Silent Meditation (Muraqaba)

Published 28 Dec 2018 

Experience over the centuries has shown that Muraqabah (Sufi Meditation or Silent Remembrance) leads to all stages of perfection.
 
Literally, muraqabah means to wait and to guarantee or protect. When used as a Sufi technical term, the meaning of muraqabah is to detach oneself from worldly pursuits for a period of time with the intention of nurturing the spiritual guidance that the seeker has received. Another way of putting it is that in a human being’s inner being there are subtle centers of consciousness. If, after receiving guidance, one takes time from worldly pursuits to focus on these subtle centers, then that is meditation. Meditation leads to gnosis and paves the path to nearness with the Divine. When the seeker detaches him or herself from other pursuits and sits and waits, sooner or later the seeker begins to feel some kind of activity in the heart, sometimes in the form of heat, sometimes as movement, and at other times as a tingling sensation. The seeker must not focus on the spiritual form or color of the heart, because the attention must be directed towards the Divine Essence, who is beyond all qualities. It is necessary to sit in meditation for at least thirty-five to forty-five minutes and no particular sitting posture is required. In the beginning, there is a rush of thoughts in the seeker’s mind; this is no cause for concern. We are not trying to concentrate our thoughts, we are trying to awaken the heart.
 
Once the heart is awakened, thoughts gradually subside. Eventually the seeker experiences a drifting and enters a different dimension. There is a difference between this drifting and sleep. Drifting is the shadow of annihilation; “He comes and He takes you away.” In sleep, the soul is inclined towards the lower realm and takes refuge in the heart. In the state of drifting the soul is inclined towards the higher realm and takes refuge in the self. When the seeker is in the state of drifting, the seeker is not aware of individual being. In this state the seeker can also experience visions (kashf). As it is possible for the seeker to have thought projections, no importance should be attached to these experiences; “These experiences are simply there to please the seeker’s heart. The final destination lies ahead.”
 

~ Hazrat Azad Rasool (r)

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What is Sufism?

Published 17 Dec 2018 

The urge toward mysticism – the urge to experience a dimension beyond the material world, to know and return to the Essence or Truth – is inherent within every person, irrespective of his or her religion. Individuals are imbued with this tendency to differing degrees. Some are endowed with it in quantity; others, only in a small amount. Some people have a chance to develop and translate it into their daily lives, while others do not. Nonetheless, this tendency is present in every human being. Sufism (or tasawwuf) is but a natural response to this very ancient human urge.

 

What exactly is Sufism? If Sufism is defined as mysticism or the way of the mystic, then its message addresses all people, not just the followers of one religion. Every faith has its own Sufism. In every nation and community there have been Sufis, although they have taken different names and adopted varying practices.

 

The human being comprises not only a body of flesh, but another aspect, commonly referred to as “I” or “the self (described in Sufi terms as nafs). Mystical experience activates the “I.” Like an electrical current, it runs through an individual, bringing forth untapped potentials. With the activation of self comes a certain degree of consciousness and insight. A person starts to sense that his or her “I” reflects another “I” – the “I” of Truth.

 

~ Hazrat Azad Rasool (r)

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