Friday, July 24, 2009

Conscious breathing - what the sufis say


Abdul Khaliq al-Ghudjawani was the 11th Shakyh in the Naqshbandi Golden Chain who established eight out of the eleven principles of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order:
1. Conscious breathing
2. Watch your step
3. Journey homeward
4. Solitude in the crowd
5. Essential remembrance
6. Returning
7. Attentiveness
8. Recollection

CONSCIOUS BREATHING (hosh dar dam) according to Shaykh Abdul Khaliq al-Ghudjawani:
The wise seeker must safeguard his breath from heedlessness, coming in and going out, thereby keeping his heart always in the Divine Presence. He must revive his breath with worship and servitude and dispatch the worship to His Lord full of life, for every breath, which is inhaled and exhaled with Presence, is alive and connected with the Divine Presence. Every breath inhaled and exhaled with heedlessness is dead, disconnected from the Divine Presence.

Ubayd Allah al-Ahrar said:
The most important mission for the seeker in this Order is to safeguard his breath, and he who cannot safeguard his breath, it would be said of him, "he lost himself".

Shah Bahauddin Naqshband said:
The order is built on breath. So it is a must for everyone to safeguard his breath in the time of his inhalation and exhalation, and further, to safeguard his breath in the interval between the inhalation and exhalation.

Shaykh Abul Janab Najmuddin al-Kubra said in his book Fawatih al-Jamal:
Dhikir is flowing in the body of every single living creature by the neccessity of their breath - even without will - as a sign of obedience, which is part of their creation. Through their breathing, the sound of "Huwa" of the Divine Name of God is made with every exhalation and inhalation and it is a sign of the Unseen Essence serving to emphasize the Uniqueness of God. Therefore, it is neccessary to be present with that breathing, in order to realize the Essence of the Creator. The name "Allah" which encompasses the Ninety Nine Names and Attributes, consists of four letters: alif, lam, lam, and ha (Allah). The people of Sufism say that the Absolute Unseen Essence of God, Exhalted and Almighty, is expressed by the last letter as vowelized by the alif, "Huwa". The first lam is for the sake of emphasis. Safeguarding your breath from heedlessness will lead you to complete Presence.

Complete Presence will lead you to complete vision. Complete vision will lead you to complete manifestation of God's Ninety Nine Names and Attributes and all His other Attributes, because it is said, "God's Attributes are as numerous as the breaths of human beings." It must be known by everyone that securing the breath from heedlessness is difficult for seekers. Therefore, they must safeguard it by seeking forgiveness, because seeking forgiveness will purify it and sanctify it and prepare the seeker for the real manifestation of God everywhere.
Quoted from:
'Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition'
by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

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