We will post previous months’ class outlines here.
Message Class, May 2014
The Purpose of Your Life, Class 5: Styles of Acting
Silent Meditation on Life’s Purpose
Different Ways of Pursuing the Goal: “…all these seekers after different things, seekers after wealth, seekers after ideal, seekers after pleasure, and seekers after paradise, must have their own ways. They will at the same time have their own reasons. One may contradict another, although they are all making their way to the goal. Sooner or later, with more or less difficulty, they must arrive at the purpose of life.
One may ask, ‘Which of these four ways is the best way of arriving at the purpose of life?’ That way is best which suits you best. The way of one person is not for another person, although man is always inclined to accuse another person of doing wrong, believing that he himself is doing right. In reality, the purpose is beyond all these four things. Neither in paradise nor in the ideal, neither in pleasures nor in the wealth of this earth is that purpose accomplished. That purpose is accomplished when a person has risen above all these things. It is that person then who will tolerate all, who will understand all, who will assimilate all things, who will not feel disturbed by things which are not in accordance with his own nature or the way which is not his way. He will not look at them with contempt, but he will see that in the depth of every being there is a divine spark, which is trying to raise its flame towards the purpose.” Vol I, The Purpose of Life, Chapter XI, The Master, the Saint, the Prophet
There are two major styles of proceeding towards one’s goal, and also a third:
- the way of direct action (jelal), overcoming obstacles (the way of fire and mastery), the development of will power and the realization that it comes from Divine Will.
- the way of tuning to the flow (jemal), viewing one’s circumstances as guidance and accept what is comes to one (the way of water and receptivity), surrender, the development of faith.
- The way of the prophet is a third way. The tendency of the prophet is to respond to the cries of humanity. Mastery is needed to overcome personal limitations and surrender is needed to be the moon to the Divine Sun.
Contemplation Exercise: Make some key notes to yourself, if you like.
First, identify the way that seems to be your primary approach.
Next, through contemplation, identify the outward challenges – doing something is more complicated than one thought (learning curve), unexpected obstacles, relying on others for help, perfectionism, and competing priorities.
Then, through contemplation, identify the inward challenges – doing something is more complicated than one thought (learning curve), unexpected obstacles, relying on others for help, perfectionism, and competing priorities.
Small Group Sharing: Discuss what came to you through the contemplation exercise in relation to your goals and how you typically approach them.
- For those with a jelal approach: Ya Qadr (O Divine Power as it works in humans) Archtypes: Moses, Abraham
- For those with a jemal approach: Ya Wali (O Master, O Nearest Friend), Ya Fattah (O Opener) Given to make an adept’s dedication to service effective in life.
- For those with the prophetic approach: Dhul-Jelal Wal Ikram (The Lord of Spledid Power) Gives energy.
- Together: Ya Fazl for blessing and grace for us all.
Closing Discussion and Sharing
Prayer Khatum and For the Universel
Week 5 Readings: Fulfilling the Purpose of Life
…all these seekers after different things, seekers after wealth, seekers after ideal, seekers after pleasure, and seekers after paradise, must have their own ways. They will at the same time have their own reasons. One may contradict another, although they are all making their way to the goal. Sooner or later, with more or less difficulty, they must arrive at the purpose of life. One may ask, ‘Which of these four ways is the best way of arriving at the purpose of life?’ That way is best which suits you best. The way of one person is not for another person, although man is always inclined to accuse another person of doing wrong, believing that he himself is doing right. In reality, the purpose is beyond all these four things. Neither in paradise nor in the ideal, neither in pleasures nor in the wealth of this earth is that purpose accomplished. That purpose is accomplished when a person has risen above all these things. It is that person then who will tolerate all, who will understand all, who will assimilate all things, who will not feel disturbed by things which are not in accordance with his own nature or the way which is not his way. He will not look at them with contempt, but he will see that in the depth of every being there is a divine spark, which is trying to raise its flame towards the purpose. Vol I The Purpose of Life, Chapter XI The Master, the Saint, the Prophet
There are three roads to spiritual attainment, which meet in the end at one junction. One road is of the Master; another comes from quite a different point, and is the road of the Saint; and the middle path between the two is of the Prophet. The path of the Master is a path of war–war with outer influences which prevent one from making one’s way through life. The path of the Master wants self-discipline and will power to make headway through life. He conquers himself; he battles with life; he is at war with destiny; he crusades against all that seems wrong to him; he finds the key to the secrets unknown to him; he turns all conditions, all things, all people, into the shape that he wishes, and molds as he likes the personalities that come in touch with him; he tunes personalities to the tone which would suit his orchestration.
It is a path of accomplishment. All that the Master takes up, he accomplishes; all that the Master desires, he attains sooner or later. Yet the Master’s one desire is spiritual attainment at its fullest. Therefore all other attainments, spiritual or material, are nothing before him other than many steps on a staircase. The struggle in the path of the Master is great; he has struggle all along. Every condition that meets him on the way to accomplishment is harder to get through than the condition before. No doubt, as he proceeds on the path of attainment, he gains power through struggle. The greater the struggle through life, the greater his power. He has command over objects; he produces effects in objects, which are not there naturally. He can even rise to a state where he can command Nature, and the spiritual hierarchy is made of the Masters. For the world is ruled; it is governed. Although outward governments are different, inward government is the spiritual hierarchy. In the East such are called Wali, whose thought, whose feeling, whose glance, whose impulse, can move the universe. And the Master may advance gradually through the five principal stages of attainment, and may even arrive at the stage of Rasul in the end.
The path of the Saint is one of love, harmony, and beauty; ready to give, ready to sacrifice, ready to renounce, ready to give in and to yield. The saintly soul takes all insults as one would take something as a purifying process. He is resigned to every loss, for there is no loss without some gain and there is no gain which is without any loss; there is always a hidden loss in the gain and a gain in the loss. Renunciation is not difficult for that soul, for in renunciation that soul finds its freedom. No sacrifice is too great for the saintly soul, for it gives him happiness. Generosity that soul need not learn: it is its nature, its character. Modesty, humility, tolerance, forgiveness, are part of his being; he cannot do otherwise, for he knows no differently.
Through this path, no doubt in the beginning the saintly soul finds difficulty. The path of the Saint has a constant battle with the self, for there is no end to the world’s demands; in this world no one can be too good or too kind. The better one is, the more good is asked of one; the kinder one is, the more kindness is expected from one; and so it goes on through life. The happiness a saintly soul finds, through all the continual sacrifices that he makes as he goes through life, is in his will gradually becoming harmonized to the Will of God, so that God’s Will and his will in time become one. And that happiness no one can imagine except the souls who have experienced the feeling of resignation through all the crosses that one has to meet in life. The spirit of a Saint results in being tuned to the whole universe.
He is in tune with the climates, with the weather, with nature, with animals and birds; he becomes in tune with the trees and plants, in tune with all atmospheres, with all human beings of various natures, because he becomes the keynote to the whole universe. All harmonize with him; the virtuous souls, the wicked souls, angels and devils; all become in tune. He becomes in harmony with every object, with every element; with those who have passed from this earth he is in tune; with those in the atmosphere he is in tune, and in tune with those who live on earth. The moral of a Saint is very difficult, but the spirit of the Saint is a benediction to himself and blessing to others.
The work of the Master is to protect individuals and protect the world. The work of the Master is to keep away all disasters that might come about, caused by the inharmony of the nature of individuals and of the collectivity. The work of the Master is to help the feeble but right, the weak but just, when he is in a situation where he is opposed by a powerful enemy. The work of the Saint is to console the wretched, to take under the wings of mercy and compassion those left alone in life, to bless the souls that come in his way.
The way of the Prophet is a more balanced way, for in the life of the Prophet there is a balance of these two attributes–the power of attainment and the patience to resign to the Will of God. So the Prophet is a warrior and a peacemaker, both at the same time. This line is called kemal, the perfect, or balanced. The work of the Prophet is not only his own spiritual attainment, but he has some certain service of great importance to perform. As the Prophet goes through the above said five stages, he acts on his way towards the fulfillment of his life’s mission as a warner, as a healer, as a reformer, as a lawyer, as a teacher, as a priest, as a preacher.
Therefore such service keeps the Prophet away from what his soul always craves for, and that is the solitude in the wilderness. He longs for one place, and he is put in another place. The soul who yearns constantly to fly away from the crowd is put, owing to his mission, in the very midst of the crowd. In this way the work of the Prophet in the world becomes as hard as if a person were asked to jump into the water and then come out dry. He must live in the world and not be of the world. However, it is the prophetic soul whose life’s mission very often is to serve humanity in the time of its need, and it is the fulfillment of this service which makes him Rasul, the Messenger.
The Prophet is the Message bearer; the Prophet is master and a servant at the same time; the Prophet is a teacher and at the same time a pupil, for there is a great deal that he must learn from his experience through life, not in order to make himself capable to receive the Message, but in order to make himself efficient enough to give the Message. For God speaks to the Prophet in His divine tongue, and the Prophet interprets it in his turn in the language of men, making it intelligible to them, trying to put the finest ideas in the gross terms of worldly language.
Therefore all that the Prophet comes to give to the world is not given in words, but all that cannot be given in words is given without words. It is given through the atmosphere; it is given by the presence; it is given by the great love that gushes forth from his heart; it is given in his kind glance; and it is given in his benediction. And yet the most is given in silence that no earthly sense can perceive. The difference between human language and divine words is this: that a human word is a pebble; it exists, but there is nothing further; the divine word is a living word, just like a grain of corn. One grain of corn is not one grain; in reality it is hundreds and thousands. In the grain there is an essence which is always multiplying, and which will show perfection in itself. Vol IX Unity of Religious Ideals, The Spiritual Hierarchy, The Master, Saint, and Prophet
Questions and Answers (July 19, 1923) Q: Will you please explain what you said yesterday about the two paths, the one which leads to saintliness, and the one which leads to mastership? A: There are two paths which lead to the goal, one of the saint and the other of the master. In one path the will is used in outward things, in the other path the will is mostly used to control oneself, in other words for the time being against oneself. This is the saintly path. It is wise, before one knows of the will of God, first to handle one’s own will, and to use it knowing that it is given for some great purpose in life. The one is the path of renunciation, abnegation, resignation, self-denial, from the beginning to the end. And by doing this one arrives to that meeting ground where one touches that divine perfection. And then there is the path of the master. The path of firmness and obstinacy, breaking and penetrating through every difficult situation that comes before him. And so fighting all along from the beginning to the end. In this he has to fight with himself and with the life outside. Therefore the struggle is both sides. And there is all the time the work of the will-power, and all through there is a battle; and in this battle all the conditions that one has to go through are of the same character and nature as of the warfare. To be wounded and to cause wounds, and to be hurt and to hurt another also. And in this way it is a constant struggle. But still for the higher aim, and for the greater gain. In the end he strikes the same note which the saint has struck. Neither the path of the saint is easy, nor of the master. The place where they meet both become one. For the resignation brings the saint to the same realization of the harmony with the Infinite, as the struggle brings the master to the same conviction in the end. There is a third temperament, and that is the middle temperament, in which temperament there is the saintly temperament and the temperament of the master; that is the prophetic temperament, because the prophet begins his life with both, struggle and resignation. One moment struggle, and another moment resignation; gain and resignation, continually going on. And therefore in the prophet one sees the saint and the master, both in one. Gatha III Metaphysics, Qaza and Qadr – The Will Human and Divine Man, the Master of His Destiny (1)
The saintly temperament is the negative temperament, resigned, perfectly resigned, to the will of God. The saint has learnt patience, confidence, endurance, tolerance. He has carried the cross; he is crucified a thousand times in his life. He knows what love means. He has taken a path of devotion; he leads a life of service; he has effaced himself; he has crushed his personality. He has dissolved the rock out of which he was made into water. His way is not the way of the hammer but of the water. The hammer breaks a rock but the water surrounds it and makes its way. That is why the saintly personality gives peace and harmony and comfort to those who come in contact with it. It is such a personality which heals and lifts up those who are groping in darkness, who are touching the depths of the earth. He has developed the love that one sees in a mother and father but he has that love for every person, for every soul. It is not just a fable that the trees and plants and rocks spoke to the saints. It is the truth. When a person has developed that sympathy, he is sympathetic to rock and plant and tree; everything in nature opens up before him. It is through that at-one-ment that he is able to communicate with every form of life, whatever it is. Therefore it is not necessary that he should leave the world; whether he is in the forest or amidst the world’s strife, the soul of man is always capable of rising to the greatest heights, if only he wishes to attain to them.
The other aspect is the aspect of the master. Resistance against all that increases his weakness, that appeals to his weakness, the tendency of continual perseverance, courage and boldness, firmness and steadiness, all such qualities manifest in the master. That is the difference between saint and master. One is active, the other passive; one is resigned, the other persistent. But at the same time both are going forward. Only their ways are different; one is the positive way, the other the negative way; one is the way of power, the other of gentleness. Nevertheless, both have their purpose to accomplish in the scheme of nature. In the master’s path the will is used mostly in regard to outer things; in the saintly path the will is used to control one’s own self; in other words it is used for the time being against one’s own self. The saint is resigned to Kaza, and the master has regard for Kadr. But in order to know the will of God it is wise first to take one’s own will in hand and use it in the knowledge that it is given for some great purpose in life. And the third aspect is the aspect of the prophet in whom these two qualities are balanced. On one hand the prophet is power, on the other hand gentleness itself. On the one hand the prophet is courage, on the other he is the personification of divine sympathy. On the one hand the prophet is enthusiastic in his desire to change the condition of humanity; on the other hand the prophet has retired from all things of life. All these opposite qualities are balanced in the spirit of the prophet. The work of the prophet is a greater work than that of the master or saint. They can remain behind the scenes, but the prophet is before the world to awaken humanity, to raise mankind to a higher consciousness, to inspire it, and to voice the truth so that it may have its echo on the earth, in the sky, everywhere. Do not be surprised, therefore, when you hear that the words of Buddha or Mohammed are still being cherished after so many years, or that the personality of Christ still has power after two thousand years. They have won humanity; they were prophets because that part of their experience which we know in history was real and will always remain real. Mastery is not only a means of accomplishing the things of the world, but it is that by which a person fulfills the purpose of his life. Vol VI The Alchemy of Happiness, Man, the Master of His Destiny (1)
Now there are two different temperaments. There is the one which is always inclined to be contented with things, to accept everything as it comes, willing to live a retired life, resigned to everything that may happen. Indeed we see this temperament more or less in everyone. The other temperament is the one which wishes to master things, which has a desire to master every situation, to master another person, to master an undertaking, to act with willpower and courage. No doubt there is good and evil in both temperaments. The person who is always retired and resigned and contented with everything is not necessarily all good, without any evil in him, nor is the one who controls others and masters circumstances always an ideal person. It is just that there are these two temperaments, and everyone has more or less of the one or of the other. The Sadhu and the Saint represent these two temperaments. The Sadhu controls and masters things; the Saint is resigned and contented in all situations and under all circumstances in life. He chooses a life of retirement and resignation. If you were to ask me which of the two is superior I would say that there is neither superior nor inferior. If you work according to your temperament, that is the natural work for you, whereas if you work against your temperament it is like knocking yourself against a rock, and there is no hope of progress. But if you do what you are fitted for, and act according to your temperament, then there will always be progress. The temperament is not a virtue to be displayed; neither is it something to be overcome so that one acts against one’s own nature. The sage recognizes these two temperaments and uses them accordingly, giving them more rein and rendering them more evident to the eye of the seer. He studies how they operate in people’s lives, and no doubt it is very interesting to study the lives of the sages in the East from this point of view; but to a stranger in these countries it is mystifying how their different behaviors can belong to sagehood or saintliness, because in the West people have the idea that a sage must be kind, retiring and renouncing, or perhaps even a wonder-worker. So when such qualities are not in evidence it might seem that there is something wrong with the sages! To gain deep understanding of what the saintly life means, and to form a reasonable opinion about the sages in the East, much patience and tolerances are required. People are apt to be disappointed when they judge from appearances. Vol XII The Vision of God and Man, The Life of the Sage in the East (1)
The wise, out of wisdom, make life easy. But among the wise there are two categories: one is the Master, the other is the Saint. The attitude of both in life is quite contrary. The attitude of the Saint is to feel sympathy for others and to see the difficulties of the situation in life of others as of himself, and to sacrifice his wants for the need of others, realizing that he knows that life is difficult, and those who are void of wisdom have still more difficulties as they know not how to surmount the difficulties of life. Out of his love, mercy and compassion he thus sacrifices his life to the service of his fellow man by making life easy for them. In the first place he sees the worst enemy of his fellow man in himself, knowing that the nature of every ego is hostile, and by being resigned to the will of his fellow man, by sacrificing his life’s advantages for his brother, he feels he has given his fellow man some relief that he could give him on his part.
By practicing this moral through life at every step that a wise man takes, he becomes a source of happiness to all he meets and with whom he comes in contact in life, and his spirit becomes deepened in saintliness. The spirit of a saint results in being tuned to the whole universe; he is in tune with the climates, with the weather, with nature, with animals, birds; he becomes in tune with the trees and plants, in tune with all atmospheres, with all human beings of various natures, because he becomes the keynote to the whole universe. All harmonize with him, the virtuous souls, the wicked souls, angels and devils, all become in tune. He becomes in harmony with every object, with every element; with those who have passed from this earth he is in tune, those in the atmosphere he is in tune with and with those who live on earth. The moral of a saint is very difficult, but the spirit of the saint is a benediction to himself and blessing to others.
Then there is the way of the Master which is quite opposite. He conquers himself, he battles with life, he is at war with destiny, he invades all that seems wrong to him, he finds the key to the secrets unknown to him, he instead of being resigned to all likes the personalities which come in touch with him. He tunes personalities in the tune which would suit his orchestration. He has command over objects, he produces effects in objects which are not there naturally. He can even rise to a state where he can command nature, and the spiritual hierarchy is made of the Masters. For the world is ruled, it is governed; although outward governments are different, inward government is the spiritual hierarchy. In the East such ones are called Wali, whose thought, whose feeling, whose glance, whose impulse can move the universe. And yet neither of them, Saint or Master, comes to claim before the world, “Look at me–I am a Saint,” “I am a Master,” “I can do this,” or “I am such a virtuous person,” or “a good person.” They keep themselves in humble guise, one like everybody in the world. It is not a claim, it is an action which proves the Master. And yet what do they care if the world acclaims them as a Saint or as a Master? What benefit is it to them? It is only a benefit to the one who is false, because he is glad to be something he is not; he who is all does not wish that everybody should recognize him as such. A person with his riches knows that he is rich, he need not put on fifty rings to tell everybody how rich he is; but the one who puts on fifty rings is seldom rich. There is a beautiful simile known in India, that it is the empty vessel that makes the noise; when it is filled with water it makes no noise. In short, sincerity is the principal thing to attain in life. What little is gained sincerely and held unassumingly is worth much more than a greater gain void of sincerity, for it is a hill of sand; once the storm will come and blow it away. Verily, truth is the treasure that every soul is seeking. Vol IX, The Unity of Religious Ideals, The Spiritual Hierarchy, The Way of the Wise
April Healing Class: Health
What causes disease? How to promote health.
“Illness is an inharmony, either physical inharmony or mental inharmony, the one acts upon the other. What causes in harmony? The lack of tone and rhythm.” Today we will focus on how the mind affects health.
In mental terms the rhythm is the action of the mind, whether the mind is active in harmonious thoughts or in in harmonious thoughts, whether the mind is strong,firm, and steady, or whether it is weak. If one continues to think harmonious thoughts it is just like the regular beating of the pulse and proper circulation of the blood; if the harmony of thought is broken, then the mind becomes congested. Then a person loses memory; depression comes as the result, and what one sees is nothing but darkness. doubt, suspicion, distrust; and all manner of distress and despair come when the mind is congested in this way. The prana of the mind is maintained when the mind can be steady in thoughts of harmony; then the mind can balance its thoughts, then it cannot be easily shaken, then doubt and confusion cannot easily overpower it . Whether it is nervous illness, whether it is mental disorder, whether it is physical illness, at the root of all these different aspects of illness there is one cause, and that cause is inharmony. The body which has once become inharnonious turns into a receptacle of inharnonious influences, of inharmonious atoms: it partakes of them without knowing it: and so it is with the mind. The body which is already lacking in health is more susceptible to illness than the body which is perfectly healthy; and so the mind which already has a disorder in it is more susceptible to every suggestion of disorder, and in this way goes from bad to worse. Scientists of all ages have found that each element attracts the same element, and so it is natural that illness should attract illness; thus in plain words inharmony attracts inharmony, whereas harmony attracts harmony. We see in everyday life that a person who has nothing the matter with him and is only weak physically, or whose life is not regular, is always susceptible to illness. Then we see that a person who ponders often upon inharmonious thoughts is very easily offended, it does not take long for him to get offended; a little thing here and there makes him feel irritated, because irritation is already there, it wants just a little touch to make it a deeper irritation.
Besides this the harmony of the body and the mind depends upon one’s external life, the food one eats, the way one lives, the people one meets, the work one does, the climate in which one lives. There is no doubt that under the same conditions one person may be ill and another may be well. The reason is that one is in harmony with the food he eats, with the weather he lives in, with the people whom he meets, with the conditions around him. Another person revolts against the food he eats, against the people he meets, against the conditions that surround him, against the weather he must live in. This is because he is not in harmony; and he perceives and experiences similar results in all things in his life: disorder and illness are the result. Likewise our rhythm of mind needs to be regular(not going at a speed that is faster or slower than it ought to be, jumping from one thought to another and so goes on thinking of a thousand things in five minutes, or holding on to a thought, broods on it instead of making progress, he will cling to his depression, his fears, and disappointments and that will lead to illness. If rhythm is lost it must be brought back gradually with wisdom and patience. ie not changing your lifestye all at once
The explanation of this disorder of the tone is that there is a certain tone which the breath vibrates throughout the body, through every channel of the body: and this tone is a particular tone, continually vibrating, in every person. And when the mystics have said that every person has his note it is not necessarily the note of the piano, it is the note which is going on as a tone, as a breath. Now, if a person does not take care of himself and allows himself to be influenced by every wind that blows, he, like the water in the sea, goes up and down disturbed by the air. The normal condition is to be able to stand firm through fear, joy, and anxiety; not to let every wind blow one hither and thither like a scrap of paper, but to endure it all and to stand firm and steady through all such influences.
How must this instrument be kept in tune? Cleansing by carefulness in diet, by sobriety, and by breathing properly and correctly.
Behind our thoughts there is feeling: and it is the feeling which sustains that tone. You must learn your own tone and get yourself tuned to it.
In order to play our best part the only thing we can do is to keep our tone and rhythm in proper condition: in this is the fulfillment of our life’s purpose. ( taken from “Healing; Mental Purification; The Mind World ;The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan”, p 15-21)
Break up into small groups(probably 2 with me in one and Habiba in the other)
Discuss what comes up for you as you read these excerpts?
In what ways have you experienced being in and out of rhythm?
In what ways have thoughts and the feelings behind them disturbed your rhythm?
What practices (or other ) has helped you regain you rhythm?
In what ways have you experienced being in and out of your tone?
In what ways have thoughts and the feelings behind them disturbed your tone?
What practice (or other) has helped you return to you tone?
Share with larger group.
Do a practice.
Take a break
Do healing circle
SPRING 2014 ZIRAAT
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
THE WORK OF SPIRITUAL GROUPS IN MODERN TIMES
- Ø As agriculture works with nature to plow, sow and eventually harvest a worthy fruit, so do spiritual practices work with our minds to manifest a greater and more evolved consciousness.
- “My smallest work in the inner plane is worth more than all I do in the outer world.” (Vadan: 890)
- Do we believe this?
- “Believing is a process. By this process the God within is awakened and made living.” (POM, Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals, Part II, The God Ideal)
- Numerous modern studies in quantum physics, psychology and medicine attest to the power of belief affect physical states. In physics: entanglement; in psychology and medicine: placebo effects, mind-body medicine. In research in general: the need for randomized double-blind placebo controlled studies to minimize the effect of belief, and even then cannot eliminate it.
- It is spiritually committed persons, especially groups, who are best trained to work with ideas before they are manifested physically and to guide their manifestation in the most adaptive way possible. We are trained to access, become familiar with and manipulate intangible, poorly formed ideas. The farmer knows his/her territory and has plans re: how to tend it before he/she even starts any physical process.
- Ø Practices for faith, trust in God, and hope for our work
- Invocation (to remember the Message for our time)
- Ya Quddus: invoke the Holy Spirit, feel full of its power and energy
- Ya Mu’min (pronounced: Mu’ min): complete faith and trust in God, free from all fear.
- Ya Jabbar: enduring strength to continuously move in a forward direction.
- Ya Wahhab, Ya Razzaq, Ya Fattah: (free flowing of abundant gifts; we are given the means to achieve what we wish; God opens the way for our actions to accomplish our purpose)
- Ya Ghani, Ya Mughni (pronounced: Gha’ nee; Mugh nee’): Smoothing the way, leading to perfection
- Ya Muti (pronounced: Mu tee’): The Cause of all causes: helpful for those who are convinced that conditions will not allow for progress.
- Ø Faith leads to belief which leads us to act with hope.
- “If in truth we shall not build our hope, in what shall we build?” (Gayan: 289)
- “It is the spirit of hopelessness that blocks the path of man and prevents his advancement.” (Gayan: 113)
- “Seeking after that which is beyond one’s reach is the oil which fuels the flame of hope.” (Vadan: 1217)
- Ø Final thoughts:
- Do we believe this?
- “My smallest work in the inner plane is worth more than all I do in the outer world.” (Vadan: 890)
Alhamdul’illah: Glory to God! Pir Vilayat’s suggested interpretation: “Everything is due to the grace of God. Be resigned to all that we have suffered, to all that has gone wrong, to all that we have lost. But we should not continue that resignation for the things of the present because the present should be met with hopefulness.”
Message Class April 2014
Ziraat Lodge and Zikr of the Earth
The Purpose of Your Life, Class 4: Action
Meditation: The Nature Meditations
Through the silence of nature, I attain Thy divine peace.
Thou art patiently awaiting the moment to manifest through the silence of sublime nature.
0 nature sublime, speak to me through silence, for I am awaiting in silence like you the call of God.
Speak, God, in silence, this moment my heart is in tune with the stillness of Thy nature.
Gayan, Boulas: Speech is the sign of living, but silence is life itself.
Gayan, Tanas: Tulip, why have you opened your lips? –To tell you what I have learned in the silence. What did you learn? –To make of myself an empty cup.
Small Group Sharing: Topics for sharing include experience with practice of mastery, deep relaxation, exercising one’s will, beginning to make plans.
The cycle of attainment: The process of attainment can be pictured as a circle. At the top is the initial intention to begin, the vision of what is to be attained. Proceeding around the circle clockwise, the downward arc is called nasul. This is the planning stage when one decides how to proceed and what resources are needed. The upward arc starting at the bottom of the circle is called uruj. This is the action phase of the project when the resources are gathered and the plan is carried out. Within the nasul arc there may be a need to take some action before further planning can happen. Within the uruj arc there may be a need to revise the planning. When the top of the circle is reached, the goal has been accomplished. Then one is faced with the choice of maintaining what one has created which makes one the slave of one’s accomplishment or setting off on a new goal which may or may not build on the previous goal. Entering the phase of action, one can call on the things we have been developing: willpower, the strength of the nervous system, one’s faith, and confidence in one’s self.
Believe in one’s goal. It is for a larger purpose. Dedicate the outcome to God. Adopting an attitude of indifference about the goal releases one from worry, anxiety, and self- judgment. Find enjoyment in the task. Look for ease in doing it. When worry happens or doubt or a feeling of defeat, be aware of those feelings. Can you surrender to God’s wish? If your task is God’s wish then God will see that it is done. You have an opportunity to work while maintaining an awareness of faith and presence.
One can work with one’s goal as an artist. The artist may start with an idea but as the picture emerges, the original idea may change. Hold firm to the chosen goal but also be flexible in how you go about it and how it will turn out. Be aware of seeking balance in activity and repose. Too much enthusiasm tends to push away the goal. Time now for action, resourcefulness, creativity, and persistence.
Exercise: Journal, draw, dance or in some other way make for yourself a representation of your personal cycle of attainment.
Zikr of Wish Fulfillment: Focus on your goal as a wish. Kneeling:
Ø To the right shoulder: Ya Qarib (The Near)
Ø To the left shoulder: Ya Raqib (The Watchful)
Ø Rising up, palms up: Ya Muhit (The All Encompassing)
Ø Coming down with arms crossed over heart, slight bow: Ya Mujib (The Responsive)
Closing Discussion and Sharing
Homework: Continue with silent meditation for 15 minutes a day, 10 minutes becoming aware of the Divine Presence as a friend who wants you to succeed, and 5 minutes to review progress or consult intuition to solve a problem or answer a question.
Message Class March 2014
The Purpose of Your Life, Class 3. Mastery
Sharing in small groups:
The sharing should be about the experience of consulting intuition to choose a goal. It should be clear that no one comments on anyone else’s sharing unless they ask for comments. Also it is important to share about one’s personal experience rather than about more general ideas.
This week the practice of silence focuses on relaxation of body, mind, and spirit.
Mastery practices in large groups:
One can develop one’s will power through mastery practices. Strengthen the will by resisting impulses, breaking habits, being in control.
To be able to give your attention to mastery, make peace with the world, harmonize with those you encounter in life. Resist the temptation to react. Let the other have the last word or resist the impulse to defend oneself.
One can build the strength of the nervous system by having regular periods of silence and repose. The nervous system gains significantly by periods of relaxation from any stimulation.
Work with relaxation of body, mind, and feelings. For relaxing the body, one can use stress and release exercises with different parts of the body. For the mind, intensive concentration on an object for several minutes followed by relaxation is like stress and release for the muscles. Certain pieces of music or another powerful emotional experience can serve to stress the emotions followed by release.
Make a habit of taking time for peace, putting aside worries and responsibilities. Surround oneself with beauty. Tune oneself with the infinite.
- Practice: Intone “Ah” in the heart center.
- Practice: Zikr of the Transformer of Hearts (use a veil if you like)
Ya Habib (Beloved Friend)
Ya Mahboob (Beloved Lover)
Ya Muqalab (The Transformer)
Al Qalub (of Hearts)
Discussion in large group
Mental Relaxation Exercise:
Begin by sensing the pulsation of the blood in the palms and fingertips, then in the temples. Next focus on a point six inches above the head. Look for a more subtle pulsation there with a faster rhythm. As you hold your attention on these pulsations, notice how the mind relaxes.
Take 15 minutes a day, 10 minutes for deep relaxation, 5 minutes to begin the first steps in planning for one’s goal. Visualize the goal accomplished. See above guidelines.
Fulfilling the Purpose of Your Life: Third Class Readings for March
The control of the self means the control of everything. What does it mean when we see a person fail time after time, or another person succeed time after time? It is just a matter of holding the reins of our affairs in our hands. When there is no rein there is failure. Failure means that there has been lack of self-control, whether it is a failure in affairs or in health. Vol VII In an Eastern Rose Garden, The Journey to the Goal
In order to practice self-control in everything one does in everyday life, the best thing is to develop in one’s nature a certain amount of indifference. Every word that is said to one need not be taken to be so important that it should upset one’s whole being, disturb one’s balance and rob one of one’s will power.
There are things that matter, but there are many things in one’s everyday life which do not matter much and one often is apt to put an undue stress upon them. … All one says and does, and all that one thinks and feels, makes a certain strain upon one’s spirit. It is wise to avoid every chance of losing one’s equilibrium. One must stand peacefully but firmly against all influences that disturb one’s life. The natural inclination is to answer in defense to every offence that comes from outside; by that one loses one’s equilibrium. Self-control therefore is the key to all success and happiness. Complete Works of Pir-o- Murshid Inayat Khan, 1923 II, Character Building
It is the Divine Will that is manifested throughout the whole universe, which has created the whole universe; and it is part of the divine will that manifests itself through us. Everything we do in life is governed and directed by that power. … Now coming to the question of the will of man as opposed to the will of God: which is which? We understand the difference when we perceive that the nature of will power differs only according to whether it exists in its fullness, or whether it is limited. The will power in its fullness is divine power; the will power in its limited state is the individual will. Vol VII In an Eastern Rose Garden, Will Power
Resignation is a quality of the saintly souls. It is bitter in taste but sweet in result. Whatever a man’s power and position in life may be, he has always to meet with a more powerful will, in whatever form it may manifest. In truth this is the divine will. By opposing the divine will one may break oneself; but by resigning oneself to the divine will one opens up a way. Vol VIII Sufi Teachings, Struggle and Resignation
We come to understand that there are two aspects of will working through all things in life. One is the individual will, the other the divine will. When a person goes against the divine will, naturally his human will fails and he finds difficulties, because he is swimming against the tide. The moment a person works in consonance, in harmony with the divine will, things become smooth. Vol XIV The Smiling Forehead, Part I, Chapter VII Destiny and Free Will
Sometimes things are accomplished without the least effort. When it is the divine will it is like something floating on water; it advances without effort. Problems and actions may be achieved in a moment then, whilst at other times the smallest problem cannot be solved without great difficulty. One finds that some persons are very clever and experienced in industrial work or in politics; and they have striven very hard to attain their goal, and yet have accomplished nothing; they are always a failure. And there are others who take up a thing, and without much effort, without much worry on their part they complete it and attain their goal.
All this is accounted for by harmony with the divine will. Everyone experiences such a thing at some time or other. When things are in harmony with the divine will, everything is there; we just glance towards a thing and it is found, as in the saying, ‘Word spoken, action done.’ When we strive with all the material in our hands and yet cannot achieve our desire, that is when the matter is contrary to the divine will. Our success or failure all depends upon the harmony or disharmony of our individual will with the divine will. … Contentment and perfect resignation open up a harmonious feeling and bring the divine will into harmony with our own. Our blessing now becomes a divine blessing, our words divine words, our atmosphere a divine atmosphere, although we seem to be limited beings; for our will becomes absorbed into the whole, and so our will becomes the will of God. Vol VII In an Eastern Rose Garden, The Will, Human and Divine
There is no reason for anyone to feel discouraged by his weaknesses or deficiencies, or by his actions that have dissatisfied him, or by anything in life that has failed. He should forget the past that has failed him, and begin to construct and mold his future as he would wish it to be. Considering that as a branch is not separate from the bough, and the bough is not separate from the stem, so with all our limitations we are not separate from the will of the Unlimited One. Vol VII In an Eastern Rose Garden, The Will, Human and Divine
I remember a Persian verse made by my murshid which relates to the self: “When I feel that now I can make peace with my self, it finds time to prepare another attack.” That is our condition. We think that our little faults, since they are small, are of no consequence; or we do not even think of them at all. But every little fault is a flag for the little self, for its own dominion. In this way battling makes man the sovereign of the kingdom of God. Very few can realize the great power in battling with and conquering the self.
But what does man generally do? He says, “My poor self, it has to withstand the conflicts of this world; should I also battle with this self?” So he surrenders his kingdom to his little self, depriving himself of the divine power that is in the heart of man. There is in man a false self and a real self. The real self contains the eternal; the false self contains the mortal. The real self has wisdom; the false self ignorance. The real self can rise to perfection; the false self ends in limitation. The real self has all good, the false self is productive of all evil. One can see both in oneself: God and the other one. By conquering the other one, one realizes God. This other power has been called Satan; but is it a power? In reality it is not. It is and it is not. It is a shadow. We see shadow and yet it is nothing. We should realize that this false self has no existence of its own. As soon as the soul has risen above the false self, it begins to realize its nobility. Vol VI The Alchemy of Happiness, The Struggle of Life
One overlooks the fault of others, considering that they know no better. One hides the faults of others, and suppresses any facts that would cause disharmony. One’s constant fight is with the nafs, the root of disharmony and the only enemy of man. By crushing this enemy one gains mastery over one’s self; this wins for one mastery over the whole universe, because the wall standing between the self and the Almighty has been broken down.
Gentleness, mildness, respect, humility, modesty, self-denial, conscientiousness, tolerance, and forgiveness are considered by the Sufi as the attributes which produce harmony within one’s own soul as well as within that of another. Arrogance, wrath, vice, attachment, greed, and jealousy are the six principal sources of disharmony. Nafs, the only creator of disharmony, becomes more powerful the more it is gratified, the more it is pleased. For the time being it shows its satisfaction at having gratified its demands, but soon after it demands still more until life becomes a burden. The wise detect this enemy as the instigator of all mischief, but everybody else blames another for his misfortunes in life. Vol II The Mysticism of Sound, Harmony
The will-power plays a great part in character-building. And the will-power becomes feeble when a person yields to every little tendency, inclination, and fancy he has; but when a person fights against every little fancy and tendency and inclination he learns to fight with himself, and in this way he develops willpower. When once a person’s inclinations, fancies, and tendencies have grown stronger than his will-power, he experiences in his life several enemies existing in his own self, and he finds it difficult to combat them. For inclinations, fancies, and tendencies, when powerful, do not let will- power work against them. If there is any such thing as self-denial, it is this practice; and by this practice in time one attains to a power which may be called mastery over oneself.
In small things of everyday life one neglects this consideration because one thinks, “These are my tendencies, my fancies, my inclinations, and by respecting them I respect myself, by considering them I consider myself.” But one forgets that what one calls my is not oneself, it is what wills that is oneself. Therefore in the Christian prayer it is said, Thy Will be done, which means, Thy Will when it works through me; in other words, my will which is Thy Will, be done. It is this illusion of confusing one’s possession with oneself that creates all illusion and keeps man from self-realization. Vol III The Art of Personality, Character and Personality, Character-Building
Independence is achieved by indifference. It does not mean that one should take no heed of what anyone does or says; it only means one should discriminate between important and unimportant things of everyday life; that every necessary and unnecessary thing should not demand so much of one’s attention, thought, and feeling. Political economy has become a subject of education, but spiritual economy is the main thing in religion. All one says and does and all that one thinks and feels puts a certain strain upon one’s spirit. It is wise to avoid every risk of losing one’s equilibrium. One must stand peacefully but firmly before all influences that disturb one’s life. The natural inclination is to answer
in defense to every offense that comes from outside, but in that way one loses one’s equilibrium. Self-control, therefore, is the key to all success and happiness.
Besides, there are many who feel urged and obliged to say or do something because it is asked of them, and in this way they get weaker and weaker. There are others who roughly fight against it; and in this way both are in error. He who is able to keep his equilibrium without being annoyed, without being troubled about it, gains that mastery which is needed in the evolution of life. No principle must be blindly followed. Spiritual economy is not always a virtue, if it disturbs harmony, if it in any way keeps one from progress, or if it places one in a worse condition. However, it is most necessary to know the science of spiritual economy; how to guard against all influences in our everyday life which come to disturb our tranquility and the peace of our soul. Vol III The Art of Personality,
Character and Personality, Character-Building
Khwaja Shams-ud-din Muhammed Hafiz
… There is another direction of progress; that is to see oneself reflected in another. When one is friends with another person, naturally one’s sympathy, love, friendship, make one see oneself in the other, and this gives the inclination to sacrifice. No one will sacrifice for another except when he is oneself. If this feeing develops it extends further, not only with the friend, with the neighbor, but with the stranger, with the beast and bird and insect; one is in at-onement with all living beings, and it gives one as much insight into another as the other person has into himself. One knows as much about him as he knows, even more. This is the simplest phenomenon of this consciousness; not to work wonders. It brings a quick proof that one knows as much about another person as he knows himself.
But there is another, moral proof; that one becomes friends with the wise and foolish, with the virtuous and wicked, more and more, as if one attracted them. One cannot help it. Sympathy is so powerful that even enemies are melted sooner or later. It is not just a tale that Daniel was sent to the mountain cave and the lions were tamed. In order to see this phenomenon one need not go to the mountains; in this world there are worse than lions: good natures and bad natures, possible and impossible people, and if one can subdue them, one has accomplished something; for it requires a greater power than taming lions. One can think of different ideas: agitated ones, antagonistic ones, blunted ones, ignorant ones, ideas full of falsehood or jealousy; how many swords and poisons there are in this world! And it is only one power, the power of one’s sympathy, that assimilates all poisonous influences. It takes away their poison and it does not hurt oneself. One can sooner or later purify them, revivify them, melt them, mold them, and direct them towards the purpose of life.
The world seeks for complexity. If I were to give lectures upon how to get magnetism in order to make people listen to you, and in order to draw them to you; if I were to give twenty exercises for doing these things, it might mean great success for me. But if I tell you simple things like this, that it is the deepening of your sympathy, the awakening of that sympathetic spirit in you which is every power and magnetism, and the expansion of
which means spiritual unfoldment, then there will be few to understand. For human beings do not want simple teaching, they want complexity.
And then there is another stage of expansion, and that is trying to look at everything from another’s point of view also, trying to think also as the other person thinks. This is not an easy thing because from one’s childhood one learns to think so that one stands upon one’s own thought. One does not move to another’s thought. The very fact that one has a thought oneself, keeps one to it. It is therefore a sign of expansion to be able to see from the child’s point of view, or from the point of view of the foolish person, how he looks at things. And the most interesting thing is that it brings one to being tolerant and patient. In this way one extends one’s knowledge to a degree that no reading can give. Then one begins to receive from all sources; one will attract knowledge from every plane as soon as the mind becomes so pliable that it does not only stick to its own point of view.
This process is called unlearning. If you say of a certain man, “This is not a nice person,” although you may be quite wrong, the general tendency is to stick to that idea. But the greater evolution is to see from that man’s point of view also. He has a reason for being as he is; maybe he is too unevolved to see, or he is more evolved and less interested in the other person. Yet by seeing from his point of view you do not lose your own; your own point of view is still there; but the other point of view is added to yours, therefore your knowledge becomes greater. It means a greater stretching of the heart and sometimes the heart feels pain when you stretch it. But by stretching the heart and by making it larger and larger, you turn your heart into the sacred Book. Vol IV Healing and the Mind World, Mental Purification, Mastery
What counts most in the path of truth is self-discipline, and without this our studies and practices cannot produce great results. This self-discipline can be distinguished in many different aspects. By studying the lives of the ascetics who lived in mountains and forests, in the wilderness, we learn that those who have really searched after truth have done their utmost to practice self-discipline; without it no soul in the world has ever arrived at the realization of truth. No doubt it frightens people accustomed to the life of the world even to think of self-discipline and, when they think of it, they imagine it in its extreme forms. It is not necessary for us to go to the caves in the mountains, the forest, or the wilderness in order to practice self-discipline. In our everyday life we can do so.
The different ways in which self-discipline is practiced are chiefly four. One way is the physical way: the practice of standing in the same position, of sitting in the same posture for a certain time. When one begins to do it, one will find that it is not so easy as it appears to be. A person may sit in a same posture or stand in a same position without knowing it, but as soon as he begins to practice it, he finds great difficulty in doing so. When this is achieved then there are different positions of holding hands or legs or eyes or head; these practices develop the power of self-discipline.
Then there is another aspect of self-discipline which is connected with eating and drinking: to avoid certain things in one’s everyday food or drink, and to make a practice
Fulfilling the Purpose of One’s Life Week 3 Readings 5
of being able to live without them, especially things that one feels one cannot live without. So you will see that there are adepts who live on a fruitarian or vegetarian diet without certain things that one is accustomed to drink, and are without these for days or weeks or months.
Another aspect of self-discipline is the habit of thinking and forgetting: to be able to think of the same thing of which one wishes to think, to continue to think of it, to hold that thought – and to practice to forget things, that the thoughts may not get a hold over one’s mind. By doing so one becomes the master of one’s mind, in the same way trying to check thoughts of agitation, anger, depression, prejudice, hatred. This gives moral discipline.
After one has practiced these three aspects of discipline, one is able to arrive at the fourth aspect which is greater; it is greater, because in this way one arrives at spiritual experience. That discipline intends to free one’s consciousness from one’s environment. This is the experience of the adepts who have worked at it for a long time in order to achieve it. In the old schools of the Sufis, and even to-day, there is the custom that, when they arrive in the room of meditation, or when they go out of it, one of them is there to suggest this idea in words. He says, “Solitude in the crowd,” which means: when you are in the midst of the crowd, even then you can hold your tranquility, your peace; you are not disturbed by the environments. It is this which enables one to live in the midst of the world and yet progress spiritually. It takes away that necessity which compelled many souls in ancient times to go to the wilderness in order to develop spiritually. Vol VIII Sufi Teachings, Health and Order of Body and Mind, Self-Discipline
The spiritual student learns self-control in three ways: by postures, by tasawwur or visualization which is concentration, and by amal, which is the highest practice. After this there is samadhi, which is meditation and which is called by the dervishes masti; it means illumination, to halt in illumination. The difference between meditation and concentration is that concentration is done on a form, on an object, and meditation without form or object.
Repose and control of the body are taught by postures and positions. When a person has been still for some time, he will begin to move. There is no need for him to move but he moves his foot or his arm, or he drums on the table with his fingers, or he chews his lips, or blinks his eyes. The activity increases more and more until at last a person jumps in his sleep; when the first sleep comes, he starts and jumps. To control the activity of the body, to sit quiet in the postures and positions is the first lesson.
However, there must not be stillness only. If a person has kept his hands still for a long time and then wishes to play the piano, he will not be able to. He must make his fingers active enough to be able to play the piano well. As much stillness there is, so much activity there must be.
Sleep and do not sleep; eat and do not eat; walk and do not walk; speak and do not speak. This means: if you sleep every night, sometimes do not sleep; if you eat every day, one day in seven do not eat; or if you eat all month long, one or two days in the month do not
eat. This gives a mastery that you cannot gain by renunciation alone. It does not mean that you should starve. The body must be given good food, fresh food, and all its needs must be satisfied. This is better than that it should always long for what it sees before it. You must give the body what it needs, but you must control its needs, and not be controlled by them.
After this comes control of the thoughts, which is the second step, control of the body coming first. Thousands of people have found that they can sit in the postures for hours, but cannot keep their mind still. This has to be learned by degrees. A person cannot control his mind by willing to think of nothing; that will never be possible. First let the mind hold whatever thought interests it, any thought of love, of goodwill – whatever interests it. Check its tendency to jump from one thing to another. When you catch the mind jumping from one thing to another, bring it back and hold it. You must say: I am greater than my mind, my will is greater than my mind, and I will make my mind obey my will.
Then comes mastery of the feelings, of the heart. There must be no feeling of revenge, of unkindness, of bitterness against anyone in the heart. When such a feeling comes, one must say: this is rust coming into my heart. When all such feelings are cleared off the heart, it becomes like a mirror. A mirror without rust reflects all that is before it; then everything divine is reflected in the heart, then all inspirations, intuitions, impressions come, and what we call clairvoyance. There is no need to go after such things; they come of themselves.
After this there is only one thing more to be done: to keep from the soul all the thoughts that come from others and all the thoughts and feelings that arise within the self. Keep away even all feelings of love and goodwill whilst you are in this meditation; then, as a matter of course, come ecstasy, rapture, and peace.
Many people ask: How can we control our thoughts? What can we do, if our thoughts do not obey us, if our mind does not obey us, if our body does not obey us? How can we like a thing, if we dislike it, or dislike it, if we do like it? It seems to us impossible! To a person who has gone beyond likes and dislikes this sounds like a child’s question, because he does not know of opposites.
The way to gain self-control is first of all to do the reverse of what your inclination would lead you to do. If you feel inclined to eat, sometimes do not eat, control the hunger. If you feel inclined to drink, do not drink, control the thirst. If you are inclined to sleep, do not sleep; at another time, when you are not inclined to sleep, sleep. There are a thousand inclinations, each sense has its inclinations. Do not give way to these inclinations, rule them, that they may not govern you. This is called by the Yogis hatha yoga, and the Sufis call it nafskushi. Vol VIII Sufi Teachings, Health and Order of Body and Mind, Self- Control
Very often people, by learning philosophy and by looking at this world with a pessimistic thought, have renounced the world, and have called it material and false; and have left this world and have gone to the forest or desert or cave, and have taught the principle of self-denial and self-abnegation and renunciation. That was not the way of Hafiz, He said it is like journeying over the sea and coming to a new port, and before landing one becomes frightened, saying, “But I shall perhaps be attacked by the people, or the place will attract me so much that I will not be able to go back where I have come from.” But he does not know why he has taken that journey, He has not taken the journey to go back without landing. The attitude of Hafiz is to land there – risk it. If it is an attractive place, he is ready to be won. If it will crush him, he is ready to be crushed. This is a daring attitude. Not running away from this false world, but in this false world to discover glimpses of the true, and in this maze to find God’s purpose. Social Gathekas # 26 Khwaja Shams-ud-din Muhammed Hafiz
The Divine Blood Circulating Through the Veins of the Universe
A spiritual or religious attitude apart, even from a material and selfish point of view one cannot deny the greatest value of concentration in life. But when we come to realize that there is one energy, an energy which is not only an energy but Intelligence itself, and which is Divine and which is all over, then one has come face to face to the object one is searching for. All then what remains for him is to know that intellectual knowledge does not satisfy his purpose, for him it remains to try and find out how he can communicate, how he can come into touch with this all-pervading energy. And the answer is, one has to mould oneself, one has to prepare oneself in order to become a fitting instrument, in order to fit in with this all-pervading energy. And the question is, “how has one to prepare.” The answer is that every soul has been made to answer in this symphony of the whole universe as a certain note. And when he will not give that note he will not be fulfilling his life’s purpose, and thereby he will always feel dissatisfied with himself and others. And how will he be able to attain or attune himself to that note? By the ear training, in symbolical expression; plainly speaking, by studying the law, the nature, and the secret of harmony in life.
Does it not teach us that there are two important things to remember? One is to develop the sense of harmony in one’s everyday life and to develop the sense of rhythm in everything one does. If one has developed the sense of harmony and yet has not known the secret of rhythm, he still will have difficulties. And if one knows the rhythm and how to fit in with the rhythm of the universe, and yet has no sense of the nature and secret of harmony, then also will he meet with failures. It teaches us that the whole life is as a music, and to study it we must study it as music. It is not only study, it is practice that makes man perfect. If anyone told me, “that person is a miserable, or a wretched person, or a distressed person,” the answer will be, “he is out of tune.”
A distress or disappointment or failure is caused by falling short of answering one’s own duty in playing the part in the symphony. Very often people will ask, “there is a good man, why must he suffer. There is a very nice person, a religious person, why has he distress?” And there are others who will answer a thousand different reasons. They will say that perhaps in the life before he has done something wrong, therefore he has to pay
his debts, or some will say the goodness must always suffer. But when we come to the practical side of the question, the answer is simple, that manmade goodness is not natural goodness.
Nature demands, life demands a certain standard of understanding, of thinking, of living and that can be learned by learning the tune and the rhythm, not only by learning, but by putting oneself to that tune and setting oneself to that particular rhythm which makes the music of life. It is by this, in this manner that the happiness is attained, that happiness which is the seeking of every soul. And it is in this manner that one will progress continually until he will touch the Divine Spirit, the Spirit that pervades all through and which is everywhere. Social Gatheka # 41 The Divine Blood Circulating Through the Veins of the Universe
The development of one’s personality is the real purpose of human life. Gayan Boulas
In the complete unfoldment of human nature is the fulfillment of life’s purpose. Gayan Boulas
By creating happiness, one fulfills one’s life’s purpose. Vadan Chalas
Duty is not necessarily the purpose of life; still, in duty one finds a road which leads one to the purpose of life. Vadan Chalas
It is the knowledge of the purpose of life which gives man the strength with which to stand in the midst of the opposing forces of life. Aphorisms
The art of personality is not a qualification; it is the purpose for which man was created.
Through this art man not only satisfies himself but also pleases God. Aphorisms
Message Class: February 2014
The Purpose of Life Series #2: Choosing a Goal
Review Last Class: zaynab (2 – 3 minutes)
Count off by 4s for Small Groups:
Brief sharing (5 mins)
Read the selection and discuss (10 mins)
Silence and breathing (1 mins)
Intuition to set a goal exercise (15 mins)
Large group sharing: MQ to facilitate
Review Homework: Leelah
Purpose of Life 2 Meditation Worksheet
Set aside 15 minutes each day for this intuition exercise.
Settle into yourself and your breath.
Repeat “Allah” 33 times.
Begin 10 minutes of silence by being present to each of your five bodies: physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual. Be present to your heart. Notice what has come up. Open to the idea of clarifying a goal related to the purpose of your life.
For the next five minutes, be present to each of these questions in turn and make notes if you care to:
What is life telling me?
What is my heart telling me?
What is my duty?
What gives me happiness?
Over time, let your impressions take shape to form a clear and realistic goal. It is best not to talk about your goal. If you care to, you may share with the group during class.
Fulfilling the Purpose of One’s Life, Month 2 Readings
In a few words Sufism means to know one’s true being, to know the purpose of one’s life and to know how to accomplish that purpose. Many say, out of disappointment, “I shall perhaps never be successful in my life,” not knowing the fact that man is born to do what he longs to do and success is natural; failure is unnatural. If man is himself, the whole world is his own, if he is not himself, then even his self does know what he is, where he is, why he is here on the earth; then he is less useful to himself and to others than a rock. Social Gathekas #7 Sufism
To realize the preliminary purpose of our life we must find our natural rhythm. Today people adopt wrong methods. They go to a clairvoyant and ask him about the purpose of their life. They do not know it themselves. Anybody else must tell them except their own spirit, their own soul; they ask others because they do not tune themselves to that pitch where they can feel intuitively what they live for. If another person says, ‘You are here to become a carpenter or a lawyer or a barrister’, that does not satisfy our need. It is our own spirit that must speak to us. We must be able to still ourselves, to tune our spirit to the universal consciousness in order to know the purpose of our life. And once we know this purpose the best thing is to pursue it in spite of all difficulties. Nothing should discourage us, nothing should keep us back once we know that this is the purpose of our life. Then we must go after it even at the sacrifice of everything, for when the sacrifice is great the gain in the end gives a greater power, a greater inspiration. Rise or fall, success or failure does not matter as long as you know the purpose of your life. If ninety-me times you fail, the hundredth time you will succeed. Vol VI The Alchemy of Happiness, The Purpose of Life (2)
Shaikh Muslih-ud-din Sa’adi: Man is born with a purpose, and that purpose is fulfilled in the refinement of his personality. This unrefined nature of the ego, when developed through life, has an effect like the sting of a thorn. Wherever, whoever, whatever it touches, it causes some harm or disturbance, some destruction. And so personalities in human beings, when they are not refined, and they have before them all temptations, all things that attract them, things they like and admire and wish to have, then they go against the conflicting activities of life, they rub up against everything like a thorn, tearing it to pieces. And what happens? No doubt when thorns rub against thorns they crush one another and they feel it less. But when thorns rub against flowers, they tear them to pieces.
If you will ask individuals in this world, in all walks of life, “Tell me, what is your difficulty in life?” Perhaps they will tell you that they lack wealth or power or position, but mostly the complaints will be that they are in some way or other hurt by others, by friend, or parent, or child, life-mate, or neighbor, or co-worker; they are disturbed or troubled and in difficulty from this thorn-life influence from morning to evening touching them and scratching them. And yet man does not seem to think deeply on this subject. Life is blinding, and it keeps man busy and engaged finding fault with others. He does not find the thorn in himself, he always sees the thorn in others.
Sa’adi, in simple language, has tried to give man a helping hand towards the development in his personality of that flowerlike quality; to train this personality which was made to be a flower and to help. His whole life’s work has been to explain to man how life can turn into a flower. He has called his books “Gulistan” which means a flower-bed or a rose-garden, and “Bustan” a place of all sorts of fragrances, a place of fragrance. In this he has tried to explain to man how the heart can be turned into a flower. In reality it is a flower, it is made to be a flower, it is made to spread its perfume. If only you trained it and tended it, it would show the delicacy and beauty and fragrance of a flower; and that is the purpose of your life. Social Gathekas #18 Shaikh Muslih-ud-din Sa’adi
Shaikh Muslih-ud-din Sa’adi (continued): Sa’adi has expressed a wonderful thought in his work called the “Gulistan,” and in simple words. He says, “every soul was meant for a certain purpose and the light of that purpose was kindled in that soul.” It is one little verse, but it is a volume in itself. What does this suggest to us? That this whole universe is like one symphony, and all souls are as different notes. There activities are according to the rhythm of this symphony, and their life is purposed to perfect this symphony.
People are anxious to do something, and wait for years and years, unhappy, in despair, waiting for that moment to come. It shows that the soul knows in its subconsciousness that there is a note to strike, and the moment when it will strike that note, that soul will be satisfied, and yet does not know what note it is nor when it will be struck. What is life, and what keeps us living in this world of limitation, this world of continual changes, full of falsehood and full of suffering and trouble? If there is anything in this world that keeps us alive, it is hope–the honey of life. There is not one soul in this world who says, “now I am satisfied, I have no further desire.”
In everyone, whatever be the position of life, someone very rich or one very poor, one full of life and the other ill, in all conditions, man is continually yearning and waiting for something to come, he does not know what, but he is waiting. The real explanation of life is waiting; waiting for something. And what is it that man awaits? It is the fulfillment of the purpose of life, which comes when the soul strikes that note; that note which is meant to be his note. And this he seeks, whether in the outer plane or the inner plane. And man has not fulfilled his life’s purpose until he has struck that note which is his note.
And the greatest tragedy in life is the obscurity of purpose. When purpose is not clear, man suffers, he cannot breathe. He knows not what is the purpose, what he must do. This life will present to him things that will interest him for the moment, but the moment he possesses that thing he will say, “no this is not it, it is something else.” So man goes on,
in an illusion, constantly seeking, and yet not knowing what he seeks. Blessed is he who knows his life’s purpose, for that is the first step toward fulfillment.
And how are we to know life’s purpose? Can anybody tell us? No. No one can tell us: for life in its very nature is self-revealing, and it is our own fault if we are not open to that revelation which life offers to us. It is not the fault of life, because the very nature of life is revealing. Man is the offspring of nature, therefore his purpose is nature. But the artificiality of life brings obscurity, which prevents him from arriving at that knowledge which may be called the revelation of one’s own soul.
And if you ask me how one should proceed, I would advise you to study every object, whether false or true, which holds and attracts you, to which you are outwardly attracted and also inwardly attracted. And do not be doubting and suspicious. What Christ taught from morning till night was faith, but the interpretation of this word is not made clear. People have said faith in priest, in church, or in sect. That is not the meaning. The true meaning of faith is trust in one’s self. A person came to me and said, “I wish to follow your ideas. Will you receive me? Will you let me follow you?” I said, “Yes, but will you tell me if you have faith?” This person looked perplexed for a moment, then he said, “Well, I have faith in you.” I asked, “Have you faith in yourself?” He said, “Well, I am not sure.” I said, “Your faith in me would be of no use to me. What I need is your faith in you.”
Friends, what we must learn in life is first to trust ourselves. This wobbling tendency of mind, “shall I, or shall I not–is it good or is it bad,” keeps man in confusion. And for years he may have the best intentions, but he will linger in the same place. He will not advance, for his own confusion will paralyze his limbs. He will not think he is going on, but he will be stopping in the same place where he is standing.
Our happiness depends on living right, and right living depends on striking that note; and the realization of that purpose is in the book of our heart. Open that book and look at it. All meditation, all concentration and contemplation is only to open this book, to focus our mind, and to see what purpose there is in our life. And no sooner do we see that our ultimate goal and our life’s object and happiness, our true health and wellbeing and our real wealth and welfare, are in the fulfillment of our purpose, then the whole trend of life will change. Social Gathekas #19 Shaikh Muslih-ud-din Sa-adi (continued)
Man, the Seed of God: No doubt there is another side of the question. As man evolves, so he finds the limitations, the errors and the infirmities of human nature; and so it becomes difficult for him to live in the world and to withstand all that comes. Also it becomes very difficult for man to be fine, to be good, to be kind, to be sensitive, and at the same time to be tolerant. And what comes as as tendency is to push away everything, and to find oneself away from everybody and every being. But the purpose of being born on earth is different.
The purpose of being born on earth is to find that perfection which is within oneself. And however good and kind man be, if he has not found the purpose for which he is born on earth, he has not fulfilled the object of his life. There are as many different aspects of that purpose as many people there are in the world; but behind all different aspects of that purpose there is one purpose. It is that purpose which may be called the purpose of the whole creation. And that purpose is when the inventor looks at his invention working, when the great architect builds a house which he has designed and which was his when it is built, when he enters it and sees how nicely it is accomplished; the purpose is accomplished when the producer of a play produces the play he has desired, and when the play is produced and he looks at it, that is the purpose.
Every man seems to have his purpose, but the purpose is nothing but a step to the purpose which is one purpose and which is the purpose of God. Our small desires if they are granted today, tomorrow there is another wish; and whatever be the desire, when it is granted next day there is another desire. That shows that the whole humanity and every soul is directed towards one desire, and that is the object of God which is the fuller experience of life within and without, a fuller knowledge of life, the life above and below.
It is the widening of the outlook, that it may be so wide that in the soul, which is vaster than the world, all may be reflected. That the sight may become so keen that it may probe the depth of the earth and the highest of the Heavens. It is in this that there is the fulfillment of the soul, and the soul who will not make every effort possible with every sacrifice for the attainment of this, that soul has not understood religion. What is the Sufi Message? It is that esoteric training, working, practicing through life towards that attainment which is as the fulfillment of the object of God. Social Gathekas #38 Man, the Seed of God
The Purpose of Life: The first thing that a seeker after truth must realize, is the purpose of life. No sooner does a soul begin to feel sober from the intoxication of life, than the first thing it asks itself is, “What is the purpose of my life?” Each soul has its own purpose, but in the end all purposes resolve into one purpose, and it is that purpose which is sought by the mystic. For all souls, by the right and the wrong path, either sooner or later, will arrive at that purpose, a purpose which must be accomplished, a purpose for which the whole creation has been intended; but the difference between the seeking soul and the soul who blindly works towards that purpose is like that between the material and the maker of it. The clay works towards the purpose of forming a vessel and so does the potter; but it is the potter’s joy and privilege to feel the happiness of the accomplishment of the purpose, not the clay’s; and so it is with the beings who are unconsciously striving towards that purpose and the souls who are consciously striving towards it, both in the end coming towards the same accomplishment; the difference is in the consciousness.
The first step on the spiritual path is when a soul realizes its outer purpose in life. For it is not every soul in the world which even realizes its outer mission in life. And the soul who
does not realize it, may go on, perhaps, for its whole life and may not realize it even to the end of its life, but the one who cares to realize it, must sooner or later realize it. For the answer to his question is continually being heard in his own heart. As Sa’di says, “Every soul is created for a certain purpose and the light of that purpose has been kindled in that soul.” If there is already a flame lit even before the person was born on earth, it remains for the person to find out for himself the purpose of his life, although everything outside himself also points to that purpose.
One may ask, “What is the best way for a person to understand his life’s purpose?” If one follows the bent of one’s own mind, if one follows the track to which one is attracted, if one follows one’s inner inclination, which is not satisfied with anything else, one feels, “There is something waiting for me (which one does not know at the time), which will bring me satisfaction.” Besides, if one is intuitive and mystical, it is easier still, because then one is continually told what is the purpose of one’s life. For nature has such a perfection of wisdom. One sees that the insects are given the sense to make their little houses and to protect themselves and to make a store of their food. The bees, who have the gift of making honey, are taught how to make honey. So nature has taught every soul to seek its purpose. It has made every soul for that purpose, and it is continually calling that soul to see that purpose. If the soul does not hear the call and sleeps, it is not the fault of nature, which is continually calling. Therefore, if I were to say in a few words how to find one’s purpose, I would say: by waking from sleep.
One might ask, “Would the outer purpose lead to the inner purpose of life?” Certainly it would. Everything a person does, spiritual or material, is only a stepping-stone for one to arrive at the inner purpose, if one can only take it to be so. If one is mistaken, the mistake is in one’s self; one is working towards the inner purpose just the same. For all is created to work as one scheme, and therefore each individual is acting towards the accomplishment of the divine purpose. If there is a difference, the difference is of that particular individual.
There are five aspects which give one the tendency towards the accomplishment of the inner purpose: desire to live, desire to know, desire for power, desire for happiness and desire for peace. These five things work consciously or unconsciously in the profound depth of every soul. Working within one, they prompt one either to do right or to do wrong, and yet these five aspects belong to the one purpose in the accomplishment of which the purpose of the whole creation is fulfilled. When the desire to live brings one in touch with one’s real life, a life which is not subject to death, then the purpose of that desire is accomplished; when one has been able to perceive fully the knowledge of one’s own being, in which is to be found divine knowledge and the mystery of the whole manifestation, then the purpose of knowledge is attained; when one is able to get in touch with the Almighty Power, then the desire for power is achieved; when one has been able to find one’s happiness in one’s own heart, independent of all things outside, the purpose of the desire for happiness is fulfilled; when one is able to rise above all conditions and influences which disturb the peace of the soul and has found one’s peace in the midst of the crowd and away from the world, in him the desire for peace is satisfied. It is not in one or the other of these five desires that there is the accomplishment of the purpose; it is
in the fulfillment of these five desires that one purpose is accomplished, the purpose for which every soul was born on earth. Vol I The Way of Illumination, The Purpose of Life, Chapter 1
Guide me to the purpose for which I am born on the earth. Help my life to fulfill its purpose. Grant me to have all power and wisdom, that I may best fulfill my life’s purpose. Vol II The Mysticism of Sound and Music, Phrases to be Repeated
The Purpose of Life: Every living being has a purpose in life and it is the knowing of that purpose which enables every soul to fulfill it. As it is said in the Gayan, “Blessed is he who knoweth his life’s purpose.”
Be not surprised if you find many groping in darkness all through life, doing one thing or another, going from one thing to the other, always dissatisfied, always discontented; and everything they undertake remains without result. The reason is the absence of that knowledge, the knowledge of the purpose of life.
Individuals apart, every object has its purpose. The mission of science is to discover the purpose in objects, and it is for this that science has come into being. Be it medical science or philosophy, all the various aspects of science are the result of the desire to discover the purpose of things. But the aim of mysticism is to find the purpose in the lives of human beings, the purpose in one’s own life, and the purpose in the lives of others. So long as a man has not found this purpose, though he may have success or failure, though he may seem to be happy or unhappy, in reality he does not live; for life begins from the moment a person finds the purpose of his life.
One finds people of great wealth, people who have position and every comfort and convenience, and yet who are missing something, missing the main thing which alone can make them happy: knowledge of the purpose of their life. This is the very thing they miss. And yet at the same time mankind is ignorant of this. A man will be interested in a thousand things, he will be interested first in one thing and then pass on to another, and so on, but he seems never to come to that point where he finds the purpose of his life. Why? Because he does not look for it.
Coming to children’s education, to the education of youth, very often the parents do not think about this problem. Whatever seems to them beneficial for the child to do, that it must do. They do not pay attention to the fact that it is in one’s childhood that one has to find the purpose of one’s life. How many lives have been ruined for this reason! A child may have been brought up with every facility and yet kept away from the purpose of his life.
However unhappy a man may be, the moment he knows the purpose of his life a switch is turned and the light is on. He may not be able to accomplish anything at once, but the very fact of knowing the purpose gives him all the hope and vigor and inspiration and strength to wait for that day. If he has to strive after that purpose all his life, he does not mind so long as he knows what the purpose is. Ten such persons have much greater power than a thousand people working from morning till evening not knowing the purpose of their life.
Besides, what we call wrong or right, good or bad, differs according to the purpose of life. The more one studies life, the more one realizes that it is not the action but the purpose that makes things right or wrong, good or bad. And as we progress we become more wide awake, and the greater becomes the purpose before us.
Beyond this is the purpose of all, the ultimate purpose. We begin our lives with an individual purpose, but we come to a stage where the purpose of every soul is one and the same. And that can be studied by studying the inclinations of men. Every man has five inclinations hidden in the depths of his heart. Being absorbed in the life of the world he may forget that ultimate purpose, but at the same time there is a continual inclination towards it. That shows that the ultimate purpose of the life of all is one and the same. Vol VI The Alchemy of Happiness, The Purpose of Life (1)
The Purpose of Life: Every intelligent person comes to a stage in his life, sooner or later, when he begins to question himself as to what purpose there is in life, in being on earth. “Why am I here? What am I to accomplish in life?” he asks. No doubt the moment this question has arisen in a person he has taken his first step in the path of wisdom; before, whatever he did, not being conscious of his life’s purpose, he remained discontented. Whatever be his occupation, life’s condition in life, whether he is wise or foolish, learned or illiterate, there is always discontent. He may have success or failure, but the desire that his life’s purpose should be accomplished remains, and unless it is accomplished a person cannot be satisfied. That is why many people who are successful in business, doing very well in their profession, comfortable in their domestic life, and popular in society, yet remain dissatisfied because they do not know the purpose of their life.
After knowing the purpose of life we may be handicapped by many things, we may lack means, but the conditions will be favorable to go forward, in spite of all. When one has found one’s life’s purpose, no matter how difficult life is for one nor how many hindrances one has to contend with, from that moment there is nothing one will not withstand, no sacrifice one will not make, nothing one will not endure. One will wait with patience all one’s life, and if one does not succeed in this life one will wait even till the hereafter, happy because one is accomplishing one’s life’s purpose. When a person knows, “I am here for this particular purpose,” that knowledge in itself gives a great strength of conviction. Vol VI The Alchemy of Happiness, The Purpose of Life (2)
Every desire increases the power of man to accomplish his main desire, which is the purpose of every soul. Gayan Boulas
He to whom life’s purpose is clear is already on the Path. Gayan Boulas
Blessed is he who has found in life his life’s purpose. Gayan Suras
The purpose of life is fulfilled in rising to the greatest heights and in diving to the deepest depths of life. Vadan Chalas
Everything has its purpose, but knowledge of the purpose makes us able to use it to the best advantage. Aphorisms
The soul is on a continual journey: on whatever plane, it journeys all the time, and on this journey it has a purpose to accomplish. Aphorisms
When one devotes one’s time and thought to trying to know what one need not know, one loses the opportunity which life offers of discovering the nature and secret of the soul, in which lies the fulfillment of the purpose of life. Aphorisms
Every person has his life designed beforehand; and the light of the purpose that he is born to accomplish in life has already been kindled in his soul. Aphorisms
He who with sincerity seeks his real purpose in life, is himself sought by that purpose. Bowl of Saki June 24
Every soul has a definite task, and the fulfillment of each individual purpose can alone lead man aright; illumination comes to him through the medium of his own talent. Bowl of Saki July 7
Attuning to the Power of Healing: January Healing Class Outline
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
We must find a way of becoming instruments of the Holy Spirit and healing our fellow men. We will have to go through an inner process to become pure instruments for the Divine Power of healing. First we must overcome our sense of our person, our personal image and also the image of the environment. The best way is to remember that one is a visitor on the planet earth and that the body is just a formation of the substance of the planet and our minds are just formations and our emotions build up and seem to change. There’s a thunderstorm and there’s a peaceful state and then the wind blows up from the north and it’s cold and then there’s lightning and there’s rain. Our thoughts are also formations just like the clouds—out of the thinking substance behind the physical universe. …We don’t identify with either our body or our mind or our emotions. Our personality has come into existence as a formation and will disintegrate.
In fact, with Jelaluddin Rumi, one can say: “I am the nameless and the formless, and the timeless and the spaceless.” Or as Christ said of his disciples; “They are in the world but not of the world.”
Now we reach immaculate state. It is only by passing through this attunement we can ever become pure instruments of the Holy Spirit. The body has to become like a crystal. One could use the metaphor “washed with light.” So that the light can pass through it, it has to be, as the crystal is, in a state of total order, total attunement, resonance, in keeping with the divine order of things. Imagine that we are crystals, so that the light can pass through; nothing opaque, we are totally translucent. All of a sudden it seems as though there were spaces for light to circulate throughout the body, instead of imagining the body to be tightly woven solid. All of a sudden it becomes ethereal.
The mind becomes crystal clear and there are no conflicts, no jamming, no bottlenecks. The mind is washed with light. It is like the smile of a child: total sincerity, clarity. One washes the emotions with light and there’s no room for hatred or intolerance or despondency. The emotions are clear like the light of the sun shining on the flowers or the light of the stars illuminating the dark corners of the universe. It’s a catharsis. One has to purify the heart from the emotions that are not sublime and radiant, celestial… The divine love comes through; just as light comes through a crystal, passing between the molecules. Everything lights up!
Consciousness becomes crystal-clear. That is what is meant by the light of the divine intelligence: there’s no deformation or deviation in this light. It is not focalized as in the consciousness of a human being. Now you feel that overflowing of life going through you, and you realize that you have to give it an outlet, it is so overwhelmingly powerful. This is the moment to think of those who are ill, either physically or mentally. Do not try to send your thoughts toward them…Get into their eternal being and experience how that eternal being is suffering from limitation in body, thought and personality and yet remains perfectly aware beyond its limitation, somewhere, at some level.
Quddus (Holy Spirit or Purifying Spirit) repeat 11 times concentrate above your head as you say it. Keep that concentration above your head.
Light Practices: Crystal Meditation
Breathe In: Imagine yourself a crystal. Breathe in light, absorb light. Hold the concentration for a few seconds feeling the cells, even the atoms of the crystal that is you aligning, jiggling, dancing in light.
Breathe Out: Feel yourself the crystal radiating light from each cell, eat atom.
Repeat 5 times.
Breathe In: Imagine yourself a crystal receiving the light of the universe, absorbing it into your being until you are filled with light—living, resonating light, vibrating at a very high frequency.
Hold: Notice a part of you that needs light and healing. It could be in your body, your feelings, your thoughts, your relationships, your heart, your soul, your spirit.
Exhale: Feel that part receiving light, as if the crystal is a prism, shining the light it receives upon the place that you’ve noticed, offering it exactly what it needs.
Repeat 5 times.
Healing Class and Circle – December 2012
Practice: Allah Hu
Message Volume 4, Healing and the Mind World, Chapter XII: Mystic Relaxation (2) (Abridged)
Mystic relaxation is really the same as meditation. Very often people are puzzled about the word meditation because it is used by so many people who sometimes have very different ideas about it. By calling it mystic relaxation the meaning becomes simple and clear.
From a physical point of view, there is the practice of contracting and stretching, which enables a man to bring out his inner vitality, whereas relaxation is a contrary action. … This energy is most valuable and precious; when it is used outwardly it brings external benefits and when it is used inwardly it brings about inner attainments.
Meditation is reached through two preliminary stages. The first stage is concentration and the next is contemplation. After these two stages comes the third, which is meditation. What comes after that is realization.
Nothing in this world can be thoroughly accomplished without concentration, whether in one’s business or profession, or in spiritual work. Those who cannot make a success in their business or profession are the ones whose concentration is not right. And many of those who have succeeded in life owe this to the fact that their concentration is good. …
Concentration is the beginning of meditation; meditation is the end of concentration. Once concentration is fully acquired, it is easy for a person to meditate. From a metaphysical point of view concentration can be regarded as having three aspects: reflecting, constructing, improvising. The first kind of concentration is to reflect any object that one has placed before oneself. This is the mirror-quality of mind that enables one to concentrate in this way. When one is impressed by a certain thing one has seen outside oneself, one tries to concentrate upon it, to hold it in mind. In other words, one focuses one’s mind on that object with which one is impressed, and one’s mind does nothing but reflect it.
The other kind of concentration is constructing or composing; for instance, when an artist has been told to make a very fanciful picture and he creates in his mind a creature with the face of a man, the horns of a buffalo and the wings of a bird. … Man can produce out of his thought an angel or a devil; he can produce God out of his thought.
The third aspect of concentration is improvising. If a poet is asked to write a poem on a rose-bud he begins to improvise. He brings into it a dewdrop, and he produces the picture of dawn; he takes a gentle stream of water and builds a beautiful background to it. This is the third kind of concentration.
The best remedy for a wandering mind is natural concentration; that means not forcing the mind. One should at first let the mind work naturally, thinking of kings it is inclined to think about. Why should the mind think of something towards which it has no inclination? It is unnatural; it is like eating something one does not like; it will not be assimilated nor give good results. One should think about anything one loves, then one can learn to concentrate. …
But concentration has an even greater significance than this, for it is that creative power which man possesses and which he has as a heritage of God. That creative power begins to work wonders. …
Contemplation is the second stage of concentration. Contemplation is the repetition of a certain idea, and this repetition materializes that idea. Those who have been able to accomplish great works in the world have been contemplative people. Often they do not know it. It is the continual repetition of a certain idea which creates that idea, which brings it into being in the physical world. For instance, those who can contemplate on health can bring about that perfect health which no medicine nor anything else can give. …
Practice of Ya Salaam 33x at point in text on concentration and contemplation (Basira)
The third stage is meditation. This stage has nothing to do with the mind. This is the experience of the consciousness. Meditation is diving deep within oneself, and soaring upwards into the higher spheres, expanding wider than the universe. It is in these experiences that one attains the bliss of meditation.
There cannot be anything more serious than spiritual attainment. If a person takes that lightly he does not know what he is doing. It is better not to go into these things at all, rather than go and come back empty-handed. To come back disappointed from the spiritual path before reaching the final goal is the worst possible thing. To go bankrupt does not matter. One can pick up again what one has lost in the world. But the man who has embarked on the spiritual path and has turned back is to be pitied. It is the greatest loss and can never be repaired.
Practice of Ya Shaffee, Ya Khaffee, 33x
Introduction: Fulfilling the Purpose of Your Life
Message Class, December 2013
For the next several months, Message Class will offer an adaptation of the 8-week course developed by Suhrawardi Gebel entitled Fulfilling the Purpose of One’s Life. This is designed as an active learning process and includes readings which will be posted on the website, didactic teaching, small and large group sharing, practices, silence, journaling, and homework assignments.
Introduction: A Spiritual View of Life
There is a Source and a Goal, and a Journey in between. How do we find the purpose of this experience? That which attracts, excites and inspires you is telling you something about your purpose. Enter the silence. When you are ready, jot down your inspirations.
What blocks us from finding the note we are meant to sound? Fear, insecurity, too much caring for others and what they think, lacking means, being impractical and more are the boulders that obscure the path. Enter the silence. When you are ready, jot down your observations.
We can change our view, so that the Hidden may become manifest through us, as us. Practices of awareness and remembrance help us overcome our obstacles. We can learn to discipline ourselves and consciously align with the Divine Will.
Practice: Ya Qadr, Ya Qahr
Intuition Exercise: Settle into yourself while we breathe together. Together we will repeat, “Allah” 33 times. Be present to each of your five bodies: physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual. Be present to your heart. Now, begin to reflect on the clues to your purpose that you discovered above. Formulate a clear question about your purpose. Let the mind rest, drop into your heart, and identify with the Witness consciousness within. Allow some space to open into which your intuition may emerge. Let your mind’s efforts to “help” with this question float away like clouds. Your intuition may come as an image, sound, feeling or other impression. Allow it to rise into your awareness without judgment or commentary. Let the images and impressions unfold as if in a dream. Be present to what you receive. When you are ready, make some notes for yourself below. When you are finished, check in with each of your five bodies and your heart. We will seal the practice by repeating, “Allah hu Akbar” 33 times.
Homework: If you choose to, dedicate 15 minutes a day to silence: listening, relaxing, trusting patiently. Notice what comes up. Keep a journal to record your intuitions, inspirations and impressions.
Next month: Choosing a Goal
Fulfilling the Purpose of One’s Life, Month 1 Readings
Every being has a definite vocation, and his vocation is the light which illuminates his life. The man who disregards his vocation is a lamp unlit. He who sincerely seeks his real purpose in life is himself sought by that purpose. As he concentrates on that search a light begins to clear his confusion. Vol I Purpose of Life, Vocation
The sages have said, “Rise above the earthly motives. Accomplish all you wish to accomplish in life, whatever be the motive, and then that itself will lead you to a stage from which you can rise above them, and above the earthly desires of the body.” They have never said, “Stop, and go into the jungle, and see life from our point of view.” Everybody’s path is for himself. Let everyone achieve the fulfillment of his own desires so as to be able to rise above them to the eternal goal. Vol VII In an Eastern Rose Garden, The Journey to the Goal
We find with many people that somehow they never happen to find their life’s vocation. And what happens then is that in the end they consider their life a failure. All through their life they go from one thing to another, yet as they do not know their life’s object they can accomplish so little. When people ask why they do not succeed, the answer is: because they have not yet found their object. As soon as a person has found his life’s object he begins to feel at home in this world, where before he had felt himself in a strange world. No sooner has a person found his way than he will prove to be fortunate, because all the things he wants to accomplish will come by themselves.
Even if the whole world were against him, he will get such a power that he can hold on to his object against anything. He will get such a patience that when he is on the way to his object no misfortune will discourage him. There is no doubt that as long as he has not found it he will go from one thing to another, and again to another; and he will think that life is against him. Then he will begin to find fault with individuals, conditions, plans, the climate, with everything. Thus what is called fortunate or successful is really having the right object. When a person is wearing clothes which were not made for him, he says they are too wide or too short, but when they are his clothes he feels comfortable in them. Everyone should therefore be given freedom to choose his object in life. And if he finds his object one knows that he is on the right path. Vol VI The Alchemy of Happiness, The Aim of Life
For the secret of all knowledge that one acquires in the world, whether worldly knowledge or spiritual knowledge, is the knowledge of the self. For instance, music is played outside, but where is it realized? It is realized within. A good word or a bad word is spoken outside, but where is it realized? It is realized within. Then where is the realization of this whole manifestation, all this creation that stands before us in all its aspects? Its realization is within. And at the same time the error of man always continues. Instead of finding it within he always wants to find it without. It is just like a man who wants to see the moon and looks for it on the ground. And if a man sought for thousands of years for the moon by looking on the earth, he will never see it. He will have to lift up his head and look at the sky. And so with the man who is in search of the mystery of life outside; he will never find it. For the mystery of life is to be found within. Vol II The Mysticism of Music, Sound, and Word, Part III, Chapter II The Power of the Word
The Power of Thought
And now I come to Sufism, what a Sufi thinks of the idea of the creator and the creation. Sufi sees the creator and the creation both in man. The limited part of man’s being is the creation, and the innermost part of his being is the creator. And if that is true, then man is limited and man is unlimited both. If he wished to be limited he can be more and more limited. If he wished to be unlimited he can be more and more unlimited. If he cultivated in himself the illusion of being a creation he can be more and more that; but if he cultivated in himself the knowledge of the creator he can be more and more that.
Every kind of weakness, every kind of illness, every kind of misery, the more one gives in to it the more it comes upon one’s back. And one goes into it even to such an extent sometimes the whole world falls on his back, and he is buried under it. And there is another person who gets out of it. It may be difficult, but at the same time it is possible. Little by little, gradually, but with courage and patience he can get out of it, and stand upon the same world which would have otherwise crushed him under it. The former thing is going down, the latter thing is coming up.
Both things depend upon the attitude of our mind, and it is to change this attitude that is the principal thing in life, from a material point of view to a spiritual point of view. All that is taught in the Sufi esoteric studies and practices is to gain that mastery little by little, gradually, in order to arrive at that fulfillment which is called mastery. But you will say, it is a great struggle. But I will answer, the struggle is in both ways, in coming down and in going up, in both ways there is a struggle. It is just as well to struggle and come up instead of struggling and going down. And whenever a person goes down it only means that he is feeble in his thought. And why is he feeble in his thought? Because he is weak in his feeling. If feeling protects thought, and if thought stands firm, whatever be the difficulty in the life of man, it will be surmounted. Social Gathekas, The Power of Thought
The Privilege of Being Human
But man’s greatest privilege in life is to become a suitable instrument of God, and until he knows this he has not realized his true purpose in life. And the whole tragedy in the life of man is his ignorance of this fact. From the moment that man realizes this he lives the real life, the life of harmony between God and man. When Jesus Christ said, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you,” this teaching was in answer to the cry of humanity, one crying, “I have no wealth,” and another, “life is difficult,” another, “my friends are troubling me,” another, “I want position, wealth.” And the answer to all is, “seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.”
A person may ask, “how, from a practical point of view, from a scientific point of view, can we understand this?” The answer is all that is external is not in direct connection with you, and is therefore unattainable in many cases. Therefore sometimes you can attain your wish, but many times you fail. But by seeking the kingdom of God you seek the center of all that is within and without, and all that is in Heaven and on earth is directly connected with the center, and therefore from the center you are able to reach all that is on earth and in Heaven, but when you reach what is not at the center all may be snatched away from you.
In the Qur’an it is written, “God is the light of the heavens and of the earth.” Besides the desire to obtain the things of the earth there is that innermost desire unconsciously working at every moment of life, and that desire is to come in touch with the infinite. When a painter is painting, when a musician is singing or playing, if he thinks, “it is my playing, my painting, my music,” perhaps he has a satisfaction, but it is like a drop in the ocean. But if he connects his painting, his music with the consciousness of God, if he thinks, “it is Thy painting, Thy music, not mine,” then he connects himself with the center, and his life becomes the life of God.
In life there is much that one can call good, and there is much to be contented with, and there is much that one can admire if one can only bring about that attitude, and it is that that can make man contented and make his life happy. Another thing is that God is the painter of all this beautiful creation, and if you do not connect yourself with the painter you cannot admire his painting. When one goes to the house of a friend whom one likes and admires, every little thing is so pleasant, but when one goes to the house of an enemy every thing is disagreeable.
Then your devotion, your love, your friendship for God can make this whole creation a source of happiness to you. In the house of a dear friend a loaf of bread, a glass of milk is most delicious and in the house of one we dislike all the best dishes are useless. As soon as one begins to realize that the many mansions of the house of the Father are this world with many religions, many races, many nations, which are yet the house of God, then, however humble and difficult the situation in life, it must become, sooner or later, happier and better, because we feel that we are in the house of the one we love, we admire, and all that we meet with we take with love and gratitude because it comes from the one whom we love. Social Gathekas # 17
The Purpose of All Beings
Sa’adi, the great poet of Persia, said that each soul is created for a special purpose and that to fulfill this purpose a light is in his heart. This may confuse many, of course. Some may say, “If I am created for a certain purpose, what is the use of progress? Why not stay where I am since it is my destiny?”
One can help others to understand, but one cannot make them understand. If someone thinks he is a chair or a table, he will remain such, but if he thinks he is a living being, he will feel that action is the object of life, that everything adjusts itself to that, and that every part is made for a purpose, as for instance the parts of a table or a chair. If we think of life and the whole world and see into it deeply, we shall find that we live and move and have our being for a certain purpose. A person may say it is the idea of a fatalist that everything must go through to its destiny. It is not the idea of a fatalist; it is the idea of a seer and of a mystic. The fatalist makes human beings out as chairs and tables; the mystic makes even chairs and tables living beings.
What is after all the purpose of life? No doubt when we take an individual, there is a separate purpose in his life; and when we take the multitude, we see that there is a common purpose; and looking at the whole, we can see that there is a purpose for the whole of humanity. Every purpose, whether for an individual or a collectivity, has a certain value, but the purpose of all beings is beyond value. When every individual is engaged in a certain purpose, and a group of individuals is also, then the whole is also accomplishing a purpose; and this is under a direction, which is called a hierarchy. Religious Gatheka #20 The Purpose of All Beings
The Purpose of Life
There are two classes of people in the world: the spectators of life and the students of life. The former class may be compared to those people who go to the theater and see acted either comedy or tragedy, and are moved by it to laughter or tears. The latter may be compared to those who go up in an aeroplane and view at a glance a whole city where hitherto they had only seen one street at a time. The students of life understand the reason of the comedy and tragedy, while the spectators of life get only a passing impression of them. About this the Qur’an says, “We have removed from you your veil, so your sight shall be keen.” When this happens the spectator of life becomes the student of life. We sometimes ask ourselves, “What is the purpose of life? Is it to eat, drink, and to make merry?” Surely not. The animals do this, and man is a higher creation than the animals. Is life’s purpose then to become an angelic being? This likewise cannot be the case, for the angels were created before man, and are near to God, and continually praise Him.
Man must be created therefore for something other than either the animals or the angels; for if man by reason of his piety became like an angel, he would not have fulfilled the purpose for which he was created. Man is created that he may awaken within himself humanity, sympathy, brotherhood, love, and kindness for his fellow-man.
He may think that he is kind and sympathetic, but in thinking so he makes the greatest possible mistake, for kindness is comparative. This may be illustrated by a story that is told in India of an Afghan soldier, who was once travelling with a Brahmin. The Brahmin, who was a mild and harmless man, careful not to injure the smallest of God’s creation, was repeating to himself the word Daya, which means ‘kindness’. The Afghan, who was a warrior, and understood only the rough side of life, asked him what the word meant. The Brahmin explained that the word was the same as Rahm in his language. “Ah,” he exclaimed, “I understand very well now what it means. I remember I was kind once in my life, for on the field of battle I saw a wounded man writhing in agony, and I was touched, and I put my dagger through him and ended his suffering.”
The claim to be kind and sympathetic is like a drop of water saying, “I am water,” but which on seeing the ocean realizes its nothingness. In the same way, when man has looked on perfection, he realizes his shortcomings. It is then that the veil is raised from before his eyes and his sight becomes keen. He then asks himself, “What can I do that I may awaken this love and sympathy in my heart?”
The Sufi begins by realizing that he is dead and blind, and he understands that all goodness as well as all that is bad comes from within. Riches and power may vanish because they are outside of us, but only that which is within can we call our own. In order to awaken love and sympathy in our hearts, sacrifices must be made. We must forget our own troubles in order to sympathize with the troubles of others.
To relieve the hunger of others we must forget our own hunger. Everybody is working for selfish ends, not caring about others, and this alone has brought about the misery in the world today. When the world is evolving from imperfection towards perfection, it needs all love and sympathy; great tenderness and watchfulness is required of each one of us. The heart of every man, both good and bad, is the abode of God, and care should be taken never to wound anybody by word or act. We are only here in this world for a short time; many have been here before, and have passed on, and it is for us to see that we leave behind an impression of good. Vol V Pearls from the Ocean Unseen, The Purpose of Life
The Purpose of Life
A deep study of anything shows the seer that there is a purpose beneath it all. Yet, if one could look beyond every purpose, there would seem to be no purpose. This boundary is called the Wall of Smiles, which means that all purposes of life, which seem at the moment to be so important, fade away as soon as one looks at them from that height called the Wall of Smiles.
But as deeply as the purpose of life can be traced, there seems to be one ultimate purpose working through all planes of life and showing itself through all planes of existence; that is as if the Knower, with His knowing faculty, had been in darkness, desiring to know something; and in order to know something He created all things. Again, it is the desire of the Creator that has been the power which created; and, too, it is the materialized substance of the spirit, a part of Himself, that has been turned into a creation, yet leaving the Creator behind as the absolute Spirit, constantly knowing and experiencing life through all different channels, some developed, some undeveloped for the purpose.
This Knower, through His final creation, man, realizes and knows more than through any other channel of knowledge, such as bird, beast, worm, germ, plant, or rock. This one Spirit, experiencing through various channels, deludes Himself with the delusion of various beings; and it is this delusion which is the individual ego. He experiences, therefore, two things in His delusion: pain and pleasure; pleasure by the experience of a little perfection, and pain by the lack of it. As long as the cover of this delusion keeps His eyes veiled He knows, yet does not know; it is an illusion; He experiences all things, and yet everything is confusion. But as time goes, when this veil becomes thinner and He begins to see through it, the first thing that comes to Him is bewilderment; but the next is knowledge, culminating in vanity, which is the purpose of life. Vol V Spiritual Liberty, Metaphysics, The Destiny of the Soul, The Purpose of Life
The Unfoldment of the Soul
In all different purposes which we see working through each individual, there seems to be one purpose which is behind them all, and that is the unfoldment of the soul. The ancient Hindus therefore held that object before them in all walks of life. Not only those who sought after truth were seeking for the soul’s unfoldment, but an artist, a scientist, a learned man, a man of industry, of commerce, each one thought that through his particular occupation he was to come to that end. The great misfortune we find today is that humanity is divided in its different occupations and has lost that thread which binds humanity into one and gives that impetus which results in the benefit of all. When the scientist stands on his ground, strong and firm, the artist in his sphere, the industrial man in his world, and the man of commerce in the world of commerce, it is natural that their souls do not come in contact with one another giving them the force to combine for the betterment of the whole. Vol XIV The Smiling Forehead, The Unfoldment of the Soul
Through matter the soul attains to its highest realization; therefore, the physical body is a necessity for the fulfillment of its purpose. Gayan Chalas
There is nothing in this world without purpose, and, though the place of one in the scheme of life may seem different from that of another, yet in the sum total of things we and the lower creation, together with the jinns and angels, have our purpose; that purpose is the realization of truth, and it comes to all in the form of bliss. Aphorisms
God knows Herself by Her manifestation. Manifestation is the self of God, but a self which is limited, a self which makes Her know that She is perfect when She compares Her own Being with this limited self which we call nature. Therefore, the purpose of the whole of creation is the realization that God Herself gains by discovering Her own perfection through Her manifestation. Aphorisms
God knows Himself by His manifestation. Manifestation is the self of God, but a self which is limited, a self which makes Him know that He is perfect when He compares His own Being with this limited self which we call nature. Therefore, the purpose of the whole of creation is the realization that God Himself gains by discovering His own perfection through His manifestation. Aphorisms
The question, “What is the purpose of manifestation?” may be answered in one word: satisfaction, the satisfaction of God. Aphorisms
HEALING CLASS: NOV. 2013
VOL VII: THE MYSTERY OF BREATH
…to the mystic breath is like a lift, a lift in which he rises up to the first floor, and then to the second, and then to the third floor, in fact wherever he wishes to go.
The mystery of the Sphinx, and the mystery of Buraq, which is mentioned in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, has to do with this. When the Prophet reached the court, or gate, of God, the Buraq was sent. The Buraq was an animal with wings, and the Prophet rode upon it in order to reach the gate of the highest heaven. He passed through gate after gate as he passed the seven heavens. In the end he arrived at he gate of the highest.
What does this allegory mean? The body of this Buraq is this physical body. The wings represent the ability of the breath to reach far and yet retain its physical connection with the body. The Prophet mounting upon its back represents any soul who treads the spiritual path. Whoever has courage, whoever has faith, whoever has confidence, whoever has trust, whoever has patience and hope and perseverance, can tread this path and make use of the vehicle of the breath.
Practice: Ya Iman: faith
Ya Wakil: complete trust in Allah
Ya Saboor : patience
Ya Matin: (ma TEEN): consistency
If we read the history of the Buddha, who was a yogi, we shall find that without yoga and without spiritual meditation, which is accomplished by breath, no one in this world has ever attained spiritual perfection. The healing power of Christ, the magnetism of Muhammad, the miraculous power of Moses, the charm of Krishna and the inspiration of Buddha – all these were attained by breath. And how did they attain them if there were not a current passing between us on the earth and the source of energy, the source of power and magnetism?
Practice: quiet meditation, focus on 5 aspects of breath in this order: volume, depth, rhythm, center (crown), range (from the crown to the heavens). Then ground with breath into the hara
Is it not plain that breath conveys even the words which go out from our lips to the ears of the hearer? The voice is breath. The word is breath. Without breath speech cannot be produced. And yet a person may easily accept this and acknowledge that it is true that it is breath that does this, but he will not willingly believe that thought also is breath. He can see the movement of air, which arises from speech, and he wonders if it is meant that thought also causes a movement in the air. This is because he does not understand that a life-current runs through it all, and that is breath. It is easily seen when it manifests itself upon the physical plane, but on the higher planes it is not seen. Yet, it extends higher than the planes. If there is anything that connects man with God, if there is anything that connects the mortal with the immortal, it is this bridge which we call breath.
Practice: zikr : first aloud; then fikr (power of thought), then fikr a-sirr (atmosphere).
November, 2013 Message Class: Working with Powerful Emotions
Teachings of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan
Part 3: Working with Emotions and the Breath
Man must realize that he has a power in him which is greater than all other powers, and this power is his will. Anger is a power, for it is a part of the energy which manifests as anger. Excitement, passion, and other emotions are manifestations of one energy, yet all such powers are in the hands of one single power, namely the will. They are ruled, controlled, and utilized by it. A person cannot be angry unless his will is at the back of it. He has to have the willpower to defend himself, otherwise the anger would be helpless. The anger is there, but the willpower is greater. If the willpower is not behind it the faculty will not work, even if not suppressed. As long as the willpower does not help, the faculty is ineffective, though present
This one power, the willpower, is within. Should this power work with the consent of wisdom, everything would become allowable–anger, calmness, war, fighting, peace, love, hate. For instance there is a time when anger helps, and there is a time when peace helps, when calmness helps. We have to understand their rhythm, for, as in music, if we do not keep the right time it is because we do not understand the rhythm; but if we understand it, it will not matter what we do; things will turn out all right. All is right when wisdom, counsel, and willpower are in harmony, but if the will is under the control of anger or other passions, so that they manifest regardless of wisdom and come into play at their own time, which again depends on the person’s habits, then he will surely get angry every day. He gets cross because he has made it a habit, and his will has submitted. If this happens every day for eight days it will happen also on the ninth, or else perhaps he may fall ill. The power which should be obedient to the will controls it instead, and so the will works without wisdom, in spite of the fact that wisdom is the only reliable power which God has given to man.
The best way to control sudden outbursts of emotion is by developing the habit of exercising the willpower suddenly, promptly. If you return anger or jealousy or hatred or prejudice or any other bitterness, you only keep the flame of that emotion alight. It is just the same as when one keeps love alive in another’s heart by adding a little affection and love all the time. If you withhold it, it will die, for there is nothing to stimulate it. When a person is always offended, or when he dislikes this or that, he is keeping the fire going, whereas once you pass it by and smile you raise yourself above it and it will die out, for then it has no more food to live on.
Practice: Ya Qadr (The Divine Power – as it works in us)
Archetypes: Moses, Abraham
Ya Qawiyy (Inward Strength of Resrtaint) 33x alternating
“My smallest work on the inner plane is worth more than all I do in the outer world.”
‘Resist not evil’, the scripture says. When there is resistance to evil in the other person do not become angry with him. When you foster the same emotion you add to his, and you also increase the same fire in yourself. It is like infecting yourself with a contagious disease instead of curing it. Anger and bitterness will die out in time.
It is the basis of this philosophy that by gaining control of breath man can gain control over himself; the one who controls his breath is the ruler over his mind and body. How few really know how to breathe aright and what are the methods of keeping the channels of the breath clear and in order! Breath, uncontrolled, is dangerous.
Practice: The Elemental Breaths with holds.
Practice: Ya Salaam (sung)
Practice: Relaxation to music
The Prayer Khatum
October, 2013 Message Class: Working with Powerful Emotions
Teachings of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan
Part 2: Passion and Breath
In anger the rhythm of breathing is much quicker, even so much as to make speech impossible. The saying, ‘speechless with anger’ is proverbial. Therefore the breath acts on the mind as well. The lion, the leopard, and other fierce creatures have a very irregular breath; there is no rhythm; they are short-lived. The cobra never becomes excited; it breathes slowly, and attracts its food from any distance by mere concentration of will. It is very long-lived.
It can be seen how various emotions, passions and sentiments change the rhythm of breath. Sometimes breath goes out of man’s control in emotions such as anger, passion or fear; he then has no control over his words or actions. When man loses control over himself, the first thing he loses is control over breath.
Practice: Watch the breath and the emotions. Think of times when you have felt intense emotions and notice what your breath was like then.
Practice: Purification Breaths
What is your experience?
How can you use these breaths when experiencing strong emotions?
Man must realize that he has a power in him which is greater than all other powers, and this power is his will. Anger is a power, for it is a part of the energy which manifests as anger. Excitement, passion, and other emotions are manifestations of one energy, yet all such powers are in the hands of one single power, namely the will. They are ruled, controlled, and utilized by it. A person cannot be angry unless his will is at the back of it. He has to have the willpower to defend himself, otherwise the anger would be helpless. The anger is there, but the willpower is greater. If the willpower is not behind it the faculty will not work, even if not suppressed. As long as the willpower does not help, the faculty is ineffective, though present
This one power, the willpower, is within.
Discussion: What is will and willpower? How do we experience it? How do we strengthen it?
Practice: In unison with the will of God, we will to have peace. (11x)
Practice: Ya Qadr, Ya Qahr (O Divine Power, as it works in the human being; and O Divine Sovereignty, The Order of the Universe)
(33x, fikr, fikr a-sirr)
September, 2013 Message Class: Working with Powerful Emotions
Teachings of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan
Part 1: The Nature of Emotion
What is emotion? Strong emotions, such as anger, are often a difficult for us, either giving out or receiving back. Let’s explore some of the ways Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan offers guidance on working with strong and fiery emotions.
There are nine principal feelings which can be distinguished as mirth, grief, anger, passion, sympathy, attachment, fear, bewilderment and indifference. Feelings cannot be limited to these nine, but when we distinguish numerous feelings we may reduce them to these nine distinct feelings which we experience in life.
There are six diseases which belong to the heart: passion, anger, infatuation, conceit, jealousy and covetousness.
All manner of excess in passion and anger, all manner of sensual life and rejoicing in it robs one of the energy, the power and vitality of the nerves.
Discussion: What happens in our body, mind and heart when we experience intense emotion?
Man is not only formed of vibrations, but he lives and moves in them: they surround him as the fish is surrounded by water, and he contains them within him as the tank contains water. His different moods, inclinations, affairs, successes and failures, and all the conditions of life depend upon a certain activity of vibrations, whether these be thoughts, emotions or feelings. It is the direction of the activity of vibrations that accounts for the variety of things and beings. This vibratory activity is the basis of sensation and the source of all pleasure and pain; its cessation is the opposite of sensation. All sensations are caused by a certain grade of activity of vibration.
And now, how can one develop that power in oneself to stand in everyday life against all disturbing influences? For our life is exposed to this atmosphere every moment of the day. The answer is that one has to quiet oneself by the way of concentration. And now you may ask what I mean by concentration. Our mind is like a boat, a boat which is in the water, subject to be moved by the waves and subject to be influenced by the wind, both. And the waves for this boat are our own emotions and passions, our own thoughts and imaginations. And the wind is the outer influences which we have to meet with. And in order to stop the boat you ought to have the anchor to put in the water, that that anchor makes the boat still. And that anchor is the object which we concentrate upon. If this anchor be heavy and weighty then it will stop the boat, but if this anchor is light the boat will move and not be still, for it is in the water, it is in the air.
Concentration is an exercise to train the mind to hold a certain object steadily, without wavering; and by the power of concentration there is nothing in the world that cannot be attained. But concentration is a very difficult exercise to accomplish; for the nature of the mind is such that when the mind takes by itself something, worry or trouble or a grudge against someone, or insult, it holds it without any effort; but when one desires to hold an object in mind for the sake of concentration, the mind acts like a restive horse. Once concentration is mastered, one has mastered life on earth.
Practice: Concentration: Take a small object, focus on it for one minute, close your eyes and visualize it for one minute. Do this twice.
Practice: Ya Hasib (God’s action of accounting) – an antidote to the condition of an-nafs ul-lawwaamah or reproach, blaming, complaining and criticizing (Physicians of the Heart, p. 333).
Practice: Muhasaba – two minutes of an honest self-accounting of the day, never forgetting that you are within the ocean of divine mercy. (Physicians of the Heart, p. 333).
Message Class: August 2013
Teachings of Inayat Khan: Antidotes to Fear and Worry
“There are many with whom it becomes a habit to worry about things. The least little thing worries them very much. They can cherish the least little sorrow they have, it is a plant they water and nourish.” – What are our habits? Are we watering something we don’t want? Can we choose another way?
“Our worry about things seems to be our nature, our character; we cannot help it. It becomes such a part of our nature to worry that if we had no worry we would doubt if we were really living! Mystics, therefore, for thousands of years have practiced control of the breath, its balance, its rhythm, the expanding, lengthening, broadening, and centralizing of the breath.” — Notice the breath.
“Nothing belongs to a man unless he is willing to hold it. But when he becomes accustomed to holding a certain reflection without knowing the nature of it, in time that reflection becomes his master and he becomes a slave of that reflection. And so it is with the worries and anxieties and sorrows which people have on their minds.” — What are we holding in our consciousness?
“Therefore the more light there is in the heart the more fearless the heart becomes.” — Visualize Light in the heart. Repeat Ya Nur (The Divine Light).
“The best practice one can make is to speak with oneself, with one’s own fear; to dispute with it, and to root out the reasons on whose foundations it rests. What generally happens is that all things one fears, one fears even to think of them. But the solution of getting above fear lies in analyzing the cause of the fear and so making it non-existent. Man by nature possesses a tremendous power hidden in his heart, the power which waits constantly to become manifest. This power is hidden by fear. The day when fear disappears this latent power manifests to view.” — Repeat Ya Hasib, Ya Qawi (The Accounter, The Possessor of All Strength).
To rise above worry and fear:
Inhale: Thou art present
Exhale: all through space.
“Fear is a shadow cast upon the light of the soul; the shadow of something the soul does not know, which is strange to the soul.”
Ya Nur, Ya Munawwir (an advanced practice with light given to illuminate the aura with the light of divine intelligence – PVIK)
“Do not do anything with fear; and fear not whatever you do.”
Message Class: July, 2013
A SUFI MESSAGE OF SPIRITUAL LIBERTY
Beloved ones of God, you may belong to any race, cast, creed, or nation, still you are all impartially beloved by God. You may be a believer or an unbeliever in the supreme Being, but He cares not. His mercy and grace flow through all His powers, without distinction of friend or foe.
‘Every leaf of tree, Allah’s praise displays,
Only the pious mind can hear their sacred lays.’
The sun, moon, and stars give light; the timely change of seasons promotes health and cheerfulness; the rain grows corn, fruits, and flowers; and the alternation of day and night provides the opportunity for work and rest.
‘Earth, water, fire and air,
All work harmoniously.
For thee they always food prepare,
Thou shouldst not eat unthankfully.
For how each day the sun shines and serves,
All praise from thee Allah deserves.’
If you study your own body, you will find its mechanism to be the original model of the artificial mechanism of the world. Art and science fail if compared with that of His nature. The ear, eyes, and all other organs, how perfectly they are adapted in shape and mechanism to the purpose which they must serve! How liberally the needs of life, water, air, and food, are supplied; even milk is prepared in the mother’s breast for the unborn infant. Should we not appreciate the liberality of the Creator, and thank him each moment with all humility and gratitude? ‘Praise be to Allah, the worship of whom is the means of drawing closer to Him, and the giving of thanks to whom involves an increase of benefits. Every breath which is inhaled prolongs life, and when exhaled it quickens the frame. In every breath, therefore, two blessings are contained, and for every blessing a separate thanksgiving is due’ (Sa’di).
He has fashioned and molded you after His own image, and made you Ashraf al-Makhluat, the highest of all beings and the pride of the universe, having given you command over all other beings of both worlds. As is said in the Qur’an, ‘Do you not see that Allah has subjected all things on earth to you?’ And at the same time He has given you, by His grace, the attributes of humanity: kindness, gratitude, faithfulness, justice, modesty, piety, sympathy, reverence, bravery, patience, love, knowledge, and wisdom. This is an open proof of your being the real object of creation and the most beloved of God.
Practices: Ya Muqit (The All-Powerful’s unlimited ability to provide for everything, without exception)
Ya Razzaq (The One Who Provides Everything)
Alhamdulli’llah (Praise Be To Thee)
Ya Shakur Allah (Thanks be to God)
Ya Musaawir (The Fashioner)
Ishk Allah, Mahbood Allah (God is Love, Lover and Beloved)
HEALING AND MOVEMENT: June Healing Class
All existing things we see or hear, which we perceive, vibrate. If it were not for vibration, the precious stones would not show us their color and their brilliance; it is vibration which makes the trees grow, the fruit ripen, and the flowers bloom. Our existence is also according to the law of vibrations, not only the existence of our physical body but also of our thoughts and feelings. If it were not for vibrations, drugs and herbs would not have any effect on us. …
It depends upon the speed of the vibrations as to whether a thing is visible or audible, perceptible or imperceptible. Everything that is visible is audible at the same time, and everything that is audible is visible also. If it does not appear so, this only signifies the limitation or our organs of perception. What our physical eyes cannot see we say is not visible; this means that it is only not visible to us; in itself it is visible. And what we cannot hear we say is not audible; but it is only inaudible to our ears; in itself it is audible. … This explains to us why there are things, which are felt and things, which are seen or heard. It is only a difference of vibrations, and of the plane on which the vibrations take place. Vibrations cause life to take form; and it is the different degrees of vibrations, which make that form either visible or otherwise perceptible. … What we call life and death are both a recognized existence within a certain degree of vibrations. For instance when a person says, ‘This leaf is dead,’ what has made it dead is a change in vibrations. It has no longer the same vibrations that it had when it was on the tree; and yet it has not lost its vibrations. It still has them. Thus according to the vibrations it is not dead; it has only changed to a different rhythm of vibrations. … And so it is with the dead body of an animal or a man. We may say that life has gone out of it, but it is only the life which we recognize as life that has gone out of it, for we recognize as life only a certain pitch of vibration; anything beyond it or below it we do not recognize as living. Yet it has not died; it is still vibrating.
… Furthermore, the different stages of life such as infancy, childhood, youth, and old age and the different tendencies arising naturally out of them, are all phenomenon of vibration. Strength and weakness, the tendencies to action and repose, all come from the different speed of the vibrations. And it is no exaggeration to say that hidden behind every illness are wrong vibrations which are its cause. Vibrations are the cause and they are also the effect. (Vol. 9, part 1, chapt 3)
Exercise: sit still, feel the vibration in: onself (pulse e.g.); in the air and room, in an inanimate object.
Health is natural tone and rhythm
Disorder of the tone and irregularity in the rhythm are the principal causes of every illness. The explanation of this disorder of the tone is that there is a certain tone, which the breath vibrates throughout the body, through every channel of the body; and this tone is a particular tone, continually vibrating, in every person. And when the mystics have said that every person has his note, it is not necessarily the note of the piano. It is the note, which is going on as a tone, as a breath. Now if a person does not take care of himself and allows himself to be influenced by every wind that blows, he, like the water in the sea, goes up and down disturbed by the air. The normal condition is to be able to stand firm through fear, joy, and anxiety; not to let every wind blow one hither and thither like a scrap of paper, but to endure it all and to stand firm and steady through all such influences. (vol 4; part I; ii)
If the rhythm has been lost, it must be brought back with great wisdom, because a sudden effort to regain the rhythm may make one lose it still more. If the rhythm has gone too slow or too fast, by trying to bring it to its regular speed one may break the rhythm, and by breaking the rhythm one may break oneself. This should be a gradual process; it must be wisely done. If the rhythm has gone too fast, it must be brought gradually to its proper condition…. For instance you will find many examples if you look for them of the awkward movements people make. They can never keep well because their rhythm is not right; and that is why illness continues. It may be that no illness can be traced in these people, and yet the very fact of their movements not being in rhythm will keep them out of order. Regularity in habits, in action, in repose, in eating, in drinking, in sitting, in walking, in everything, gives one that rhythm which is necessary and which completes the music of life.
When a person’s mind is going at a speed which is faster, or at a speed which is slower than it ought to be, or if a person jumps from one thought to another and so goes on thinking of a thousand things in five minutes, however intellectual he may be, he cannot be normal. Or if a person holds one thought and broods on it instead of making progress, he will also cling to his depression, his fears, his disappointments, and that makes him ill. It is irregularity of the rhythm of mind, which causes mental disorder. (vol 4; part I, ii)
The healer, therefore, must get his rhythm right, so that he can control the mechanism of another person’s body. When the healer is capable of regulating his own rhythm he becomes capable also of making another person’s rhythm regular. It requires great knowledge and inspiration concerning the nature of the human mind and body; and the healer who knows how to work with it is like the conductor with the orchestra. The health of everyone that he heals he keeps regular, as the conductor keeps the rhythm of every musician who plays in the orchestra. (Vol 4 ; part II, chapt 3)
Life is movement, and balance is something that controls it; but perfect balance controls movement too much, bringing it to a state of inertia.
(vol VIIIa, Sufi Teachings)
Breath: Feel the movement of the breath
Exercise: 5 aspects of breath: volume, depth, range, center and rhythm . Focus on the movement of breath in and out the lungs and gradually increase the volume and watch the movement of the air as well as your chest and belly; to the cells; to and from a center; and the rhythm….. Now stand and face a wall so you can feel your breath hit the wall and return, then gradually step back and see how far you can go and still feel the breath rebound.
Exercise: use the voice: intone sounds in chakras, then move up and down
Exercise: direct the breath to a certain part of your own body. Notice if there is a change. Find a partner and direct your breath to where your partner indicates on their body. Discuss.
Sending breath and magnetizing:
The healer, therefore, develops the power of the fingertips. As by directing the breath in a certain way through the body and mouth one can produce a certain pitch on a certain note, so by directing the energy through the fingertips and by developing the magnetic power of the fingertips one develops the power of healing. Moses is known to have possessed a light in his palm, which the poets call Yad-i baiza; and Zoroaster is always pictured with burning fire in his hand. Both suggest the radiance, the battery that can be developed in the human hand. When the power is developed in the palm it pours out from the tips of the fingers and it shoots out when it is directed by the will. Then by magnetic passes and by touch on the painful part the healer is able to cure diseases. (vol. 4, part II, chapt 3)
Exercise: direct the breath to the palms of the hand; use the palm over a part of your body which calls: hold it stationary without touching; do “magnetic passes”; touch with various pressure and with movement.
Exercise: do the above with a partner. Be respectful
Exercise: Ya Fazzl with a partner while holding hands over the affected part
Exercise: Walk in the three rhythms: Sattvic, Rajasic; Tamasic
Integration in dance:
The word music, or Sangita in Sanskrit, has three aspects. One aspect is language; the other aspect is playing; and the third aspect is movement. The Hindus have never regarded the science of movement or dance as something separate from music; they have always combined the three aspects of what they called music. As the music of the Eastern people developed, … This brings one to the understanding that upon rhythm the mood, the health, and the condition of man’s mind depend; not only on the rhythm which he gets from music, but also on the rhythm of his own breath. This rhythm has also a great deal to do with the rhythm of his life. It is also very true that there are certain kinds of sound which irritate man and have a bad effect upon the nerves; but there are other kinds of rhythm which have a soothing, healing and comforting effect upon the mind. Music is sound and rhythm.(vol II; part II; chapt 4)
Exercise: Healing Dance: use of breath, hands, body movements and movement of the group
Healing Circle: movement of prana across distance
There are three things necessary in sending thought to a distance; first, faith in the theory; second, self-confidence, meaning confidence in one’s own power; third, the power of concentration. However great the power of concentration may be, without self-confidence it is of no use; and self-confidence without faith in the theory is powerless. Healing at a distance is the last stage at which a healer arrives after long experience in healing, and attempting this at the beginning would naturally result in failure. Work gives experience, and experience gives confidence; and faith becomes firm when it is built by experience and strengthened by confidence.
(vol 4; part II; chapt 3)
Message Class: Teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Realization of the True Ego
Message Volume 11, Mysticism in Life
The process of mystical development is the annihilation of the false ego in the real ego. Sufis call the false ego Nafs, and the real ego Allah or God. It is not that the false ego is our ego and the true ego is the ego of God; it is that the true ego, which is the ego of the Lord, has become a false ego in us. One might ask how something which is true can become false, but false and true are relative terms; in reality all is true and nothing is false. When we call something false it means that it is less true compared with that which is more true. Reality has become confused. The soul, coming from the highest source but having identified itself with a smaller domain, the domain of the body and the mind, has conceived in itself a false idea of itself; and it is this false idea which is called Nafs. …
The Sufis recognize four stages in the development of the ego. The ordinary ego is called Ammara, which means a mechanical reaction of mind, the mind which is conditioned to react against something to the same extent: tooth for tooth and measure for measure. …
And when either suffering has developed the ego, or a person has learned to be different in life, then he becomes what the Sufis call Lauwama, which means self-disciplined. A person who wants to talk back, but thinks that it would perhaps be better if he did not; a person who would like to hit back, but at the same time thinks, ‘Better let it go this time’, shows that he is not acting mechanically but by exerting his will. Even when he does exactly the same as the other he shows he has a will; his action is directed by his will. …
When the ego is developed still more it becomes Mutmaina. This is a certain rhythm of mind; where the mind has risen above chaotic motion and the mentality has become rhythmic, and where the reaction of the mind is not only a control, but a deliberate control. This condition of the mind is like a calm sea; all agitation that belongs to the ego has been suppressed. Suffering is the greatest teacher of the ego, and those whose personalities have become a source of consolation for others, a source of healing and upliftment, are those souls whose ego has risen above all agitation. …
When the ego is developed still further it becomes Salima, which means peaceful. According to the mystic this is the normal state for a person to be in, though if we took that point of view we would not be able to find many normal souls! In this condition we find that the world no longer has a jarring effect on us; we are above irritation, and all manner of agitation is removed. Peace is not something that can be found outside; it is within ourselves, though it is buried under the false ego. The false ego is like the tomb of a living being, not of a corpse. The living being is buried in this tomb which is made of the thoughts of ‘I’ and ‘myself’ and ‘what I am’ and ‘why I am so’. The life thus covered is suffocated, and there is a natural agitation, irritation, and unrest; for the peace which is in the depths of our being wishes to manifest to view, and the awakening of the soul depends only on the manifestation of this peace. …
Belief in God helps one to annihilate one’s false ego; but in order to believe in God the seeker must first believe in the one who believes in God, in whom he places his confidence, in other words in his teacher. If one cannot fully believe in one’s teacher one can never believe in God. That is the first step in learning to believe, and the second step is believing in the ideal. It is not necessary for the ideal to exist on earth in the form of a human being; this ideal may be in one’s heart, in one’s mind. And thirdly one comes to believe in God, and in that belief one loses oneself, so that God covers the believer and all there is. In this way one arrives at the perfect realization of the true ego, which is the pursuit of the mystic.
Practice: Ya Karim (antidotes the cravings of nafs-ammara)
Practice: Ya Hasib (antidotes the self-reproach of nafs-lauwama)
Practice: Ya Razzaq (reflects the abundance that flows from the Divine that is the source of the serenity of nafs-mutmaina)
Practice: Ya Salaam (reflects the peace of nafs-salima)
Quotes: The false ego is a false god; when the false god is destroyed, the true God arrives. (Gayan, Boulas)
The true ego is born of the ashes of the false. (Gayan, Chalas)
Throughout the whole journey on the spiritual path, the main thing that has to be accomplished is the forgetting of the false ego. (Sayings, Aphorisms)
Music: Song to the Madzub (In an Eastern Rose Garden, HuDost)
Reference: Physicians of the Heart, Chapter 17, The Seven Levels of the Nafs, pp. 251 – 262.
Healing Class: 5/2013: Vol. VIII, Chapt 21: Struggle and Resignation
…resignation has proved to be the path of saints, because it develops patience in man. And what is patience? It is all the treasure there is. Nothing is more valuable, nothing is a greater bliss than patience.
There is a story about a prophet who was very ill. He suffered many years, and through his suffering his insight became clearer. His suffering was so great that those around him became tired of it and so, in order to relieve them from seeing his pain, he had to seek refuge with God in the forest. As his sight was keen and the ears of his heart were open, he heard from the trees, ‘I am the medicine of your disease.’ The prophet asked, ‘Has the time of my cure come?’ A voice answered: ‘No.’ So he said, ‘Why shall I take you then?’ Another time he had this experience again; he heard, ‘I am the medicine of your disease’, and asked, ‘Has the time of my cure come?’ The answer came, ‘Yes.’ The prophet said, ‘Why shall I take you then?’
When we think of this extreme ideal we may ask: is it not unpractical, especially at this time where there are so many treatments, so many mechanical means? But a thoughtful person will see how many people have ruined their lives by going from one treatment to another, lacking the patience and resignation in which resides their absolute cure. The remedy is not always the answer to the difficulty; often patience is the answer. It seems as if man becomes more and more impatient every day owing to his superficial life; there is hardly any resignation to little things. Yet it is better to resign than to struggle.
When we throw a mystic light upon this subject we find that we form a harmonious connection with the Infinite by being resigned. How to learn it? Should we learn it by being resigned to God? No, that is a still greater lesson to learn. The first thing to learn is to be resigned to the little difficulties in life. What does this mean? It means not to strike out at everything that comes in our way. If one were able to manage this, one would not need to cultivate great power; then one’s presence would be healing. Such a person is in the world more precious than a branch of the rose, which may have many thorns and hardly one flower. [Practice: Ya Saboor]
Question: How to attain peace when our life is often so difficult?
Answer: No doubt, life is difficult for many of us, but very often we make it even more difficult for ourselves. When we do not understand the real nature and character of life we make our own difficulties. I can assure you that in every man’s life five percent of his difficulties are brought about by the conditions of life, and ninety-five percent are difficulties caused by himself.
Now you will ask: When the difficulties come from ourselves, where do they come from? We do not like struggle in life, we do not like strife, we only want harmony, we only want peace. It must be understood, however, that before making peace, war is necessary, and that war must be made with our self. Our worst enemy is our self: our faults, our weaknesses, our limitations. And our mind is such a traitor! What does it? It covers our faults even from our own eyes, and points out to us the reason for all our difficulties: others! So it constantly deludes us keeping us unaware of the real enemy, and pushes us towards those others to fight them, showing them to us as our enemies.
Besides this, we must tune ourselves to God. As high we rise, so high becomes our point of view, and as high our point of view so wide becomes the horizon of our sight. When a person evolves higher and higher his point of view becomes wider and wider, and so in all he does he strikes the divine note, the note which is healing and comforting and peace-giving to all souls. [Practice: Zikr]
Canandaigua Study Group May, 2013
A talk by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
The Sufis say that life is a dream and when we die we awaken. And moreover they say that we awaken in bed with the Beloved. What does this mean? Every morning we awaken in bed. Perhaps not many of us have gotten into a habit that I recommend very highly, which is, before springing up out of bed in the morning and rushing to attend to the chores of the day, to pause in the medial state between sleep and wakefulness and consciously draw your awareness out of the dream world into the waking state, drawing out all of the richness of the dream, all of the messages of the night. If you do that you will recount numerous experiences you’ve had over the course of the night.
We’ve dreamed each night over the many years of our lives, and it ultimately accounts for one third of our life. If we do not recollect our dreams, if we do not make conscious this passage from dream into wakefulness, we are divided in ourselves. We are leading a double life. A third of our lifetime is spent in utter forgetfulness. But if you remember your dreams then you think, “What was it that I experienced?”
Perhaps it was a pleasant and joyful experience. Perhaps it was, on the contrary, a humiliation, or an encounter with extreme danger. Perhaps you reacted in anger in your dream and perhaps that’s the reason that some prefer to forget their dreams. But if you remember your dream then you may think, “Ah, what a relief that I’ve awakened out of that awful nightmare. I thought I was in mortal danger. I thought I was to be maimed or killed or what have you, and now awakening in bed I see I’m just comfortable and secure here on my mattress, and I was never in any danger, at any point in the dream. It was just a fantasy.“
So imagine then how that may relate to our life on this earth. What if, even when we feel ourselves in the greatest danger, and we feel most reactive in our emotions, we could remember, through the light of the soul, that we are just like the sleeper who is safe and secure in bed while all of this drama is unfolding. If we could maintain that consciousness, how would it affect our actions in life?
That leads us to the second awakening. The first awakening is awakening out of the dream, waking up in the morning, waking up after death. But the second awakening is awakening in the dream, without the dream terminating. Simply maintaining the awareness that in essence I am safe and secure in the bed of the soul, and all that is given to me here to experience is for my own enrichment, and that I have nothing, essentially, to fear. If you can maintain this awareness, your experience in life and in the dream would be transformed, because you would find that the most horrific of threats, the worst of monsters in your dream, would just melt away into insignificance.
Moreover, if someone is acting with hostility toward you and you know that you are dreaming, then you realize that the other person is just another fragment of yourself. If you realize all of the people that you are encountering in your dream are just aspects of yourself that are projected before your mind’s eye for you to encounter and assimilate, if you realize this in life, with whom are you going to become angry? You are only going to become angry with yourself. And so the second awakening is to see in this dream state that all of my attributes are mirrored before me, and I have the pleasure and privilege of awakening in this dream and recreating the dream in the image of my heart’s desire.
The one who awakens in the dream does not become complacent. The dream does not become any less vivid or meaningful, but rather the dream becomes the theater for the manifestation of one’s deepest motivations. As each of us awaken in this way, in this dream, we will begin to rebuild together this dream world which is nothing other than the manifestation of our collective mind world.
When we awaken in this dream realizing that we are dreaming, and realizing that we have the power and capacity to mold within this dream the fulfillment of our heart’s most precious desire, then we will begin to fulfill the words of the prayer,
O Thou, Who art the Maker, Molder and Builder of the universe, Build with Thine own hands the Universel, Our Temple for thy divine Message of Love, Harmony, and Beauty. Amen.
Message Class, April, 2013
“Awakening is seeing things from a different point of view to the one that has been effused so far. Then the previous view is obsolete.” —Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Feb. 29, 2004
“Once a soul is awakened to the reality of life, all other things matter little.” —Hazrat Inayat Khan
“The first sign one notices after the awakening of the soul, is that one begins to see from two points of view. One begins to see the right of the wrong and the wrong of the right. One begins to see the good of the bad and the bad of the good. One begins to see that everything is reflected in its opposite. In this way one rises above intellectuality which then begins to appear as a primitive or elementary knowledge. One sees the dark in the bright and the light in the dark, death in birth and birth in death. It is a kind of double view of things. And when one has reached this, then reason has made way for higher reasoning. No doubt one’s language will become gibberish to others; people will not understand it. They will be confused by what one says. To some it will be too simple, to others too subtle; too simple for those who only hear words without meaning, and too subtle for those who strive to understand the meaning and do not reach it.” HIK
“And the note that the Sufi message is striking at the present time is the note, which sounds the divinity of the human soul–to make human beings recognize the divinity in the human soul. If there is any moral principle that the Sufi Movement brings, it is this: that the whole humanity is as one body; and any organ of that body, hurt or troubled, can cause trouble to the whole body, indirectly. And as the health of the whole body depends on the health of each part, so the health of the whole humanity depends upon the health of every nation. Besides this, to those who are awakening and feel that now is the moment; when they feel inclined to know about the deeper side of life, of truth; to them the Order extends a helping hand; without asking to what religion, sect, or dogma, they belong. The knowledge of the Sufi is helpful to every person, not only in living his life aright, but in his own religion. The Sufi Movement does not call man away from his belief or church–it calls man to live it. In short, it is a movement intended by God to unite humanity in brotherhood, in Wisdom.” HIK
Ya Khabir (The All-Aware)
Ya Wasi (The All-Embracing, The Vast)
Ya Khabir, Ya Wasi
The Healing Power of Suggestion: The Voice Within and Without
Considering the power of the words we speak to/within ourselves and the words we speak to others
There are five elements that constitute man’s being: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Air represents the voice, and it reaches the ether, which means that the voice reaches farther than anything else in the world. It touches the depths of man’s heart. Therefore, music is a living miracle. There is nothing that can thrill man’s being through and through as sound can. This explains why suggestion is much greater and more beneficial in healing than any other remedy.
From morning till evening we are impressed by suggestions coming to us automatically in different forms. The importance does not lie in receiving or in rejecting suggestions; it lies in understanding what will benefit us and what will be detrimental. Practical suggestion has four different aspects. The first is the suggestion that is made to oneself, which is called autosuggestion; the second is the suggestion that is made to another person; the third is the suggestion that is made to the lower creatures; and the fourth, which is little known to the scientific world but which has always been understood by the mystics, is the suggestion that is made to an object.
Auto-‐suggestion is something by which one helps oneself to be encouraged or to be discouraged, to be well or to be ill, to go down or to rise, to be happy or to be unhappy. There are two kinds of auto-‐ suggestion: the kind that one intentionally, consciously makes to oneself and upon which the whole mystical training is based; and the suggestion that one makes to oneself automatically, knowing neither its nature or its result.
In India, where the daily life of people is based upon physical laws, they take great care in speaking to another person that it may not produce an adverse effect upon his physical, mental or spiritual self. A healer, who by the power of zikr develops the healing power of his voice, impresses his word with the power of his heart on the heart of the patient.
I am speaking about the influence of sound, vibration upon matter, because that is resonance. Thought is communicated to matter through resonance, through sound. One of the clearest examples of the action of sound upon matter is when you subject sand to the vibrations of a piezoelectric cell. You find that the surface of the sand will assume certain forms which correspond to the frequency of the sound.
This encourages us in working with the wazifa. We are actually using sound upon the cells of the different plexi of our nervous system like the solar plexus. You can imagine what happens to these chakras when we subject them to sound. What we learn in doing the wazifa is to focus vibration in a particular center. The suggestion of sacred words first impresses one’s own spirit, helping one to develop that quality, that virtue, that merit, that power of inspiration suggested by the words. Thus, if a person has repeated a sacred word for fifteen minutes, throughout the day and night, this word goes on, as the spirit repeats it continually…God then begins to repeat it until it has become a reality on all planes of existence.
Excerpts of the teachings of Pir-‐o-‐Murshid Inayat Khan from the Sufi Healing Order Healing Conductor Manual (2011).
Ya rahman (source of all; boundless and unconditional reality of love contained by Allah) Ya rahim (divine mercy)
x33 -‐ Consider doing this with intention of speaking love and divine mercy within yourself and out into the world.
Presented by Leelah Adena Shoshan, Healing Conductor Candidate
Message Class: Teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan
Patience and Perseverance
Gayan #310 — Boula #269 – Patient endurance is the strongest defense.
The greater the object of your pursuit, the greater patience it requires, and there is a side in human nature which keeps one impatient and which makes one feel that he should mount to the top immediately; and therefore when he rushes impatiently toward the accomplishment of his object, he often falls. In climbing there are steps, and one should climb gradually. One must hold before one’s mind the object, but one must at the same time see the steps that one has to climb. If patience will not help in climbing the steps and in journeying the necessary distance, there will come a fall. This shows that there are three chief things in the path of attainment: Steadiness of concentration in holding the object of concentration firmly before oneself; at the same time noticing with open eyes the many steps that one must climb to reach the object; and the third thing is patient perseverance. Patience is the most difficult thing in life, and once this is mastered, man will become the master of all difficulties. Patience, in other words, may be called the power of endurance during the absence of the desired things or conditions. They say death is the worst thing in life, but in point of fact, patience is often worse than death. One would prefer death to patience, when patience is severely tried. Patience is a life power; it is a spiritual power and the greatest virtue that one can have.
HIK: ESOTERIC PAPERS – GITHA I – THE PATH OF ATTAINMENT – Patience
Practice: Ya Sabur (The Patient One)
Ya Qawi (The Strong, The Powerful)
Patience in perseverance is a very good thing, but it can only be possessed by those who have confidence. Each Sura of the Quran is addressed to those who have patience, and great importance is given to confidence: iman.
HIK: Sufi Teachings: The Privilege of Being Human: Confidence
Practice: Ya Iman (Faith, Confidence)
If success appears before you on the horizon or if it is not yet manifested to your view, in both cases be sure that constant perseverance, patience, and trust in God will lead you to the fulfillment of your desire. As it is said in the Bible, if you ask bread your Father will not give you a stone. In other words, you ask bread because you are meant to have bread — therefore you ask bread. You ask bread because the bread is baked for you, made for you; therefore you ask.
HIK: Sangatha I
Quote: “Allah does all the work and never takes a rest.”
Read from carvings at Qutb Minar, Delhi, India by Mirza Inayat Khan
Music: Kord, Claudia Quartet
February 2013 Message Class
True spirituality is not a fixed faith or belief; it is the ennobling of the soul by rising above the barriers of material life.
Attune to the physical body, the mental body, the emotional body, the relationships, and the spiritual self. Attune to the Heart. Ya Allah 33x
Open our hearts that we may hear Thy Voice, which constantly comes from within.
The fifth principle is detachment amidst the crowd; but by detachment I do not mean separation. By detachment is only meant rising above those bondages which bind man and keep him back from his journey towards the goal.
Heal my body, inspire my mind, bless my heart and illuminate my soul.
Spirituality in the real sense of the word is the discovering of the spirit, which is attained by rising above self or by diving into self.
Learning is one thing and unlearning is another, and unlearning means rising above what we call worldly learning. Very often what we call knowledge keeps our soul away from the knowledge of itself, a knowledge which is most essential because the knowledge acquired by learning is very complex.
Ya Alim (The All-Knowing), Ya Wajid (The Finder)
If a person wants to make his life easy, if he wishes to create happiness in his life, he must try to crush that ego, that Nafs, that thought of self which keeps one continually absorbed in one’s own thoughts and in one’s own affairs. By rising above it he will learn the spirit of friendship. And then for him the same path which was full of thorns will become full of roses.
Ya Wali’ (The Nearest Friend)
Therefore in order to open the doors of his heart, to keep its sensitiveness, the one who communicates with life within and without is open to all influences whether agreeable or disagreeable and is without any protection; and his only escape from all the disturbances of life is through rising above them.
Ya Muhaymin (The Guardian, The Protector)
Unlearning is rising above one’s set opinion, one’s fixed idea, which makes one narrow. No doubt, it is a sign of perfection, but one goes gradually to it.
Man is more impressionable than any other living being, owing to the fineness and sensitiveness of his nature, but at the same time man alone is capable of rising above all fear, for in him there is a torch that can show him a way through the darkness.
A torch in the darkness
Ya Nur, (The Light), Ya Rashid (The Unerring, The Guide to the Right Path)
But the one who is tuned to a different pitch altogether from the average person and whose rhythm in life is quite different from the other’s naturally must feel the pull too much. And the only way how the sages manage to protect themselves from this is by the practice of Vairagya (the word Vairagya means independence and indifference both in one), which cannot be learned or taught, it comes by itself. It is not lack of love, or bitterness, it is only rising above love and hate both.
Q. Can one change the object of desire in any other way than by satiety?
A. Yes, there is, by rising above it. For instance, that person has no virtue in fasting who is not hungry. Fasting is a virtue for the one who wants to eat and renounces food.
The greatness of man is that he goes through all this which takes away that purity of mind with which man is born – and rises through it, not being pushed under – but holding to its original purity, rising above all that pulls him down and keeps him down on the earth.
Ya Quddus (The Holy Spirit), Ya Kabir’ (The Great)
And when we proceed still further we come to the aspect we call meditation, an experience which is brought about by a perfect control of the mind and by rising above the action of the mind, an experience by which the inner side of life begins to reveal itself.
Winter Reading for Ziraat:
Let Thy knowledge cover my heart as the snow covers the ground.
Let my heart melt in Thy light as the snow before the sun.
Let my heart show the purity of snow in the path of righteousness.
Pour on me Thy eternal life as snow on earth.
Make my heart delighted by the snowfall of Thy knowledge of Truth.
The Nature Meditations of Hazrat Inayat Khan
January Message Class:
January, 2013 Message Class: The Value of Intention
Teachings of Inayat Khan
Introduction: It is a New Year’s tradition to examine our intentions and create resolutions that we mean to carry out in the coming year. In this class, we will explore our intentions at the personal level, the community level and at the cosmic level, through meditation and sharing. With this purpose in mind, we will consider a few quotations from Inayat Khan on intention:
“He is thoughtful whose mind is directed by his will, whose mind fulfills his intentions, whose mind is under the control of his intention.”
“It is only when our mind works without control that unhappiness, sorrow, trouble, pain, or whatever we experience comes without our intention. No one could wish to create hell for himself, all would create heaven for themselves if they could; and yet how many allow their minds to create these things for them, regardless of their own intention.”
“Thought is a wave of the mind. The difference between thought and imagination is that the former is an activity of the mind directed with intention, and imagination is an activity which is not directed intentionally but rises mechanically, like the waves of the sea.”
“Each soul is like a ray of the sun, or of any light. Its work is to project, to go forth as far as it can. It is creative and responsive. It creates its means, its expression, and it is impressed by whatever comes before it, in proportion to its intention.”
“Let us therefore all unite together in silence with the intention of doing what little we can in endeavoring to serve and promote the good work of Brotherhood; and let us pray to God to bless us all to do our little part in this big scheme of life.”