We live at a time where we are confronted with a great responsibility. None of our predecessors in any period of human history has been so challenged to say “yes” as we have now, driven by the very impulse which brought us into life. We are asked to say “yes” to life in all its manifestations, really become a community, one body, a microcosm of all that exists, excluding nothing, never separating. — Pir Zia Inayat Khan
Ziraat is an accommodation for planetary awakening and evolution; it serves the harmony of heaven and earth by bringing us in tune with our natural being and by guiding us towards realization of the sacred interdependence and unity of all life.
The word Ziraat means agriculture and helps us experience our own being in a journey of unfolding towards fruitfulness. It uses the symbols and cycles of cultivation in nature to reveal the stages of unfoldment of our natural and most essential self. These stages include the plowing and harrowing of the ground, representing the purification of the mind, and the cultivation of the heart, the sowing of seeds, symbolizing the infusion of the Divine into life with our unique divine gifts, and the reaping of a joyful harvest, the fulfillment of a life in service to all beings.
The harvest of this work, on an individual level, is the mature spiritual person who has developed a sense of sacredness, and who is rooted and integrated in every dimension of life. This fulfillment is a condition of pure affirmation, an unhesitating embrace of all of life that can only arise from an inner state of peace and sense of the purpose of our life and the wisdom being communicated to us from all of our experiences.
The Ziraat method is the answer “yes” to life’s continuous guidance, urging us to discover the fullness of our interconnectedness and to bring our intelligence and creativity to every aspect of our existence. In this we realize that the universe is working out its evolution within each of us, and that our unfoldment is the very unfoldment of the whole of creation, an evolution toward greater love, harmony and beauty.
Ziraat workshops and retreats are open to all and provide teachings on the link between the inner work of spiritual realization and stewardship and reverence for all sentient beings.
The fulfillment of the human being — and the only solution to the present crisis on our planet — is for us to awaken to and live in the truth of our divine nature.
From the work of realizing the natural self comes deep wisdom, insight and healing powers serving in the care and restoration of our sacred planet.
Nobody puts a seed in the ground, not wanting to reap. This could be considered as a basic, we sow and we reap, we act and something comes out of it.
The living heart is the ultimate accommodation for all transformation; it distills and extracts wisdom, discernment, compassion, and ultimately truth out of life’s experiences.
Every atom, every object, every condition and every living being has a time of awakening. — Hazrat Inayat Khan
The purpose of the whole creation is the knowledge that God gains by discovering his divine perfection in human imperfection. — Hazrat Inayat Khan
When the body is redeemed in the holy mystery of participation in an animate and theophanic cosmos, hope will again arise for the future of our green globe, and what is more, true presence in the moment. — Pir Zia Inayat Khan
My deep sigh rises above as a cry of the earth, and an answer comes within as a message. — Hazrat Inayat Khan.
May we be among those who make all things fresh; who bring about the transfiguration of the world. — Zoroastrian Zend Avesta
Air, earth, water and fire are helpers of God. To us they may be seen as lifeless, but for God they are living. — Rumi
There are ploughers in the field and there are reapers of the harvest. All are different and one cannot do the work of the other. But all are working out His plan, and all are necessary one to the others. — Hazrat Inayat Khan
Nature in its different aspects is the materialization of that light which is called the divine Spirit. — Hazrat Inayat Khan
It is necessary for the spirit to pass through an evolution on earth in order that it may arrive at its culmination. Through matter the soul attains to its highest realization. — Hazrat Inayat Khan
Fruitfulness has three aspects. The first aspect is when one benefits from one’s own life; the next aspect is when one benefits from the life outside oneself; and the third aspect is when one is a benefit to oneself and to the life outside, and the life outside is a benefit to oneself. That is the moment of the fruitfulness of life. — Hazrat Inayat Khan
Method(s) of Unfolding Teachings – What We Offer
Ziraat provides a method, feel and answer, to assure that our action in life is in contact with inner guidance and that our experience is meaningful.
We learn to navigate through different stages and these stages are symbolized by seasonal works in agriculture. Agriculture and its seasonal occupations express an underlying rhythm and order of all progress.
The aim of life is fruitfulness, sowing is the central action, but before the seed can be sown the soil has to be prepared.
Ploughing: The first work to be done is ploughing, which symbolically addresses the process of turning over the soil, unlearning, dealing with the compulsive activity of the mind with its unsettled thoughts. In this state, the mind is like a wild horse, which we need to meet and to calm down to find repose and clarity. Breath and concentration techniques help us to analyze and to calm the mind.
Harrowing: Once the mind is calm a space opens where we can listen to a deeper layer, our emotions and feel how the heart is moved by them. We encounter the deep inner structures of our psyche. Those inner patterns are constructs of our identity, such as I am this and this. It is a false identity, which is a burden upon the heart. Like a harrow which draws lines in the earth, giving it a new structure, contemplation and breath exercises help us to purify the heart and to harmonize the physical, mental and emotional body. Along the first two purification steps, we move from the surface of the heart, the mind, to its depth, the place where we find peace.
Sowing: Sowing symbolizes our action in life, what is important to do, our intentions and how to achieve this. We are inspired by our aim and work for it. But also we are called to sow the seed of light, to bring forth in life the inner light of the soul. Once the heart is purified, we can listen into the depth of the heart to hear the guidance of our soul. Meditation, practices with light, and receiving inspiration from inner guidance, helps us at this stage to get in contact with the inner spark, that light of the star, that wants to shine in our hearts, making the heart living. Sowing is an act of hope, for the the potential to make God a reality. Fertile soil, i.e., a cultivated receptive heart can most easily be sown with the Divine seed. Sowing is an act of hope, for the the potential to make God a reality.
Reaping: What we sow we reap and if the right seed has been sown, the moment of reaping is a moment of joy and richness. Joy is a sign of having been benefited by inner guidance, which symbolically is expressed in the fruit. Joy is the language of the soul itself. It stands on its own and tends to express itself in creativity. We are in life, living, alive.
We affirm the « yes » to life by acknowledging the fruits of our labor, we are profited by life, we profit and profit others by a rich harvest. This state is a step towards maturity; bringing potential into fruition. The hidden becomes seen, incarnated. As we take the harvest in, we take responsibility for our actions in life.
Threshing: With our hands and heart full, we enter the state of threshing where we ask ourselves, what to do with all this; is this really me. It’s the sense of responsibility which brings us to the test of meaningfulness. What really matters; what are the my deep values; what is my truth? The joy of the harvest leads into a crisis, a dark night of understanding: all this bounty, but what for? At this state we realize what is the inner meaning of our fruits and actions, we are extracting what is really essential. The kernel has to be separated from the chaff to become bread, the bread of life, which we share with others. We cannot become truth, we are made truthful. At this state we use practices which help us in the process of realization. The heart is strengthened by wisdom.
Garnering: At the beginning is the seed and at the end it is again the seed which we bring into the barn. At first the seed is a gift received from God and we now we bring forth the seed of our whole life’s experience. Having passed through all the tests, something has been extracted, filtered — wisdom and light — which we now offer to the whole. On the personal level we know our life’s purpose; we feel at one with our mother earth, all of humanity and all life. We bring a very precious gift to the barn, which is light and illumination. That spark of soul which has been kindled in our heart, now becomes a kind of body for the soul, a body not of earth but out of the soul’s own nature, light. This body, symbolized by the barn, is the body which takes us through the stages of death, towards life after life, the body of resurrection. The barn symbolizes the heaven we created by our special and unique way of navigation through life. And heaven has no frontiers, the heaven we create is our contribution to the whole universe of becoming.
Thus we navigate through life from season to season. One cycle accomplished, we start again with ploughing, preparing the soil for new seeds. Becoming more intimate with the sacredness and interdependence of all life we work with greater wisdom, faithful to our life’s purpose through all seasons.
Every season has its own fruits and every harvest takes us a step forward to know and understand life better in order to participate fully — to make this world a wonderful place with wonderful people.