Sun and Moon of Compassion

Sun and Moon of Compassion

Although these are two names - Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim - they are often recited together. Translated, Ar Rahman describes God as Most Gracious and Ar Rahim as Most Merciful. According to Sufi thought, these names convey the “Sun and Moon” of Love, meaning, the compassion which we radiate outward, and the compassion which we nurture inward. The compassion we give and the compassion we allow ourselves to receive. These are two different capacities - the Sufi would say that the former is the "wine" of love and the latter is the "cup." If our cup is cracked, there is no amount of love or compassion that could ever satisfy us. Therefore, we nurture our capacity to recognize, accept, and appreciate the love and compassion shown towards us as much as we work on cultivating compassion for others.


I chose Magnolia (Magnolia x alba) because its aroma captures the gentleness and love of compassion, yet its so very complex, with many different layers of spice, floral, sweet... that it captures the fullness of this masculine/feminine, yang/yin understanding of compassion. I also chose Magnolia because it reminds me of the Lotus - the Lotus blossoms love but it is also part of the dark waters that nurture it. And, the Lotus Mudra very much opens my heart when I practice it.


When needing to cultivate compassion for others and/or ourselves, use Magnolia and recite Ya Rahman, Ya Rahim.



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