Actually, I don’t think I’ll be getting a tattoo any time soon. For one thing I haven’t got the money and, for another, I think I’d be too much of a wimp with regard the pain!
Anyway, here’s what Toby Johnson, author of, among other books, Gay Spirituality and Charmed Lives, says about this beautiful symbol.
The symbol of the Sufis is a winged heart. Sufism is not a way of the head but of the heart. The way to fly to God is to open the heart, to be human and to love and offer life in service to God and to others. The primary mystical teaching of Sufism is contained in the Sufi interpretation of the Islamic credo La Ilaha El Allah Hu. What most Muslims interpret as a declaration of monotheism, “There is no God but Allah,” the Sufis understand as a revelation of ultimate unity: “There is no reality but God.” To remind themselves of the implications of this, Sufis sometimes greet one another with Ya Azim: “How wonderfully God manifests to me through you.”
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Sufi Way
In the Garden of Spirituality – Doris Lessing
A Living Twenty-First Century Tradition
It Happens All the Time in Heaven
Clarity, Hope and Courage
An Evening with the Yuval Ron Ensemble
In the Garden of Spirituality – Toby Johnson
Image: "Silent Winged Prayer" by Susan St.Thomas, who describes her artwork as: “A meditation for both opening of the heart and Divine protection. The winged heart is a symbol for the mystical path of the Sufi. The purple magnolia symbolizes the innermost chamber of the heart, set in a mandala inspired by an ancient Sufi prayer rug pattern.”
A doctor friend of mine remarked "Tattoos - you weren't born with one, so you must not need one."
Painful to get, and worse to remove. Even a dermatological laser can't completely remove a tattoo.
If you are determined to get one, be prepared to pay top dollar, to a proven artist with the best recommendations.
I had a Sufi inspired practice for several years, many years ago. It was so beautiful and sweet. In the last several years I somehow found myself separated from this practice; largely, I believe, because I moved thousands of mies from my sufi group. Thank you, Michael, for reminding me of this practice and how much I have gained from it over the years and how important it is to me...
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