then raises the taper towards the God light Saying:  

To the glory of the Omnipresent God we kindle the light (light first Hindu 
Candle) symbolically representing the Hindu Religion. 

Towards the glory of the Omnipresent God we kindle the light (light first 
Buddhist Candle) symbolically representing the Buddhist Religion. 

Towards the glory of the Omnipresent God we kindle the light (Zoroastrian 
Candle) symbolically representing the Zoroastrian Religion. 

Towards the glory of the Omnipresent God we kindle the light ( Hebrew 
Candle) symbolically representing the Hebrew Religion. 

Towards the glory of the Omnipresent God we kindle the light (Christian 
Candle) symbolically representing the Christian Religion. 

Towards the glory of the Omnipresent God we kindle the light (Islam Candle) 
symbolically representing the Religion of Islam. 

Towards the glory of the Omnipresent God we kindle the light (Spirit of 
Guidance Candle) symbolically representing all those who whether known or 
unknown to the world , have held aloft the light through the darkness of 
human Ignorance. 

Let us Pray 

Praise be to thee, Most supreme God,  
Omnipotent, Omnipresent, All-pervading, the Only Being 
Take us in thy Parental Arms 
Raise us from t he denseness of the earth 
thy Beauty do we worship 
to thee do we give willing surrender 
Most Merciful and compassionate god 
The Idealized Lord of the whole humanity 
Thee only do we worship; and towards Thee alone we aspire 
open our Hearts towards Thy Beauty 
Illuminate our souls with Divine Light 
Oh thou, the Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty! 
All-powerful Creator, Sustainer, Judge and Forgiver of our short-comings 
Lord God of the East and the West, of the world above and below,  
And of the seen and unseen beings 
pour upon us Thy Love and Thy Light 
Give substance to our bodies, hearts and souls.  
Use us for the propose that thy Wisdom chooseth 
And guide us on the path of thine Own Goodness 
Draw us closer to Thee, every moment of our life,  
Until in us be reflected thy Grace, Thy glory, Thy Wisdom, Thy Joy and Thy 
Peace.   Amen 

The cherag quietly sits down. 

The cherag who reads quietly lifts up the first book and turns facing the 
congregation, and opens to the marked page, to read: 

'We will read from the world's Scriptures today our subject is "Time for 
the Soul" 

From the Upanishads we read: 

It is said that man knows nothing but desire, his desire brings about his 
decision, his decision causes his action and what ever action he performs 
that he becomes.   But his desires are created by his thoughts.  It is 
they who determine his actions and the direction of his life.   Thus man 
reaps the fruit of his actions caused by his thoughts whatever he does.  

        [Upanishads 4:4, Translated from book page 25]
And Krishna Taught Arjuna, saying: 

The Soul is the state in which the sense-transcendent bliss becomes known 
to the awakened intuitive intelligence and in which the Yogi remains 
enthroned, never again to be removed. 

The state that, once found, the Yogi considers as the treasure beyond all 
other treasures - the state in which he is immune to every grief....  That 
state is known as yoga - the pain-free state. 

Immerse thy mind in me alone - concentrate on me thy discriminate 
perception, and beyond doubt thou shall dwell immortally in me.  

[Bhagavad Gita: 20-23, VII:7]
(Closing the book and raising it towards the God Light) 

We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage and our 
gratitude, for the Light of the Divine WISDOM 

From the Iti-Vittaka we read: 

This verily was said by the Blessed One, said by the Holy One, so I have 

And there are three silences, O monks; What silences? 
The Silence of body, word and mind.   These are the three silences, O, 

To this effect spoke the Blessed One, and here said the following: 

that is silent in body, word and mind, free from taint and possessed of 
the quality of silence of an illuminated One, he, they say, had washed away 
his sin.  

        [Iti-Vittaka, p77, par 67 & 70]
Wherever you look there is rushing and pushing.  An eager pursuit of 
pleasures, a panic flight from pain and death, a vanity fair and the flames 
of burning desires.   The world is full of changes and transformations.  

Is there is nothing permanent in the world? Is there in the universal 
turmoil no resting place where our troubled heart can find peace?  Is there 
nothing everlasting? 

        [Gospel of Buddha, Ch 2]
(Closing the book and raising it towards the God Light) 

We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage and our 
gratitude, for the Light of the Divine COMPASSION 

>From the  ZOROASTRIAN  Scriptures we read: 

Take counsel with thine own understanding, with good insight practice the 
holiest works of piety. 

May thy mind be master of thy vow, 
May thy soul be master of its vow, 
And all the days and nights of the life, mayst thou live in the joy of the 

(Closing the book and raising it towards the God Light) 

We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage and our 
gratitude, for the Light of the Divine PURITY. 

The cherag walks across (with dignity) to the right side of the altar and 
then takes the Old Testament of the Altar: 

>From the Old Testament we read: 

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the 
A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck 
up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to 
break down, and a time to build up. 
A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;  a time 
to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.  
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; 
A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silent, and a time to 
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 

(Closing the book and raising it towards the God Light) 

We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage and our 
gratitude, for the Light of the Divine LAW 

>From the New Testament we read: 

Jesus said to his disciples: But when you pray, go into your room by 
yourself, shut the door and pray to your Father who is there in the secret 
place, and your Father who sees what is secret will reward you.          

[Matt 6:6-8]
Come to me, all you that are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will 
give you rest.   Take my yolk and put it on you, and learn from me, for I 
am gentle and humble in spirit. And your soul will find rest. 

For my yolk is easy and the load I put on you is light.  

[Matt, 11:28-30]
(Closing the book and raising it towards the God Light) 

We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage and our 
gratitude, for the Light of the Divine SELF-SACRIFICE. 

>From the Qu'ran we read: 

It is Allah who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky 
as a canopy... and has provided for you sustenance, of things pure and 
good;  such is Allah your Lord.  So Glory to Allah The Lord of the Worlds. 

[Tr. H. Of Living Religions. Ch 1]
(Closing the book and raising it towards the God Light) 

We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage and our 
gratitude, for the Light of the Divine UNITY. 

We will now have a short silence: 

>From the Gayan we read: 

It is not our situation in life, but our attitude towards it, that makes us 
happy or unhappy. 
Life is an opportunity, not only of accomplishing ones desires, but of 
fulfilling even the deepest yearning of the soul. 

Pick not flowers, for it will detain you in your progress on the path, and 
as you go, they will only fade away.   Look at them, therefore, and admire 
their beauty, and as you proceed on your journey, they will greet you with 
smiles all along the way. 

Speech is the sign of living, but silence is life itself.  
Silent voice, in the stillness if night I hear thy whisper. 
People often ask me questions which I cannot very well answer in words, and 
it make me sad to think they are unable to hear the voice of my silence. 

What is peace?  Peace is the natural condition of the soul.  The soul which 
has lost its natural condition becomes restless.  The normal condition of 
mind is tranquillity, yet at the same time the mind is anything but 
tranquil, the soul experiences anything but peace.  

Blessed is he who rests in the abode of his soul. 

(Closing the book and raising it towards the God Light) 

We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage and our 
gratitude, for the Light of the Divine TRUTH. 

Let us Pray: 


Most Gracious Lord, Master, Messiah, and Saviour of humanity,  
We greet Thee with all Humility 
Thou art the First Cause and the Last Effect, the Divine Light and the 
Spirit of Guidance, Alpha and Omega 
Thy Light is in all forms, Thy Love in all Beings, in a Loving mother, in a 
kind father, in an innocent child, in a helpful friend, in an inspiring teacher. 
Allow us to recognize Thee in all Thy holy names and forms, as Rams, as 
Krishna, as Shiva, As Buddha. 
let us know thee as Abraham, as Solomon, as Zarathustra, as Moses, as 
Jesus, as Mohammed, and in many other names and forms, known and unknown to 
the world.  
We adore thy past, thy presence deeply enlighteneth our being, and we look 
for Thy blessing in the future.  
O Messenger, Christ, Nabi, the Rasul of God! 
Thou Whose heart constantly reacheth upward, thou commest on earth with a 
message, as a Dove from above when Dharma decayeth, and speakest the Word 
that is put into thy mouth, as the light filleth the crescent moon. 
let the star of the Divine Light shining in Thy heart be reflected in the 
hearts of thy devotees.  
May the Message of God reach far and wide, illuminating and making the 
whole humanity as one single Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God.   Amen 

*The Address*
*Time for the Soul*

A distinguished explorer who spent a couple of years among the savages of 
the upper Amazon, once attempted to force march through the jungle.   The 
party made extraordinary speed for the first two days, but on the third 
morning, when it was time to start, the explorer found all the natives 
sitting on their haunches, looking very solemn and making no preparation to 
leave.   They are waiting, the chief explained to the explorer, they 
* cannot move further until their souls have caught up with their bodies *.  

These primitive people knew that the soul was very important, and that time 
was needed for the  preparation of the soul.     How do we make time for 
our souls?   Do we even consider our souls?  Or do we ignore the soul 
pretending that it is not there.    Yet without the soul we would not be 
here, as it is the essential part of us.  Once the soul leaves the body 
then we no longer exist on this dimension.  

Do we give our bodies rest in order for our souls to recharge their 
batteries or are we so busy in our every day life that time to reflect, to 
contemplate, to meditate are ignored hence the soul becomes out of sync.  

Martin Luther King, who had an extremely busy schedule, said, that if he 
did not spend at least 2 hours praying he could not get through his day. 

Stuart Kinzie says in his essay "The Art of Purposeful Pausing" 

On a liner bound for Europe I was browsing in the library when I came 
across a puzzling line by Robert Louis Stevenson:   Extreme business, 
whether at school, work or market is a symptom of deficient vitality  

Surely I thought >deficient must be a mistake - he meant >abundant   But 
Mr Stevenson went merrily on - "It is no good speaking to such folk: they 
cannot be idle, their nature is not generous enough" 

"Was it possible that a bustling display of energy might only be a 
camouflage for a spiritual vacuum?   The thought so impressed me that I 
mentioned it next day to the French purser, at whose table I was sitting.  
He nodded his agreement, '"Stevenson is right, indeed if you will pardon my 
saying so, the idea applies particularly to you Americans.  A lot of your 
countrymen keep so busy getting things done that they reach the end of 
their lives without ever having lived at all". 

On the other side of me was a fragile little Chinese scholar from Hong 
Kong. "True" he said "When there is no time for quiet, there is no time for 
the soul to grow.   The man who walks through the countryside sees much 
more that the man who runs"   He smiled and waved a fine-boned hand 
"sometimes, when you have a task to do, try doing it tomorrow instead of 
today.  In the end, maybe you will get more done - because maybe you will 
live longer!" 

Mr Kinzie goes on to say: 

Still another discovery I made was that leisurelessness, tranquillity, 
little periods of deliberate aimlessness - these things draw people 
together.    Try spending an hour with your husband or wife just sauntering 
along the street, window shopping.  Or hunt for pine cones or acorns in a 
wood with the children (children are instinctive pausers).  The ancient 
prohibition against work and organised entertainment on Sunday was designed 
to create this atmosphere of spiritual harmony.  When you practice the art 
of pausing, you are really scattering fragments of Sunday throughout the 

The period that we Sufis spend at our Summer Schools (Sufi Camps, believe 
you say at some places) are periods of purposeful pausing.  We deliberately 
leave the hustle and bustle of life and go into a place of quiet 
contemplation.   We do not cut ourselves off from the world but we spend a 
few days with people of like mind and ideas and share a brief period of 
renewing our souls.   These few days gives us a time to pause and think on 
what our lives have been, are and to look to how we wish to spend the 
future.   We listen to the wise words of Murshid and take it all in.  We 
enjoy such simple pleasures such as laughter at the dinner table, this 
laughter and sharing is a release from the tensions that we have faced in 
the past year.  For those who are fortunate enough to attend Summer Schools 
on a regular basis, to them is a opportunity to give "quality" time for the 

Stuart Kinzie continues: 

Anyone who will step back and take a look at his way of life can find ways 
to slow down without resorting to tranquillizers.  Why shouldn't the busy 
housewife, between chores, kick off her shoes, lie down on the sofa and 
daydream for a few minutes? Or even watch her favourite soapie!!   If her 
conscience tries to intrude, it should be sent on an errand.  When she gets 
up she'll find that a lot of energy has flowed back into her.  

I have found that when I have a large typing job to do, I stop for pauses 
approximately each hour, I don't watch the clock, my body just knows that 
it needs a pause, I then stop, get a drink, sit and get a book to read, 
which switches the mind off the subject I have been typing.   Or even just 
walk in the garden, take a stroll to check that the post has arrived. Fill 
the dog's bowl with water.  Pick vegetables from the garden, spend a little 
time meditating or even take a short nap which one wakes refreshed.  
These tasks are small pleasurable tasks that detract from the onerous task 
that has to be done. Winston Churchill used to take ten minutes naps 
instead of full hours of sleep, this kept him going when the going got 

Stuart Kinzie continues: 

Pausers are not time-wasters; they are time-users. 

To be sure, pausing can be overdone.  Lying in bed that extra five minutes 
is delightful; an extra hour might be not only dull but disastrous.  Sooner 
or later most of us have to get up, go to the office or get the children 
off to school, attend to the endless mechanics of living.   But we will do 
these things better if we have the emotional balance and controlled energy 
that come from deliberate slowing of the pace.  

Why not try it?  All it takes a little *Won't*  power.  Make up you mind 
that you *won't* be hurried, you  *won't* be rushed, you *won't * - 
necessarily - do it now!  

Some of us are lucky in some ways in which we do not have to join the "rat 
race" of life. I consider myself blessed that I no longer have to get up 
every day rush to get dressed, face the morning traffic to get, at a set 
time, to work, then spend +/- 8 hours working for someone else, with no 
original thought of my own.  After the days work, rush through the rush 
hour traffic again and back home to cook supper, clean house, and do all 
the chores that are necessary to keep a home going.   For sure, there is a 
price to pay for not working outside, but that is just a material one, the 
enjoyment of being at home, having time to take off, be able to meditate 
and contemplate on matters of more importance be it spiritual or material, 
is the reward of lack of material things.  

However, that does not mean that we must abandon life and live it only in 
quiet contemplation, we need when we are busy to give it the best we can. 
The quiet pauses are times to gather strength for the next onslaught, that 
the job can be done better for the pause.   We need to create a balance 
between the extreme bussiness and the quiet times, in order that we create 
a greater balance in our own lives.  

Here is another aspect of pausing, and looking at how one views one's life: 
Merle Allison who recorded this story in the Rosicrucian Digest of February 
1982 gives us another aspect of viewing our perception of life, though not 
a story of rest, it does leave one with wise thoughts. 

It was one of those mornings I am sure we have all experienced; the kind of 
a morning when necessity demands you go to work no matter how badly or how 
sick you may feel.  So it was with me. I had a miserable cold and like many 
other winter mornings in San Francisco, it was windy and foggy and bitterly 

I stood at my transfer point with a dozen or more other people shivering, 
my face half buried in the turned-up collar of my coat.  I was ill in both 
body and mind.  I had missed my first bus, and a red light had caused me to 
miss the transfer bus.  I had no disposition for pretense.  I was miserable 
and didn't care who knew it, and my misery was augmented by the fact that I 
would have to wait  another fifteen minutes in the wind and cold for the 
next bus. 

Silently I bemoaned my fate, feeling extremely sorry for myself, growing 
hostile against the weather and the bus company in particular, upon which I 
took a belligerent pleasure in blaming the discomfort inflicted upon me by 
my ill-timed morning. 

I was frowning gloomily and my jaw was clamped shut to keep my teeth from 
chattering.  For certainly, my expression was anything but pleasant and my 
red nose would surely have made me a perfect substitute for the well-known 
red-nosed reindeer.  I pulled my chin out from under my coat collar long 
enough to glare down the street hoping for some glimpse of the next 
offending bus.  That was when I saw him. 

He seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, poorly dressed, in fact quite 
shabbily so.  Neither this nor the fact the he was an elderly man softened 
my frame of mind.  I immediately judged him as a bum and an panhandler, but 
his strange actions mystified me.  I found myself watching him with a 
growing interest.  

He picked his way carefully through the waiting crowd, stopping for just a 
few moments in front of each lady at the bus stop.  He would speak to each 
one for just the fraction of moment, tip his hat, and pass on to the next.  
After he left, each lady had a smile on her face, yet no one gave him 
anything nor acted in any manner to give the impression that he had asked 
for anything.  The men he ignored completely. 

I couldn't help wondering about this and feeling curious about his actions, 
yet as he came towards me, I instinctively stiffened against his approach 
muttering inwardly "probably some nut trying to be a comedian" I was in no 
mood for comic remarks and tried very hard to look it.  I glared at him 
with what I felt would be a most discouraging scowl, and I was ready to cut 
him short with whatever curt response I could think up to fit the 

He stopped within a couple of feet of me, looked straight into my 
red-nosed, scowling face and said: "My dear, you look very beautiful this 
morning".  He doffed his hat, smiled and bowed slightly in a manner that 
would have done justice to the most princely chevalier. 

Before my stunned senses could recover, he had passed on down the street.  
I stared after him like one in a hypnotic trance.  If I had been slapped 
across the face I couldn't have been jolted any harder.  He couldn't help 
seeing my red nose and the ill temper of my face, yet in spite of this he 
gave kind words and a friendly smile.  I hadn't deserved his kindness, yet 
he gave it without hesitation. 

It was only when I got to work that I realised that I had completely 
forgotten my own misery and my ill temper.  I could think of nothing else 
but this strange little man who had passed like a shadow yet had changed my 
whole morning and left me with something to think over the rest of my life. 

More and more he began to seem like an angel disguised as a very humble 
soul, perhaps even alone in the world with nothing to give to anyone but a 
beautiful philosophy that he believed in living.  Whether the sun was 
shining or not made no difference to him.  He seemed to know that with a 
few kind words and a smile he could spread sunshine wherever he went.  Yes, 
he came like a shadow out of nowhere, and drifted back into nowhere, a 
nameless, faceless shadow, giving to many that unforgettable something that 
all the money in the world could never buy, and left in his passing *a 
little part of the light that burned within his soul.* 

Yes, a *little part of the light that burned within his soul" * 

Do we allow that light to burn within our souls or do we dim the light with 
our daily grind, *of lack of time, lack of insight, lack of caring.* 

Murshid has this to say on this subject: 

>From the volume of  "The Alchemy of happiness" 

There are five things man yearns for: Life, power, knowledge, happiness and 
peace, and the continual appetite which is felt in the deepest self yearns 
for one or other of these five things.  
In order to fulfil the desire to live, man eats and drinks and protects 
himself from all dangers of life. 

In order to obtain power, which is the next thing, a man does everything to 
gain physical strength, influence, or rank, he seeks every kind of power, 

Then there is the desire for knowledge, This desire promotes a tendency to 

The fourth kind of appetite is happiness.  Man tries to satisfy it by 
pleasures, not knowing that the pleasures of this world cannot make up for 
that happiness which his soul really seeks after. 

And Lastly there is the appetite for peace. 

In order to find peace one leaves one's environment which troubles one, one 
wants to get away from people, one wants to *sit quietly and rest. * 

What is peace?  Peace is the natural condition of the soul.  The soul which 
has lost its natural condition becomes restless.  The normal condition of 
mind is tranquility, yet at the same time the mind is anything but 
tranquil, the soul experiences anything but peace.  

The soul's happiness comes when it is freed from its physical burden, it 
can only be happy when it can be itself.  

One final thought: 

What were you worrying about 10 years ago, and what will you be worrying 
about 10 years from now.   Surely one needs to get our lives into 
perspective and *give time for the soul.* 

Let us Pray 


O thou, who art the Perfection of Love, harmony, and beauty, 
The Lord of heaven and earth, 
Open our hearts that we may hear Thy Voice, which constantly 
cometh from within. 
Disclose to us Thy Divine Light, which is hidden in our souls, that we may 
know and understand life better.  
Most Merciful and Compassionate God, give us Thy great goodness 
Teach us Thy loving Forgiveness 
Raise us above the distinctions and differences which divide men; 
Send us the Peace of Thy Divine Spirit 
And unite us all in the Thy Perfect Being.  Amen 

*The Blessing* 

Cheraga raising hands in benediction  

May the blessings of God rest upon you, 
may his peace abide with you,
and may His Presence illuminate your hearts 
now and forever more.

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