It occurred to me today that I had never shared the tools of muraqabah that I have gained in my Sufi order. And as a lot of people are thinking of ways to best utilize their time and minds and spirits during the coronavirus social distancing project, I thought this was the best time to share
In the centuries old Sufi tradition, muraqabah is a practice you can do at particular times, and at all times. Muraqabah means to watch over, or to be vigilant, and is a meditation practice. Yes, you can do it at specific times, collectively and individually, but you can also do it at all times, whenever you remember. In my early Sufi days, my shaikh taught me to focus on the dhaat or Essence every 15 minutes or so, and whenever I remembered. Or you could do it at a particular time of the day.
This becomes the central feature of meditation, but it is primarily a preparation: do some chants/devotions to purify your heart and wash the rust away. This is akin to the taking one step toward the Beloved.
“When he draws near me by the span of his hand, I draw near him by the length of a cubit. When he draws near me by the length of a cubit, I draw near him by the length of a fathom. When he comes to me walking, I come to him running.”
Simply empty your mind of busy thoughts. Stop trying too hard. Open your heart to Allah/God/the One/the Divine allow yourself to be showered with the faizan/grace.
Faizan is always there. It is us who are not always aware of it, or ready to receive it.
Don’t worry about emptying your mind either. If a gnat flies in and out of your room, let it. If a thought buzzes around you, let it go through without trying to catch it or watch it or follow it.
This isn’t so much about work you do; it’s about loosening the knots in your heart. It’s about not doing all the busy work that blocks you from the perpetually generous Source. I recall sitting down to meditate and wondering if I should do something active – recite Qur’an, or pray, or something else. Don’t lock yourself into guilt, or stuff you should be doing or should have done.
It is better, having prepared your soul, to receive. What you have to offer the Beloved is not better than what the Beloved can grant you. Just receive.
You could do it right now; you could do it whenever you remember; you could sit yourself down in a peaceful spot to focus; you could set a timer to do it every hour for a minute or two.
The benefits are immense. The more regularly you do it, even briefly, the stronger the Attraction. You will feel the pull grow stronger as you practice this regularly.