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Sufi Meditation

Sufi meditation, the philosophy of meditation practiced by a mystical tradition and associated with a wide cross-section of faiths and traditions.  The Sufi meditation tradition came into being in the Middle East in the eighth century, though there are those that claim that Sufism predates Islam.  The chief aim of the Sufi tradition is to release the ideal of duality, embracing and understanding the universe as one whole, one unified part, and this is where a strong practice of meditation comes into play.  Deliberation on this concept is one that practitioners of Sufism are required to undertake, as contemplation of such is a part of their creed.

Sufi meditation involves the awakening of the spiritual centers that lie quietly in each human being.  Each spiritual center is associated with a certain color and area of the body.  These centers are called lataif, and with the sufi discipline of muraqaba, the traditional term for Sufi meditation, the description of these centers varies from sect to sect, but they all must be opened or activated for full enlightenment to occur.

Sufi meditation, at its very heart, contains a message of rumination and deliberation that ends in a heightened awareness of the world that surrounds us all.  In escaping from the duality of the universe, one attains a better idea of the whole.  One example of dualistic thinking might be of seeing a car, but attempting to judge it's virtue and worth merely by gazing at the steering wheel.

Sufi meditation, at first glimpse, is merely sitting in pose with the eyes closed.  Once again, though, if one were to only make a judgment on the practice by that fact, there would be an entire ocean of truths that were missed.  With training, a person skilled in Sufi meditation can put themselves into a state of sleeping without sleep.  Essentially, the gaze is turned inward, and the brain disconnected from the outward senses.  Sufi meditation is a tool where an individual gains intimate knowledge of his ego and his soul, a contemplation of an area of study that is vaster than the cosmos.

Within each person exists a potential for this awakening.  From birth to death, a human being exists between sleeping and waking.  While an individual is awake, he or she is bound by considerations of time and space, imposing limits on their ability for thought and their souls  While they are asleep, however, they are free of such constraints, free to explore the universe that lies within.  It is this freedom that is sought through the practice of Sufi meditation.

To escape the restrictions of space and time, humans can do many things to free themselves.  Sleeping allows us to enter the world of dreams, where our senses are sent to a place where time and space do not matter. Another way to surpass space and time is to focus oneself wholly on a task or subject, for instance through meditation.  Once the first boundary is down, there are whole worlds to explore.

By Kelly Cramer

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