Meditation Blanket | Dome of the Rock

Gina Rose Halpern

The Good Supply Pemaquid Maine Midcoast Artisan Store Meditation Blanket in Dome of the Rock Machine Washable by Gina Rose Halpern of the Chaplaincy Institute Made in USA
  • The Good Supply Pemaquid Maine Midcoast Artisan Store Meditation Blanket in Dome of the Rock Machine Washable by Gina Rose Halpern of the Chaplaincy Institute Made in USA
  • The Good Supply Pemaquid Maine Midcoast Artisan Store Meditation Blanket in Dome of the Rock Machine Washable by Gina Rose Halpern of the Chaplaincy Institute Made in USA
  • The Good Supply Pemaquid Maine Midcoast Artisan Store Meditation Blanket in Dome of the Rock Machine Washable by Gina Rose Halpern of the Chaplaincy Institute Made in USA
  • The Good Supply Pemaquid Maine Midcoast Artisan Store Meditation Blanket in Dome of the Rock Machine Washable by Gina Rose Halpern of the Chaplaincy Institute Made in USA
  • $250.00

This machine-washable meditation blanket marks an effort to depict the essence of the Sufi Sprit. Please see the artist's inspiration and descriptive essay below.

- Measures 50" x 82"
- 100% Cotton
- Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Rev. Dr. Gina Rose Halpern has dedicated her life to education, creativity, healing and service. She is the founder of the Chaplaincy Institute, an Interfaith Seminary and Community, which originated in Berkley, CA. Her art has a focus on healing and communion with color. Her has been celebrated nationally and Internationally.

From the Artist:

The art images I am offering are not just paintings or blankets to keep you warm, they are the creations that I have crafted from being a vessel for the spirit of each piece to speak through over the course of my lifetime.

My intention is to offer these as a way to increase consciousness, healing and compassion not just for you, the individual but also through the ripple effect to have my art touch our communities and the world with care and kindness. Please think of these as Blankets of Blessings that you can wrap yourself in, as you meditate, pray, read a good book, or nap and dream. May my good intentions for this journey of life travel with you and those you love all your days.

Searching for Sufism in Art, Music and Dreams

“If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
so happy.”

I am working on a painting to capture the essence of the Sufi Spirit, but how should I know this spirit that is so elusive, so filled with mystery? I look out the window and the leaves of the willow tree are shining in the sun, their subtle dance reminding me of the dervishes spinning gently in their prayer. “La Illaha Il Allah,” says the voice of the willow as it dances in the breeze. There is no reality but God. All-Ah, nothing but the great Ah, the sighing for connection with God - the All One.

This morning I feel more awakened to this presence in the world through the practice and meditation of designing and painting this image to capture the Sufi spirit and the climate that birthed it. On this warm morning of my prayerful reflection, I am reminded of the sweltering heat of the Philadelphia summers where I would take refuge in the cool of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Inside the museum, they had magically transported the interior of a mosque with its turquoise tiles and the symbolic script that spoke of God in a language that touched me, but I could not understand. In those hot summer days of my childhood, I would seek out the cool interior of the space of this mosque as an oasis from suburban life. I would flee there and drink in the beautiful calligraphy, the colors, the rhythmic pattern. I would spend hours gazing at Persian miniatures each one an invitation to enter a whole world, a tiny paradise that would expand inside my heart as I viewed each painting. They were like jewels. And while I loved fairytale books, these miniatures, in a language from a culture I didn’t know, brought me to the mystical tales of spirit that sent me on a quest that was to last my life.

Even without knowing about the Sufis, I was searching for them.

When I began my international travels, I went first to Jerusalem. It was a miraculous journey, particularly in that Israel was at peace with Palestine, and I could wander the ancient streets and flow from the Jewish Wailing Wall through the incredible cathedrals, to the Dome of the Rock, this most exquisite sanctuary of Islamic architecture and Muslim faith.

The Dome of the Rock, was all golden and turquoise, filled with light and the woven colored gardens of prayer rugs. The Dome of the Rock hovered like a mirage over all of Jerusalem. I could feel my heart opening and flying up to meet the windows where the shimmering light poured through. As I later traveled to Pakistan and India, particularly in Kashmir, high in the Himalayan mountains, I felt that I physically entered the world that I had visited in Persian miniatures.

When I was forty, I fell in love with a Sufi musician and teacher. We would dance ecstatically, in the big empty living room, while he prayed and sang: “There is no God but God.”  La Illaha Il Allah, like honey on the tongue.

The Sufis are elusive. The mystery of their tradition is woven in poetry, in carpets, and encoded in the pattern of paintings and textiles, architecture, and song. One night I had a dream that I was traveling and searching for my Sufi teacher. Full of yearning, I traveled far on my quest, to the town where he lived, I knocked on the door of his home, and they said, “The teacher is at the stream, trout fishing.”

It was a beautiful day, and in the dream it was like stepping into the oasis in the dry parched lands where the water flowed gently off the mountain. I saw my teacher standing in the stream. He was fly-fishing, and I could only see him from the back. I thought, “I don’t know how to fish.” Then I realized, there was no hook on his line. But each time he cast the line out in the wind, it was writing scripts of Sufi poetry and prayer in curves, and arabesques, in the slow drifting of the line on the wind of spirit. How I wished I could read the language. But that was my mind, thinking and desiring. My heart knew what the line was saying. “All is God. There is no reality but God. All beauty, all creation, all beings, all is Allah-All-Ah.” And then in the dream, my teacher had died, and I saw his body being carried upstream on the giant back of a salmon, returning to the source, returning home.

Working on this small painting has taken me on a journey of remembrance and of surrender to the creative process of opening my heart to God, to Allah, and letting it take wing and soar in the beauty of this tradition.

In creating this illuminated image of Sufism for the Chaplaincy Institute, I endeavored to capture the qualities of the Persian miniature, inviting us to a spiritual paradise, the abode of The Beloved, and the heart that aspires to union with the Beloved. How is this union attained? Through spiritual practice and prayer, through the whirling of the Dervish, in the practice of Sema, the practice of remembrance, in daily devotion and in exalted poetry and prayer, particularly as captured by the poetry of Rumi, Hafiz, and Rabia. 

In my painting, I placed Rumi’s tomb in Konya, Turkey at the bottom of the image as the foundation of the illumination, since it is through Rumi, that so many Westerners have come to know and appreciate the Golden spirit of the Sufis that gives wings to the heart. For many the Sufi path leads in a gentle fashion to a greater tolerance and appreciation of Islam.

In researching Sufi symbolism, the pomegranate, and the Seal of Solomon, known to the Jews as the Mogen David - the Star of David, appear as connections to the Jewish roots of Islam, in remembrance of returning to the garden of Paradise, of spiritual union. The archway repeats as a theme in the architecture and as the pattern of the prayer rug where the Sufi surrenders and also, travels on the ascending journey towards God.

On a Sunday afternoon in a room with warm ochre colored walls, our students met with Sufi teacher, Shekina Reinhurtz author of “Women Called to the Path of Rumi: The Way Of The Whirling Dervish.” Shekina and two musicians spun the poetry and song into an ecstatic experience of prayer. Gently we were guided, to whirl slowly in the golden light to the sweetest sounds of voice, violin, harmonium, and drum. A prayer or Zikkir was sung of the Prophets of the Book, from Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, to Jesus and Mary and Mohammed, leading us from the tribes of Judaism, into Christianity, and the founding of Islam. I closed my eyes and the painting I had created stood before me as a threshold. I entered on the wings of song into the sacred landscape of these three traditions.

La Illaha Il Allah...There is no God but God. May the path of the Sufis open our hearts to a deeper understanding and embracing of one another, and of the beauty of this journey.

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