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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