According to the Sufis, the mind is not the only centre of consciousness in the human being because there are other subtle centres of which the heart is the most important. The heart is the locus of illuminations and can perceive the truth directly. For this to happen there is a condition; the heart must be awakened. In our order we seek the help of a special kind of meditation (Muraqaba).
There is a fundamental difference between our meditation and the meditations of other systems. We do not attempt to work through concentrating the energy of the physical body at a single point as is done in other systems.
In our order the meaning of meditation is to detach oneself from worldly activity, and for a period of time devote one’s attention towards God. After the preliminary 10 lessons the student can choose to continue their progress by adopting a way of life based on Islamic principles and the Sunna – the example of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.).
Some students may take years to complete the first lessons while others progress more quickly depending on their state when they come to Sufism, and their continued dedication to the practices. The preliminary practices begin with meditation on the heart where an intention (niyyat) is made and the seeker then sits quietly for around 40-45 minutes.
There are no special postures or positions to adopt when sitting in our meditation, but when one sits patiently the blessings of the Divine are bestowed upon the seeker. Some physical and spiritual benefits may be experienced straight away. Some seekers experience an increase in ease and contentment, patience and tolerance, and the development of personal insight and understanding as effects of doing our practices.
Weekly meetings, where small groups of students sit in meditation together, help the student to progress more quickly. Through regular practice these exercises of meditation and recitation help individuals to make a sincere and sustaining connection to the Divine.