It will be helpful to define some of the principles of this group practice both for the sake of getting “on the same page” and to help you to decide whether this is something you are willing and able to do.
Sohbet is a spiritual experience, difficult to put into words. We can, however, be clear about what it isn’t. Sohbet is not a conversation about dogma, or doctrine; nor is it about a particular belief system or set of teachings. Sohbet is not about promoting anything or coming to conclusions. The ONLY agenda item in sohbet is sincerity.
It would defeat this core purpose to join the conversation by asserting or debating a particular point of view. Sohbet is not a venue for displaying our “knowledge”, insisting on the Truth of our point of view, nor for validating our beliefs. It is, in fact, much more about listening than speaking.
Sohbet is not group therapy. While we may encounter “issues” in ourselves and in one another during our time together, this is not the subject. We avoid personal confessions not in order to stifle psychological discussion but in order to tune into a deeper level of consciousness.
That said, new moon sohbet is guided by a Sufi Murshid (Puran) and thus is held under the auspices of the ancient wisdom lineage we now call Sufism. As such it will reflect underlying values of this tradition such as awareness, harmony, a robust engagement with life, transcendence, and centrally, love.
Sufis love stories so this little parable might help illuminate sohbet:
At a crossroads three men and two women are arguing about the direction they should take. Greg grabs the map from Sally declaring that she is reading it wrong, "Let me see that," says Bruce pulling on the map, tearing it in half. Now Michelle snatches the two map halves and tries to match them back up. Chuck gets into the action, declaring that this is the wrong map. etc., etc.
Mattea, Allea, and Harry arrive at the cross-roads. Keeping their distance from the dust storm of words swirling around the quintet, each of them turns slowly, facing each of the four directions. The look relaxed, hearts at a height of attention. Then they turn to one another, pass around a bottle of water and without saying a word move on together with the simple confidence of those who are on their path.