Saturday, December 13, 2014

From Humbleness to Wonderment and then Fleeing to God


Some of the stations of the Wayfarer from Humbleness to Wonderment to Fleeing to God


HUMBLENESS, KHUSHU'

"Has the time arrived for the faithful that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of God?" 57:16

Humbleness involves a holy fear that is accompanied by awareness and humility. It involves three things: altruism and endurance in one's spiritual transactions, humility in service, and modesty and reverence in the inner consciousness.

The signs of altruism and endurance in one's spiritual transactions are three: bad people are safe from the humble, good people are happy with the humble, and creation and created beings are free from any burden from the humble.

The signs of stability and presence in service are three: a sweet temper through which one does not complain of Providence, a contemplation of the intended goal so one does not become preoccupied with people, and an awareness of one's own faults and shortcomings.

The signs of modesty and reverence in the inner consciousness are three: being aware that God is close, being aware that one is far from Him, and knowing that God's test carries weight. This fear is the fear of the sincere.



MEEKNESS, TADHALLUL

From the field of Humbleness the field of Meekness is born. Meekness is living in accordance with one's need, learning to progress through humiliation, thus sowing the seed of glory in both worlds (this and the hereafter). God the Most High says, "All faces shall be humble before Him - the Living, the Self-Subsisting, the Eternal." (20:111)

Meekness is of three kinds: meekness in accepting God's command acting in accordance to His command, aiming to seek Reality through mindfulness, and finally, being aware and knowing that God knows one's inner consciousness. 

Meekness in accepting God's command has three signs: desire for knowledge, eagerness to perform prayers, and sharp perception. 

Meekness of aiming to seek the Reality has three signs: keeping silence, loving poverty and constant reflection.

Meekness of awareness is knowing that God knows one's inner consciousness and that has three indications: the sleep of the meek is the sleep of drowning man, their eating is like that of sick men and their enjoyment is like that of men thrown into prison. This is the way of those who are on the straight path.



HUMBLE ACQUIESCENCE, IKHBAAT

From the field of Meekness the field of Humble Acquiescence is born. God, the Most High, says '[and good news to] those who humble themselves." (22:34).

Humble acquiescence testifies a delicate nature, tender heartedness and holy fearfulness. 

Humble acquiescence belongs to the man who has tasted the truth of sincerity, who forgives people and who is liberated from his own self. The signs of having tasted sincerity are threefold: firstly, being free from ay worry about one's provision and ceasing to strive (for a living) and the upkeep of one's affairs in the world. Secondly, being firm in constant service and immersing oneself in the spiritual moment, while being occupied in self-purification. Thirdly, taking care that oneself never harms the world and all its living creatures and people. This is the quality of the spiritually transformed apostles of God.



HAVEN, LIYAAZ

From the field of Humble Acquiescence the field of finding a Haven and taking refuge in God is born. Haven is living with God and being in union with Him. God, the Most High says, "Where are you going?" (81:26)

Finding a haven in God occurs when awe blends with loving-kindness. This is the station of those who are conjoined with God, and its signs are threefold: trusting in God and leaving aside secondary causes, serving one's attachments to the world through certitude in God, and annihilating one's own control over things through confidence in God.

Three things are the outcome of leaving aside secondary causes through trust in God: freedom from needing people, detesting people and desire for death.

And three things are the signs of severing one's attachments through certitude in God: freedom from reliance on deliberation and one's own plan, freedom from dependence on one's own judgment, and freedom from concerns about one's provision.

And the annihilation of one's own control over things through confidence in God comprises three things: the spiritual moment of those who are proximate to God, the breath of the gnostic, and the knowledge of the saints.


Hayrat (Wonderment) - a Digital Collage by Sadiq M. Alam



WONDERMENT, HAYBAT

From the field of Haven the field of Wonderment arises. God, the Most High says, "And know that God knows what is in your hearts, and take heed of Him." (2:235)

Wonderment is a station of the pure ones, and the position of the supporters (awtad). Wonderment is a fear born of direct vision, while other fears are the result of what is reported (thus not direct knowledge).

Wonderment is marvelous bewilderment shining into the heart of a wayfarer like lightning; and if the breeze of intimacy does not accompany it, the soul cannot endure such light (and fear). And it mostly concern during ecstasy, as happened to Moses, may divine peace be with him, on Mount Sinai. Rather than occurring as something instructive or didactic, wonderment befalls one as a divine cognizance, and it leads to three kinds of result; the spiritual/ metaphysical moment becomes pleasing, one becomes lost from one's self, and one is liberated from desires and passion.

Wonderment that is the outcome of insight will end in wisdom; wonderment that is the outcome of reflection will end in intuitive discernment; and the wonderment that is the outcome of audition (sama) either kills the adept or else bereaves him of his senses and reason.


"The supreme application of human attention is to be a vessel to carry awe."
~ Etsko Schuitema



FLEEING TO GOD, FARAAR

From the field of Wonderment the field of Fleeing to God is born. God the Most High says, "Hurry you then to God" (51:50).

Fleeing is taking refuge in the Lord, shutting tight in the door of separation (from God) behind one, and becoming free from the bondage of the two worlds.

Fleeing to the Lord has three signs: losing hope in the efficacy of one's own deeds (thus knowing that your actions are not your own savior), the second is questioning your sincerity (confessing that your sincerity is blameworthy), and finally, repenting from beholding one's own devotional worship with conceit.

And shutting tight the door of separation from God behind yourself has three signs: uniting all your strength and (thus becoming focused), the next is freeing yourself from your own contrivances and personal deliberations, and finally resigning oneself to obey God's command submissively.

And become free from the two worlds has three signs: one is limiting your concern to that which is most certain and assured over all other concerns, which is the fear of being separated from God. The second is limiting your striving for saving your moments over all other striving. And, finally is making the hope of beholding God your ultimate hope.




~ from STATIONS OF THE SUFI PATH

by Abdullah Ansari of Herat

translation by Nahid Angha











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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Maqam, Murshid and Murid: Sufi Way Stations and Master-Disciple Relationships in Conference of the Birds


 by Noora Kamel

Farid ud-Din Attar’s Conference of the Birds is an allegorical poem elaborating on the nature of mystical experience and the stages on a wayfarer’s path to the Divine. Using an overarching story of the hoopoe bird of Solomon who convinces a host of other birds to undertake a spiritual journey, ‘Attar maps out the human weaknesses that must be overcome before such a quest, as well as the arduous obstacles one will need to overcome to reach the goal. At each step of the journey, ‘Attar uses countless smaller tales within the frame story to underscore the point being made; cautionary tales warn of the dangers of worldly attachment, while stories of lovers and their beloveds illustrate the relationship that should exist between seeker and God. The poem gives a detailed presentation of a number of elements of the Sufi experience.

The seven valleys of spiritual stages, or maqamat, in ‘Attar’s poem, skillfully describe the stages in Sufi doctrine of the tariqa, or pathway to God, while the hoopoe’s role as guide for the birds and the relationship between Shaykh Sam’an and his disciples elaborate on the nature of master-disciple relationships. ‘Attar’s description of the seven valleys can best be described as stages or maqamat on the path to the Divine. As Ernst notes, different Sufis gave a different number of maqamat on the path, ranging from four to over a hundred. The number usually depended on the number of the stages that the author himself passed through, and each had to be overcome before advancing to the next stage (Ernst, 1997, p.102-3).

‘Attar’s poem describes seven maqamat: Quest, Love, Insight into Mystery, Detachment, Unity, Bewilderment and Poverty and Nothingness, which correspond to some of the maqamat mentioned in other Sufi texts. For example, ‘Attar’s valley of Love corresponds to al-Kalabadhi’s descriptions of the Sufi doctrine of love. Both ‘Attar and al-Kalabadhi describe the station of love as one in which the seeker is consumed wholly by love. al-Kalabadhi notes that the feature of this state is that one will not have any attention to give to any other creature, rather, one’s focus will be wholly absorbed by God (trans. Arberry, 1935, p.103). Similarly, ‘Attar claims the lover “...knows of neither faith nor blasphemy... who has no time for doubt or certainty” (trans. Darbandi & Davis, 1984 p. 172).

Thus both authors suggest that reaching the maqam of love involves attaining a level of oblivion to all besides God. This is further exemplified in the stories associated with the Valley of Love in‘Attar’s poem. The man in love with a beer seller defines lover as one who will sell all he owns and do anything at all for the sake of being near the beloved (‘Attar, p. 173). Majnoun expresses a similar sentiment when he risks his life for the merest glimpse of Leili; this supports al-Kalabadhi’s description of the lover being someone who prefers the beloved to all else in existence (al-Kalabadhi, trans.Arberry, 1935, p.102). Another aspect of the Valley of Love is that it includes achieving a state of intoxification with God. al-Kalabadhi describes the Sufi doctrine of intoxification as that state in which the lover finds both wealth and poverty, good and bad, are equal in worthlessness in the face of overwhelming awareness of the beloved. In other words, all consciousness of the material world falls away and is solely focused on the object of love (Doctrines of the Sufis, al-Kalabadhi, trans Arberry, p.110-1). Thus, Majnoun’s consideration of the ragged sheepskin as being worth the same as a lavish cloak, and the both insignificant compared with love for Leili, exemplifies this. The idea that both pain and pleasure are of equal worth to the intoxicated is expressed in ‘Attar’s lines, “...poverty in love is like salt...It gives love taste; you can’t call that a fault” (trans. Darbandi & Davis, p. 175).

This matches al-Kalabadhi’s description of the state of intoxification as being one in which pain brings pleasure and is chosen over pleasure (al-Kalabadhi, trans. Arberry, p 110-1). Love is also an integral part of the next valley in ‘Attar’s seven, that of ma’rifa, or gnosis. Here ‘Attar continues the theme of the lover by recounting the stories of the sleeping lover and the wakeful lover. Sincere love is described as having the ability to unveil hidden secrets about God, should the lover remain steadfast in his love. However, ‘Attar differs in his order here from other Sufi orderings of the way stations on the path. For example, al-Qushayri puts Love after Gnosis, instead of before as ‘Attar does (Ernst p.104). For Ansari, the maqam of Love comes many stations before the attainment of Gnosis, which occurs just a few stations from the end of his long list (Ernst p. 105-6). Again, this illustrates the different nuances of mystical experience, underscoring that each person will take a different route to the Divine. ‘Attar himself states this in the Valley of Insight, saying that it is a place where “every pilgrim takes a different way...and different spirits different rules obey” (‘Attar, trns. Darbandi & Davis, p. 179).

‘Attar also suggests that some element of intoxication is present at this stage of the path, as intoxication will lead to a love that will open the doors of ma’rifa for the seeker (ibid. p. 183). This is also supported by Ibn Tufayl’s assertions about the nature of mystical experience, as put for in his introduction to Hayy ibn Yaqzan, that it is a highly individual and idiosyncratic experience that defies description in human words (Ibn Tufayl, trans Goodman, 2009, p.95-7) .

‘Attar’s Valley of Detachment corresponds in some ways with the Sufi doctrine of detachment elaborated on by al-Kalabadhi. al-Kalabadhi describes this stage as one in which all care of this world falls away, and one should act without any anticipation of reward or otherwise, but solely act for God. This detachment should even be carried to the point of becoming oblivious to one’s states as well. Thus everything in existence becomes worthless to oneself,


. Credit

* Al-Qushayri's Epistle On Sufism By Abu'l-Qasim al-Qushayri
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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Healing the Broken Heart



THE SHARING THAT INSPIRED


Someone wrote on Facebook and I quote here:

It's mind numbing how many people I'm in touch with feel various versions of this:

"There's a critter like underlying feeling that nothing is ok.

I look at my blessings, there are so many of them.

One minute my heart is full. The next minute - empty.

One instance I think I'm ok, the very next I feel like crying.

I try to think there are so many people on earth who has it much worse. It doesn't lessen my pain.

I feel like crying.

And crying.

And then crying some more."


As I have been contemplating, writing, sharing on spiritual healing, it feels that the above sharing is very timely and appropriate when it comes to healing, specially healing the broken heart. I feel that this brief sharing captures the crisis of not only one or few individuals but also the profound crisis of our collective human situation.

As I discussed in the Presentation on Spiritual Healing that the nature of our reality is such that the outer always always reflects the inner. The mystics of Bengal, the Bauls thus very accurately describe this phenomena with a metaphor called "arshi-nagar," which means "city of mirror". This world that consists of both visible and invisible realities has this constant leela or play where The outer is ever mirroring the inner.


WHERE IS THIS FEELING COMING FROM? 


Lets take note that this feeling is coming from the deep within, its a feeling (of the heart and originating even deeper than the heart), not a conscious thought. That feeling that "nothing is ok" is a sure sign for those who have understanding and intellect to pay attention to the fact that our inner life is in a completely shattered state. Within a generation or two human beings in this planet have forgotten what is sacred at such a unprecedented rate that nothing can cope with it.

Just as the physical seen world has its physical laws which are universal, constant, very similarly the spiritual unseen world has its spiritual laws which are immutable.

With our terrible level of ignorance and veiling of wisdom we have forgotten everything that is sacred including our reverence for the unseen and spiritual world and its immuntable laws. Among the current generation of people who inhabit earth we are mostly living our life with so much neglect to the inner dimensions that has to do with matters of the heart and soul that is unprecedented. Even our religiousness is taken over by materialism i.e. fake, ego centric spiritual materialism, showiness and window shopping attitude devoid of any real commitment, patience and sincerity.

As human race we need to relearn how to live from heart and soul, rather than just thoughts and logic of mind. We need to shift our over focus to head to neglected heart

One of my most favorite teacher of reality, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in one of his recent book, Darkening of the Light wrote the following:

"It should be understood that the inner worlds are influenced by the consciousness of humanity, which is why spiritual teachings throughout the ages have stressed the importance of our attitudes and the values by which we live. Thus, while our physical acts affect the outer world and have produced our ecological crisis, it is our consciousness—our attitudes and beliefs—that directly affect the inner, spiritual dimension of life on Earth...."


I have highlighted and underlined the part that says "the importance of our attitudes and the value by which we live" - because it holds a key to the answer for this question 'why there is this feeling that nothing is ok, despite apparently there are plenty of stuff, material gift, possessions etc.'


LETS DO A REALITY CHECK


If we really examine carefully what attitude we adopt in our daily life when it comes to life itself, what values we live by, what kind of consciousness do we carry throughout our waking hours and what really do we believe - we may be surprised if we are honest with ourselves or more importantly if we can really assess that correctly. We may end up finding that it is utterly selfish attitude, money/profit/gain driven values, sub-human consciousness that all it can think of is eat-shit-sleep and when it comes to belief we believe more in pharmaceuticals and commercials in tv than anything else. 

Yes thats more or less is our condition. So should we be surprised that if the faculty which is most sensitive to truth, that is the heart and soul start to sense that nothing is OK? Well nothing is Ok when it comes to our inner reality, same is true in our external reality - our economics, our workplace, our politics, our society, our relationship with others.


ONE MINUTE MY HEART IS FULL, THE NEXT MINUTE - EMPTY


This feeling is again a testimony to the truth that this feeling that "nothing is ok, both within and without" is a feeling of the heart. Its more so because the heart goes through this experience of what the Sufis say, QABD (contraction) and BAST (expansion). This is the state of experiencing desolation and its opposite as states of the (spiritual) heart.

And it is Allah who withholds and grants, constricts and expands, and to Him you will be returned. ~ The Qur'an 2:245


THIS FEELING OF CRYING, AND CRYING AND THEN CRYING SOME MORE


This cry or the urge to cry is the hearts longing to turn to the real. Before turning one feels immense need for washing, washing with the light of truth, washing with tawba which literally means turning, an honest admission of one's spending life in illusion, a need to realize the truth of who we are and longing for our real home. One is ever traveling from a world of illusion to the world of reality - this is true whether one understand it or admit it or deny it. We are to return.

.. and to You is the [final] Home Coming. ~ The Qur'an 2.285

The wayfarer travels from the world of creation to the world of the Creator. The heart and soul is homesick, and thus it feels this great longing within and it bubbles up as the cry of the heart, of the soul.

The heart is the faculty of realization of truth, thus this occasional experience of realization (even when this realization is unconscious and unacknowledged), this separation of the soul from its original home makes one cry or this urge to cry and cry more.

This actually is a good state, a much better station than the heedlessnes, sleep walking station. This is the early stage for the heart calling itself to orient itself to the Real. Its a Sign on the way towards the Journey Home. Its one of the sign of awakening of the heart, or the heart's readiness to wake up from this deep slumber. Its time to return.

How can you cover up the truth and be ungrateful in the Divine when you were lifeless and the Divine Lord brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned. ~ The Quran 2:28

This feeling of crying and crying and crying some more is the need to realize the emptiness of one's ego self that holds on to conditions, labels, concepts, false identification, expectations of no value and much more. It is the realization of the poverty of the self. It is like the infant crying out for mothers milk for it is only Mother who can sustain her and provide her life's nourishment while the infant can do nothing to take care of itself.

And Allah is the One Who is Ever Self-Sufficient, while you of creation are needy of Him.
~ The Quran 47:38




There is this Bhakti Song in Bengal that speaks of our apparent busyness and seeking after the world of illusion while neglecting what is real. Click above to listen to it. Here is a rudimentary translation of the lyrics from Bengali to English.

Ami Shakal Kajer Pai Hey Shomoy
Tomarey Dakitey Painey


I find time for every busyness
But no time to remember Thee.

Ami Chahi Dara Shukho, Shukho Shammilono
Tobo Shongo Shukho Chainey

I seek companionship, home and peace
But never Thy Companionship do I seek.

Ami Kotoi Je Kori Britha Porjoton,
Tomar Kachey To Jainey

So much travel I make in vain
And yet never I venture to travel to Thee

Ami Koto Kije Khai, Bhorsho ar Chai
Tobo Prem Amrito Khainey 

I eat so much kinds of worthless food
But never I seek Thy nectar of bliss.

Ami Koto Gaan Gahi Monero Horoshey
Tomar Mohima Gainey

How many songs I sing with my heart
But never do I sing Thy glory.

Ami Bahirer Duto Akhi Meley Chai
Gyan Akhi Meley Chainey


I see only with my external eyes
But never do I open my heart's eyes

Ami Kar Torey Dei Apona Bilaye
O Podo Toley Bikainey


For many I give myself completely
But not to Thee

Ami Shobarey Shikhai Koto Niti Kotha
Monerey Shudhu Shikhainey

I'm busy teaching ethics to so many
But never do I rectify my self once

Ami Shakal Kajer Pai Hey Shomoy
Tomarey Dakitey Painey


I find time for every busyness
But alas! No time to remember Thee.


THEN? 


May be we dont have to be caught with every ten billion illusions?

May be we can wake up from this collective dream?

May be we can start to learn to read the Sign-Post towards our journey back Home.

May be we start to pay attention to the truth that the Beloved promised us to show us Signs both on the horizon and within ourselves until it become certain to us what is real.

So perhaps the solution is in the act of witnessing, witnessing both our selves and also the external and the internal realities out there. When someone is a witness, he or she is not a judge of the situation but someone who is only like a mirror. A mirror only can witness what is truth, the objective truth.

Shaykh Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee again:

"There is a very important tradition of 'witnessing.' Many spiritual teachings talk about the importance of witnessing or watching without judgment or expectations. There is great power in consciously being aware of events without being caught in trying to fix or resolve them. At this time, it is important that we engage this capacity for witnessing. When the veils of perception are not clouded over through reaction and 'problem solving,' we see and allow things to be as they are. Only then can we take responsibility for what has taken place.

There is a pressing need for real awareness—to wake up to the reality of what we have done. We need to become aware of our present predicament in the inner and outer worlds. We cannot take responsibility for our present ecological imbalance, or know how to act, without recognizing the global devastation we have created. Nor can we take responsibility for what we have done to the inner worlds without becoming aware of the darkness and forgetfulness of the sacred that is covering us. Maybe this first step towards responsibility and accountability will help to redeem what we have desecrated. It is a step towards maturity and real awareness."

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, from chapter 9, Darkening of the Light -Witnessing the End of an Era



GLAD TIDINGS FOR THE BROKEN HEARTED


To sum up the feeling shared, it is also a cry of those hearts which are broken. Now broken heartedness in spiritual understanding doesnt mean a context of a romantic love. This broken heartedness occur when the heart and soul goes through a process of disillusionment, then begins an alchemical process through which the heart begin to sense that things are not what they appear to be. Have you read the label on the side mirror of cars that reads 'objects are nearer than they appear'. Like that.

Its the process of awakening or waking up to the real. When that start to happen and we firstly need to acknowledge it, and perhaps by listening to the heart allow ourselves wash with the tears that wish to come out so passionately though we may not understand why. This washing is important. This is a priceless therapy and it does things to the heart and soul that would otherwise take decades. So cry for God's sake, literally. Every drop is precious to the heaven.

After acknowledgement we begin to witness, both what is on the horizon (external reality) as well as what is within ourselves (both shadows and light). And the most amazing thing awaits us, the Companionship of the Beloved, the great glad tiding and promise become true - which says that the Beloved is the companion of the broken-hearted. Can there be a more greater glad tiding than that? And when that news breaks inside our heart, may we start keeping vigil alone with the Alone, for the lovers indeed need some privacy that none has right to interfere. May you, we all experience that sweet companionship of the best of companions.


The Divine Beloved is intimately near to the broken hearted. ~ Psalm 34:28

Thus declares Allah: "I am with the broken-hearted." ~ Sacred Tradition of Islam, Hadith Qudsi

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3




# Here are some Talks by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee of Golden Sufi which I believe touches upon some of the aspects related to this post. Click on each link below to listen to the talks.

The Journey Home
Part A: 20 mb | Part B: 20.7 mb

Surrendering to Separation
Part A: 13.7 mb | Part B: 13.2 mb

The Transformation of Shadow
Part A: 21.5 mb | Part B: 17.8 mb

Finding What is Real
Complete Talk: 31.4 mb

Love & Emptiness
Complete Talk: 30.5 mb

More talks are available here - Audio Archive of Golden Sufi


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Saturday, November 29, 2014

What is Spiritual Healing and How Healing Works? Part 2

Healing can occur when we are prepared to face, accept, and then work through the emotional issues which are connected with the physical illness. We can also turn inward for healing by accessing that place of the “silence of one’s being”. One’s inmost silence, a place of wholeness and beyond limitations that is free from disease, is reached in deep states of dhikr (the remembrance of God) or meditation.

It is accessed in those moments when losing oneself utterly in prayer for the healing of a loved one or oneself, where one is in complete self-surrender. This radical shift of consciousness can bring about a dramatic physical change leading to spontaneous healing and the sudden disappearance of symptoms. Illness, then, can be a window through which we come to discover and know our indwelling wholeness, our soul, and be grateful to our illness which has returned us to ourselves. ~ Aliya B. Haeri, Psychologist


Communication from a Teacher

Essentially there are three levels of health we need to care for: one is our body and in that regard, there is a lot of up to date check lists that you can download also from the internet to do with nutrition, diet, exercise and all physical intakes including of course, air, water and other things we ingest. More important than intake are the items, which are commonly available nowadays, and which are to be avoided, such as bottled fizzy drinks, sugars and refined carbohydrates, such as cakes and colorants and preservatives in snacks and sweets.  Our biology is not designed for fast foods.

And also the importance of regular exercise and presence of mind and heart during leisure and sport.

The second level is mental hygiene. Clear thoughts, good thoughts, good talk, and pure heart.

The third and most important level of health is purity at heart.  The light of the soul is dimmed or completely veiled with a heart full of fear, hatred and anger. Once the body is clear of toxins and the mind is sharp and alert, and the heart is pure, then the serious challenges to humanity begins.  How to now live your divine nature, the sacred soul in your heart? The purpose of life on earth is to practice this.  From there on, physical death becomes unimportant, you have already tasted the eternal nature of your soul.

All religions aspire to take their adherence to this state of enlightenment.

Listen with your ears and look with your eyes -- and then shut down your senses and pick up the signs of your heart. Good luck.

~ Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri, Oct 27/28, 2014


The above message was sent to a student of Shaykh Fadhlalla and was shared. This brief message summarizes the main three aspects which need harmony in order to be whole. The disharmony and imbalance is what causes illness and hence there needs to be understanding that not only our body needs food and nutrition for its proper functioning, but also the mind (thoughts and emotions) and heart (spirituality and soul level) need them also according to their nature. When you are sick, the solution is not putting more drugs into the body. Health begins by understanding and then eliminating the problem. That understanding is the subject of this series of articles on Healing.

The human drive for well-being, harmony and happiness and avoidance of sickness, discord and misery can be a great force to realise the source and essence of life - the free and joyful soul within. The human soul is ever-free, content and stable, and is not subject to the changing world of duality, insecurity and uncertainty experienced by the ego-self.

~ from the Introduction of 101 Helpful Illusions by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri


Some Concepts that Help Understanding the Reality in General and also the Reality of Healing


The reality in which we live in, it has a hologram like nature. Take each small slice of the reality and you will find the same  phenomena that you would find in the largest or whole. Think of the cell division vs. how milky way galaxy looks like.

Split Galaxy vs Cell Division

Think of how our brain cells look like and captured image of our galaxy. They have mind blowing similarity.

Our Brain’s Neurons Look Exactly Like The Structure Of The Universe

The above two examples are just two Sign posts about our reality, something that neutral and unbiased view of science can point us to. This aspect of reality tells us that there is a mirroring here. The small reflect the big, no matter how contrast the sizes are.

In the east the reality is compared to a city of mirror. Mirror precisely because it reflects and reflects back again and again. In Sufic science a very important element of the reality is the unseen reality, alam al-ghayb. Even though we can not see that reality (like dark energy/ dark matter) and yet just as the visible universe is only a small fraction of the invisible universe (composed of dark energy and dark matter) similarly the seen world is a very tiny fraction of the unseen world.

The visible and physical world is governed by physical laws which are universal and true across the universe. Similarly the invisible and non-physical (spiritual) world is governed by non-physical (metaphysical or spiritual) laws.

We know that the reality is indivisible. Thus seen and unseen world are inter-penetrated, inter-woven. When it comes to what constituent human being is both physical, then mental and emotional and finally spiritual - each is more subtle than its previous one.

When someone suffers a mental or emotional shock that can trigger a heart attack - or when we are very depressed we feel unwell even in our body, we feel lack of energy of lethargic. These are examples how one aspect of our being can affect another, in this case metal affecting physical. Likewise, the most subtle part of our being is spiritual. Spiritual healing does take into account the unseen reality, which is our spirit or soul.

According to the cosmology of spiritual healing - every imbalance or most imbalances of our physical body has its root into more subtler body (emotional and spiritual) or due to violation of the spiritual law(s) or disturbance of spiritual well-being.

For example, if we fail to give proper nutrition that is food into our body on regular basis we feel hunger, eventually feel weak - similarly if our emotional body or our mind is not fed with the right kind of emotions, right kind of thoughts, superior thoughts and instead is poisoned by improper thoughts and lack of right nutrition of mind, then it can suffer lethargy, depression, lack of interest in anything etc symptoms can kick in. Same applies for the spirit or the soul.

Lets ask this question to ourselves. How much effort do we give to nourish our spirit / soul? Do we know what kind of nutrition feeds it? We put so much effort into feeding the physical body, how about our emotional body and most importantly our spiritual body?

Disorder of Rhythm - root cause of all diseases, be it physical, emotional or spiritual 


According to the mystical point of view there is one chief root, which can be called a common cause, from which all diseases are derived, and that is disorder of rhythm. For example: the upset or disorder of the nerves is stated by scientists to be the chief origin of all of the mental diseases.

The Wonderful Architect, The Glorious Originator of all, the Master Designer has created everything, every single thing with rhythm. From the movement of the atoms and molecules to the movement of the heavenly bodies, suns and moons to the works of biological bodies, the change of seasons - everything has a rhythm, a pattern, a governing immutable law which it follows. This is called the Command of the Chief Commander, the Divine Commander.

Now we human beings are positioned uniquely in the universe that we are also gifted with limited free-will. We are endowed with reason, capacity to think, capacity to discriminate between right and wrong - though through continuous and repeated abuse, neglect and ignorance we may choose to destroy that capacity. As human beings with limited understanding or veiled understanding we often violate the immutable divine laws, we abuse our sacred nature by becoming corrupt and following our shadows and this cause disharmony and disorder of rhythm within us, and this is the essential cause of all our illness, be it physical, emotional or spiritual or any combination of them.

What I just mentioned above may sound very unscientific, superstitious from medieval period or even crazy - but guess what? One of the greatest spiritual healer, the archetypal healer, Jesus Christ's healing will prove that all of the healing were spiritual in nature and they were also cured through spirit, even though the disease or the symptoms may manifest in physical body. In fact it is the physical body which is the place of manifestation in this world and hence all disharmony of the unseen will eventually end up manifesting in the seen world, which for our case is our physical body of blood, flesh and bones.



The place of Spiritual Heart in Healing


One of the most important faculty of the unseen body is the spiritual heart. In Arabic its called QALB which comes from the root Q.L.B that gives birth to many meanings including that which turn. Indeed heart turns, the physical heart turn endlessly, so does the emotional and spiritual heart. Its in constant motion, thousands of thoughts come and go into the mind, hundred shades of spiritual state appear and disappear in a day or so. its constantly turning.

The more we understand the nature of our spiritual heart, the more equipped we are to feed it, nourish it, bathe it with light.

The term “heart” has different and multi-level connotations in the Islamic tradition. It is not simply the organ of emotions, “feelings” and desires, or decisions and opinions, but goes to encompass the soul, knowledge, bravery and more. When purified it is the seat of the intellect, i.e. the ray of the Divine within the creatures. It is the only placeless place which the King of kings reserves for His Throne. Heart is called the “true essence of a human being” (Al- Jurjani), containing “all levels of inner being” (al-Hakeem al- Tirmidhi), and for the Prophets (s) it is the place of revelation.

In the sacred tradition we find that God says, "Nothing in the heaven or earth can contain Me, but the Heart of a true devotee may contain Me."

Let us understand the tremendous value of the above tradition. And also lets understand the fact that we all carry that spiritual heart within and is it not time to pay more attention to our heart?

Good news is that when you explore Spiritual Healing, you must pay attention to the Heart. Our Master (s) said, "If heart is good, whole body is good; if its corrupt then whole body is like that." If you are interested to heal yourself, you must begin with the Spiritual Heart. And that beginning is with the knowledge of the Spiritual Heart and we go back to the direct source of divine knowledge, which is the Final Testament, the Criterion, the Glorious Light where we are given direct glimpses on the reality of the Spiritual Heart. No other scripture has so much to transmit and communicate about the reality of heart than Qur'an.

Here are references of the list of Signs where the term Qulub (Heart in Arabic) is mentioned in the Qur'an. Visit http://corpus.quran.com/search.jsp?q=lem%3Aqalob+pos%3An

Click the middle column to go to the complete Sign (verse) and read the entire context of the Sign to understand better. They are all knowledge to understand reality of the heart.

Hearts are assured and made tranquil through remembrance of the Real, 13:28
http://corpus.quran.com/wordmorphology.jsp?location=%2813:28:4%29

Spiritual disease begin at the heart, as evident from this Sign of the Qur'an 2:10
http://corpus.quran.com/wordmorphology.jsp?location=%282:10:2%29

Heart can become hardened, so that it no longer can accept truth, 6:43
http://corpus.quran.com/wordmorphology.jsp?location=%286:43:8%29

Faith and lack of faith are function of the heart as evident from this Sign of the Qur'an 3:167
http://corpus.quran.com/wordmorphology.jsp?location=%283:167:29%29

Allah is the knower of what is in the heart, 33:51
http://corpus.quran.com/wordmorphology.jsp?location=%2833:51:31%29

True sign of success is for those who come to God with a pure heart, 26:89
http://corpus.quran.com/wordmorphology.jsp?location=%2826:89:5%29

There are many more Signs in the Qur'an and each of these gems may unveil different treasure for you.



The Masters of Humanity were all Physician and Healer of Spiritual Hearts


The Divine Messengers, the Communicators were all healers and purifiers of spiritual heart. That was a task they all had to perform.

Imam Ghazali said, “The Prophets are the doctors of the hearts.”

Awliya Allah are the spiritual inheritors of the Prophets and they continue to impart their function as physician and healers of the heart, which when cured, when is pure, success on the Day of Judgment is guaranteed, by Allah’s command (26:88-89).

It is said that a certain man complained to the Honorable Prophet, about the hardness of his heart, he replied, “stroke the head of an orphan, and give him something to eat.”

The same complaint was once made to Abu Daw'ud, who said, “Visit the sick, go to funerals, and visit graves.”

The Prophet said, "Undoubtedly, hearts get rusted like metal." So the people asked, “How can they [hearts] be cleaned?” The Prophet replied, “To remember death in abundance and to recite the Holy Quran.”


Good News is We All are Given Capacity to Heal


Hazrat Inayat Khan in his book Healing and the Mind World wrote: "Consciously or unconsciously every being is capable of healing himself or others. This instinct is inborn in insects, birds, and beasts, as well as in man. All these find their own medicine and heal themselves and each other in various ways. In ancient days the doctors and healers learned much from animals about the treatment of disease. This shows that natural intuition has manifested in the lower creation as well as in the higher."

If Jesus Christ could heal, don't you think you being a member of God's family can also heal? Don't you think that you are also endowed with the amazing capacity to heal yourself and others? Here is a good news for you. We are all given capacity to heal. Not only human beings, but all sentient beings. You may not see that happening, we may not understand all of it, but think this - the birds, the animals, the insects in the wild or fishes in ocean don't go to doctors or they don't have hospitals; and yet when imbalance happens to their body, they mostly heal themselves, they cure themselves. Sometime one help the other to heal.

We as human beings have many hidden ability to heal that we are just unaware. A mother heals pain of her child unconsciously when the child falls or have ache. This happens all the time and hence we kind of neglect it. Our own voice has healing capacity, so does a mother's voice for its infant or child.


"The voice has all the magnetism which an instrument lacks; for voice is nature's ideal instrument, upon which all the other instruments of the world are modeled.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

Our voice, the human voice, can be used as a tool for self- awareness, which is the foundational mindset to heal oneself. With proper training, you can use your voice as a "sonic tool" to vibrationally activate, heal, resonate/harmonize body, mind and spirit. Human voice can change state of consciousness almost instantaneously. It balances hemispheres of the brain, re- wires neural nets, and changes the vibratory pattern of the etheric, emotional, mental, and bioelectric bodies.

Here is an elegant Secret: The way we use our voice is a clear indicator of our self- esteem.

Changing our voice, its tone can change the whole way of expressing ourselves in the world - and how the world sees us! One’s entire history is recorded in every cell of one’s body: when you speak the truth to your body you can change your life.

Remember that in post-eternity the body will speak the truth and you will be witness, before that reality comes, may we speak the truth to our body:

Allah speaks: That Day, We will seal over their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their feet will testify about what they used to earn. ~ The Qur'an 36:65




(To be Continued iA)



+  Previous Post: What is Spiritual Healing and How Healing Works (Part 1)

# Related:
* Quranic Illumination on Spiritual Heart and it's Realities
* Heart is the strongest generator of both electrical and magnetic fields

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What is Spiritual Healing and How Healing Works?

We Can Never Thank Enough


If we are lucky and enjoying good health, no complications, we are not suffering in hospital - then if we think about it, and if we have any idea about our own biology, the tremendously complex systems that is part of our physical being - then we may well understand that fact that we are actually immersed in an ocean of mercy from God. How is that? Because there are countless instances in our body where a very tiny thing if gone wrong can make us instantly paralyzed, can take away our ability to move any muscle or ability to speak or to move our finger tips.

And when we think about it deeply then we may come to understand the meaning of the sacred formula in Islam, 'la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah' - which closely translate as 'there is no transformation/ movement and power except by God." That indeed is the truth.

How much do we really know about our own wondrous body?

Here are some astounding fact about our body which hopefully may bring us to that place of wonderment about our own place in creation and appreciate more the Tremendous Creator who created this marvel of marvels.

An adult human being is made up of 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7 octillion) atoms. For perspective, there’s a ‘measly’ 300,000,000,000 (300 billion) stars in our galaxy.

Our brain’s connected neurons look similar to the structure of the universe. In a way, our brains are modeled after the universe.  In a lifetime, your brain's long-term memory can hold as many as 1 quadrillion (1 million billion) separate bits of information. New brain connections are created every time you form a memory.

With the 60,000 miles of blood vessels inside the average human body, you could circumnavigate Earth two and a half times. In one day, your blood travels 12,000 miles around your body. That’s four times the distance across the US from coast-to-coast. 

If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billion miles, from here to Pluto and back.

Our nose can remember 50,000 different scents. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colors. If the human eye was a digital camera it would have 576 megapixels.

Your body produces 25 million new cells each second. Every 13 seconds, you produce more cells than there are people in the United States. Human beings shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour.

When awake, the human brain produces enough electricity to power a small lightbulb. Every day, your heart creates enough energy to drive a truck for 20 miles (32 km).

Along with the five traditional senses of sound, sight, touch, smell and taste, humans have 15 “other senses.” These include balance, temperature, pain and time as well as internal senses for suffocation, thirst, and fullness.

The muscles that control your eyes contract about 100,000 times a day (that's the equivalent of giving your legs a workout by walking 50 miles).

There's more bacteria in your mouth than there are people in the world.

Your heart beats over 100,000 times per day. Your heart can keep beating even if it is separated from the body because it has its own electrical impulse. Your heart will pump nearly 1.5 million barrels of blood during your lifetime, enough to fill 200 train tank cars.

Nerve impulses travel to and from the brain at speeds of up to 250 miles per hour, faster than a Formula 1 racecar.

So thats just a tiny glance using some basic data about our body. But data and information can not capture the marvel of this body alone. If we compare what we know vs. what we do not know, it will be like a drop against an ocean. Even after so much discovery and advances about biological science our knowledge is still very superficial.


A Gross Example of our Ignorance


Check out this video by a company called Squatty Potty. Its a promotion of their product, but it utilizes a very simple science about our biology. In this video you will come to understand that we as human race are so ignorant still when it comes to doing very basic tasks, be it eating, sleeping or eliminating.



The video is not a hoax. The fact that since the introduction of western toilet human being is inundated with colon related diseases. Now of course it can never be attributed to just one factor, but it can not be denied that toilet posture, according to medical doctors is a major cause of hemorrhoids (bleeding), constipation, colitis or colon related diseases, appendicitis, irritable bowel syndrome and worst of all colon cancer. These diseases were not so common as they are in recent time. if you watch this small video of only 3 minutes you will come to at least partially I hope to understand our state of ignorance.


Unprecedented Level of Diseases


We are made to be well, not diseased. Our default condition of our body is to be sound and disease free. And yet if we look around us in the contemporary world we will come to notice that diseases are consuming us at a very rapid pace. You can name 100 types cancers for, for every part of your body - this is unprecedented, never in human history have we witnessed such a sorry state of affairs specially with so much opportunity, advancement, comfortable living etc.

Diabetes: In USA in 2013, the number of people who have diabetes were 24.4 million (this number will become 29.7 by 2035 projected), in 2013 in India this was 65.1 million and 98.4 million in China, both of which to become 109 and 142.7 million by 2035.

When it comes to cancer, just to give an example, its estimated that 1 out of every 8 women will develop breast cancer in their life time. This is absolutely crazy. Check Cancer Facts for details.

When it comes to our state of mind, study show that in the last decade mental illness in US has increased by 50%, over quarter of all Americans have a mental disorder. According to Reuters 168 million Europeans suffer from mental disease. CDC claims that over 10 million Americans every year contemplate or plan to commit suicide.

90% of children who visit a psychiatrist seeking help end up with a drug prescription. 9 of 13 school shooters were on or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. 42,000 deaths a year occur related to psychiatric drugs, how many cures

What can be attributed to this strange phenomena that in terms of material comfort we are become more and more advanced and yet our emotional, mental and physical well being is just become worse. Every now and then you can hear this person or that is diagnosed with cancer, more and more hospitals, diagnostic center, more pharmaceuticals drugs, more clinics are just mushrooming.

If you investigate carefully and ask those who know, really know the reality of today's world you will come to know that this unprecedented level of diseases and suffering is a compound effect of the following factors:

  • Our mind-blowing ignorance - we have forgotten to do even the most basic things in life, like eating, sleeping and eliminating
  •  
  • our complete ignorance of ethical living, we have removed God from every possible scenario and hence violating every single immutable divine laws
  •  
  • our mindless consumption of food and drink that lacks proper nutrition, rather which are filled with dangerous toxins and chemicals


Alex Carberry's Talk Titled "Honey I Healed the Kinds"


This particular video of Alex Carberry, a herbalist and healer from England in this speech have very eloquently summarised three important aspect that affects our well-being. Before we can delve into healing, we need to understand why we are sick, what basic things as human being we are failing to do in this particular time of ours.




This article on what is Spiritual Healing and How Healing works will continue to second part and if necessary third. I am sharing here the presentation that goes along with it. If you have any question, please feel free to email me: sadiq(at)techofheart.co

The presentation below covers a number of topics including Quranic Healing, Effect of our Own Voice and Healing and much more and I hope to share them in next articles as well.


PRESENTATION ON HEALING





+ Direct download this presentation as PDF


# Related Materials:
* Quranic Healing - El Gilani Method (EGM) - a summary
* Jinniology - the Science of Non-Human Entity
* Experience of Healing Jinn by Sheikh Syed Mubarak Ali Gilani

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