Come, come, whoever you are… Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.
Practical Sufi Teachings
for Everyday Life
In relationship to the Divine, it is not our beliefs that are important, but our direct experience.
The aim of Sufism is self-cultivation for the sake of merging our hearts with the Divine Heart, so that our whole life is lived as an act of Love. This love is not sentimental. It is clear and simple, and truthful without being judgmental.
Many spiritual paths seek to transcend the body, the ego, and worldly life. Sufism is a path for those who wish to infuse our earthly lives with a direct experience of the sacred, and live every moment in a holy way. We do not transcend earthly experience; we seek to clean and open ourselves fully, so that we become more and more capable of dissolving directly into the Love. These teachings and practices connect us with vast resources of personal resiliency and transpersonal awareness, allowing us to meet our daily life challenges with heart and humor and deeply loving directness.
Sufism: The Art of Knocking
In his quintessential book, “What Is Sufism?” Martin Lings begins in his author’s preface by reminding us of the familiar verse, “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.” Martin Lings remarks that although we have been taught this verse, few of us have received much instruction in the art of asking, the art of seeking, and the art of knocking.
According to Martin Lings, this is an apt summary of the nature of Sufism: it is the art of knocking on the door of the Divine, leading inward. As such, Sufism may be characterized as a collection of practices intent upon the cultivation of all qualities most conducive to greater apprehension of the Unity. It is not a set of doctrines, except insofar as Sufism acknowledges that there are some beliefs which will stand in the way of realization, and others which open the mind and make it more ready for direct experience of Unity. It is not a path of submission to external spiritual authority, except insofar as Sufism acknowledges that at many points along the way, it is essential to have a trusted Guide, whose authority is based upon a complete commitment to increasing the student’s own access to the inner authority of the Haqqiqah, or directly known spiritual truth.
Maryam Thea Elijah is a Muqadam (spiritual teacher) of the Shadhuliyyah Sufi order. She has many years of experience in teaching Sufi practices within her own community, as well as sharing Sufism with people of diverse backgrounds—including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, agnostics and even open-minded atheists who believe in Love.
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