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Sit Still With No Thoughts
Reality, or Allah, is not found in one particular place where we have to go in order to be near. It says in the Qur’an: “I am closer to you than your jugular vein” - 50:16. What is stopping us from knowing Allah is ourselves. We are far because of the so-called “I” which constantly asserts itself. We must kill our “self” first while still alive, through surrender. We must be willing to totally surrender, from our hearts, if even for one moment. All the practices of the people of Allah are nothing but techniques to enable us to reach that state, to sit still with no thoughts, and to be pure energy.
No Vision, No Memory, No Thought, No Movement
The meditation practice and night vigils of the Sufis differ according to the place, time, and particular orientation of the spiritual master. Some spiritual masters are far more ecstatic than others. Some are more serious or sober in their outer manner. However, all of them have something in common, just as master chefs in a kitchen have the love of food and knowledge of cooking in common. The spiritual masters share a state of inner silence and contentment. According to them, since the creation began from silence, anyone who wishes to start living must return to that point or origin - utter silence - an inner silence in which there is no vision, no memory, no thought, no movement.
Less is More
The accomplished Master will help the seeker to focus on his goal and the devotee to give up attachment to everything. It is important to see the teachings of the Prophets and Spiritual Masters in their full context. Ibn al-‘Arabi writes about the virtues of generosity, asceticism, night vigils but equally emphasizes the importance of giving up identification and the image of being generous. Role-playing, irrespective of how good the role may be, is a spiritual hindrance.
The Thread of Truth
A vast body of academic work including chronicles, biographies, treaties, translations on Islam and Sufism has arisen out of the interest in religion and spirituality over the recent past. The internet and other media makes this easily accessible to all, rather than being the preserve of the few. This has had a huge impact on understanding of Sufi tariqas, masters and their teachings.