Tuesday, April 28, 2009

sufi exercise for the monkey mind

Green Tree1.
The Exercise

Sit in a room or a quiet, private place. Better even outdoor surrounded by green trees and open air, say children playground or park.

Sit with your back straight, hands folded.

Choose one color. Try finding all things with that color, say Green. Observe for a minute or so.
Repeat with a second color. Repeat with a third color.

Close your eyes.
Choose a sound, and rest your attention on it. Listen for a few seconds or a minute or so.
Then choose another sound, and rest your attention on it. Repeat the above. Then choose a third sound. Repeat the above.

Stay put.

Rest your attention on your breath for a while. Observe how it enters you and leaves you.

Dismiss gently any distracting thoughts. In the first few practices, the thoughts will be overwhelming and perhaps disgusting, disturbing, or silly. Dismiss.

Open your eyes after a while, or whenever your heart feels like it.

The exercise is adopted from the teaching of Shaykh Ebrahim Schuitema, may God bless his work, via Ramla Akhtar's post @ Facebook Group of Zawiya Ebrahim

As our heads talk too much, this simple exercise above is fantastically helpful in taming what our spiritual brothers in Buddhist path call a "monkey mind."

Mystics teach simple things,
And those simple things change people's lives.
- Irina Tweedie .......


This following sohbet or spiritual conversation may have happened in an ancient time or it could have happened in our time. It may have happened in an ancient city like Bokhara in Central Asia or a modern city like New York. Both time and space is immaterial, so we can ignore both.

"As you do the exercise", the Master speaks now in soft but clear voice, "when you pick and concentrate on one color and trace everything of that color, as you continue with the practice, one day will come then you will be able to concentrate on the Color of God."

"This practice that is given to us by the great Masters, is for that goal - to be able to concentrate on One Color, the Color of God and abide therein. 'Sibghata Allahi', Color yourselves in the Color of God! When that day comes when you will be able to concentrate on the Color of God know that you have reached at a major milestone in your journey back Home. Whether that day I am in this body or I am beyond the veils, I shall congratulate you that day." Saying thus the master enters into silence. Only the sound of his deep breath and birds chirping outside the lodge.

The Master resumes, "For the sound concentration, learn to hear only One Sound. The reason we come back again and again to the simplest sound of our breath is because this is the first sound our being heard as our spirit entered our body in the womb of our mother, may God bless all mothers in the world." Saying thus the face of the Master changes, tears roll up in his pure eyes. His closest friend and long time student understood that the Master is remembering his mother who is no longer in this world and passed away when the Master was still a young man.

Not trying to hide his tears, with diamond glitters in his eyes the Master continues, "With every inbreath Hu, with every outbreath Hu. Thats the goal for this part of the exercise. Hear only One Sound, Hu, the Nameless Name of the Beloved.

For the Muqarrabun in this path, those who are drawn near to God there is only one virtue and only one sin for the soul: virtue when one's breath is conscious of God and sin when one's breath is not. In surrender to His Infinite Mercy may we be included and accepted among the Muqarrabun."

+ Resources:
. Join the Facebook Group of Zawiya Ebrahim for teachings, updates and further resources
. A collection of the works of Shaykh Ebrahim Schuitema: Articles and Literary Works
. Becoming Conscious Through Our Senses
video interview by Peter Kingsley via Global Oneness Project
. Abraham: Training of monkey mind, youtube

+ Related:
. Conscious Breath | Reshad Feild
. Awareness in the Breath | Awareness in the Moment
. Only Breath - Rumi

. Painting credit: Coloured Glass
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