Am I fit to follow the Sufi path?

(Notes from listening to Hazrat Asad Rasool ( circa 1996)

Mosque ceiling, Uzbekistan1. Do not believe Shaitan (or your doubts) when he says, “you are not fit for this”. Use will power to sit regularly in meditation.

2. We are separated from Nature and from Truth and therefore from God.

3. What are the needs of people? They wish to be relieved from mental tension (suffering).

4. There are two kinds of cure (as in medicine), symptomatic and causal.

5. The cause of our suffering is estrangement from God.

6. Overcoming this estrangement requires the development of true spirituality. This is not the same as “spiritualism” or the cultivation of “cultic” practices or beliefs.

7. True spirituality is hard to define. In this Sufi path it is attainable via transmission from the teacher. The teacher is able to transmit the means of receiving blessings from the Almighty just as the transmitter enables the broadcast of TV programs.

8. Just as the TV receiver needs to be “tuned in”, in the same way the student of the Sufi teacher needs to be able to receive the blessings.

9. The aim of this is not the gaining of spiritual “powers”. The aim is only to achieve closeness to God.

10. God is merciful, and if we take one step towards him he takes 10 steps towards us.

11. This closeness can also be achieved by the love of the student for the teacher.

12. The teacher “offers up” the love received from the student towards God. In this way the teacher acts as a sort of channel by which the student can get closer to the Almighty, or the Holy Essence.

13. At the first step of the meditation the student turns their attention to the “heart”.

14. The heart then itself turns towards the Divine Essence (the Centre of the universe, the life spring of the universe, the essential energy of the universe).

15. There is something in the heart, which knows how to turn towards the Centre, just as a flower turns to the sun.

16. But we have first to turn towards the heart for this second stage to happen.

17. There is then a softening and an expansion of the heart which takes place.

18. This is both literally and metaphorically true.

19. The softening and expansion generates what we call “light”. The light imparts a lightness of being, and it can also enlighten.

20. The softening enables greater sympathy and empathy for others.

21. The softening also involves a vulnerability to others. This vulnerability can open a point of weakness, which relates to humility, when we consider ourselves “unfit” for this path, because we become aware of our failings and inconsistencies.

22. We need at these points to remind ourselves that we are “fit enough”, and capable of overcoming obstacles in our path. Because as we desire closeness with God, God responds by moving closer to us.