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It seems that expression is always of one of two things or some interesting or confusing mixture of both. In an easy analysis it might be said that we are always expressing either what's right or what's wrong. We are manifesting satisfaction and pleasure or dissatisfaction and complaint. In order to heal, both must be accepted for what they are, and not only without judgment, but also without preference. 

The question in healing is not so much the content of the expression as it is who is doing the talking and what is really being said. 

It's just a matter of what means we use, or what way we take, to see through our illusions. Once that is accomplished, the incredible nature and beauty of God is again visible. So getting over our illusions is one of the promptings of the soul. What matters, and what life seems to be all about, is testing the means of accomplishment we have been given to see if they are successful. And if they are not, choosing to seek a superior means. 

On Body, Soul, Heart, Mind, and Self

Soul is fine, It's there, watching, guarding and caring, and prompting you to pay attention, like it or not. Heart is fine. As long as it is beating, it is open to and in the Love of God. Body is fine. Whatever it's condition, surrender and acceptance is the key to the receiving of the healing love. Mind is good. Concepts and beliefs are personal, simply arising in consciousness, and can be changed or let go at any moment, since there is in reality no stone for them to be etched upon.

On Seeing God in Everything and the Annihilation of Desires

Let all these things be as they are, for they are as they are, but what seems to keep "getting in the way" of the fullness of our Divine experience is this willful thing we call our "self". 

It's our self that keeps asking for and seeking satisfaction. It is in fact, only desirous of the annihilation of its desires, and it's the expression of this desirousness that wants, yea needs, to be heard. It's not even so much that it wants to be heard as it wants to be ex-pressed, as in said, done, gone, annihilated, not there any longer, in a word, satisfied.

Ahhh, satisfaction. What I'm saying here is that the ultimate satisfaction is desirelessness. 

In Sufi parlance, this desirousness (or the desire for desirelessness) is called 'Himmah' - often translated as 'longing' - and it is considered to be the only essential quality for true success. It needs only to be recognized for what it is. This is what I refer to as the root, or "spiritual" motivation for all expressions. It is the search for annihilation. Again, one of the big negatives, we do not want to be here. It is the innate spiritual desire to be only with God and free of all illusion, or 'B.S.', as we so fondly refer to it. 

Understand this. Can you see here how the recognition and honoring of our true spiritual motivation, manifested and known to be an innate quality of the soul, will be of great assistance in your healing practice? This is the spiritual psychology that allows you to see and understand the truth of all expressions for the transformation of sins and curses into blessings and guidance.

This seeking for annihilation, with desire as the motivation, this "asking for satisfaction" is the natural Quest, the 'Search for the Truth', the 'ultimate destination', often thought to occur only after death, but which in reality is only the death of painful desire. This motivation is an essential quality, without which there would be no drama of life. It is that quality that is the true spiritual seeker within us all, naturally. If understood, superior means can be acquired, and a destructive path will be gratified and replaced with a constructive one. 

With this recognition, problems can be reduced to a simple and very natural desire for satisfaction, which, when seen in the light of the Sufi Knowledge, is realized to be, and thereby transformed into, an expression of the quest for satisfaction itself, the actual annihilation of desire and/or dissatisfaction. And when seen in this light, the need for the expression of desire/dissatisfaction is understood, and truly 'heard'. Then the perceived necessity for dramatization, or 'acting them out' is diffused, so to speak. Nor is one left with the feeling that they have not been heard - that they have been asked to repress them 'selves' yet again. 

This "asking for satisfaction" is then recognized as an expression of the quest for the 'Knowledge of God', for the actual Physical KNOWING, the Supreme Satisfaction, the 'Tasting of' and the 'BEING in' the Reality that God alone exists. Now the satisfaction of desire becomes an entirely different matter. And that is why it is said that the Sufi way is that very thing. In the Sufi way our souls are truly recognized, our desires are truly expressed and satisfaction is truly achieved.

We want God to hear us asking for our own annihilation. We want to KNOW the He hears us asking for our own dissolution, that only He exist. Just knowing that He hears is the beginning of satisfaction, and it is said that the end is in the beginning. For knowing about God, or talking to God, or asking God for anything is praising God by considering God (rightly) to be worthy of being asked and capable of helping.  And it is stated in Sufi contemplation practices that "God hears the one who praises Him". So the way to be heard is to praise, and therein lies the secret to all the success programs that are based upon 'positive' thinking and feeling' (like NLP). 

The Sufi Secret to Perfect Health

The Sufi Secret to Perfect Health is Perfect self-expression. Who knows better the needs of the heart, body, mind, soul and self of the human being that the one who created it. So who can show us a better way to a perfect life, and a better way to perfect self-expression, than Allah? 

On Healing the Spirit

Spirit is what moves us, and attention is what moves spirit. Wherever we focus our attention, there moves our spirit also. Spirit is the fire that removes the blocks that let the energy flow. Moving/kindling the Spirit is the essence of all healing arts - Kiatsu, Shiatsu, Acupuncture, spirit healing, energy healing and Sufi healing with "Tawajjuh" (focusing concentrated Divine Loving Attention), to mention only a few. To really feel and kindle our spirit we must concentrate it. A small example. Feel the concentration of your spirit when you contemplate a fond pleasure. Skiing? Biking? Sex? A movie? Relaxing with a good book? 

Focusing our attention on the Divinity (Allah) is not an easy thing, since He is NOT what you think He is and therefore how can YOU focus your attention on Him. Quite conceptual, to say the least, and not very experiential. Fortunately we have learned the technique of remembrance, which was revealed through all the prophets and taught by generations of kind-hearted and sincere believers and seekers. It eventually came to be known as the "Sufi" way.

The goal of spirit is it's own annihilation in Divine Presence. It is the fabled Simurgh, the large-winged bird that arises from ashes to fly to the sun only to fall into ashes and arise again.  A concentration of spirit needs to be present in order for it to focus on and annihilate itself in Presence. Spirit is a burning flame that consumes itself and only Presence is left. Presence is what remains when all else is gone. 

It's an easy thing to know God, since God is never not present, we need only to turn our thoughts there, and boom, there we are. That's why one of the qualities attributed to God is that of Al-Tawwab, the oft-returning acceptor of our repentance and rethinking.

But after this "connection", or "re-charge", how quickly do we turn away? In a sense, we "use" God to regenerate our spirit and then turn our spirit away from God to use it for the fulfillment of our desires, as though He is not capable of fulfilling them better than we. This is, in a sense, disrespectful and, in a sense, hurts God's feelings, because He wants to prove a point. He wants not only to fulfill our desires for us, and indeed He does, but He wants us to know Him, and know that He IS the fulfillment of our desires. 

Feel the comparison between the lover and the beloved. See this in YOUR relationship. In your deep heart, do you not want to BE the fulfillment of your beloved's desires?  Is that not the ultimate satisfaction? Do you not want his/her desires to be so oriented that you CAN be his/her fulfillment? The formula is simple. BE your Beloved! For only the Beloved (Allah) IS, or can be, the fulfillment of all desire. That is His promise, and that is exactly what He wants to be and do. In order to do this, we need to KNOW that His Presence is with us at all times.

But what does this require of us? The focus of our spirit on Him and Him alone. Before we focus on "how" we can do that, let's answer a few questions first.

On the foolishness of chasing dreams

"But that will take me away from my life and my responsibilities and/or the accomplishment of my dreams and desires", you say? 

What an intense amount of energy and frustration is spent on the chasing of dreams. Literally we waste our lives away in pursuit of an illusory "happiness" that is always just on the other side of an "if only". Yet we will all readily admit that a moment of deep contemplation upon the Divine Existence of God brings into our lives that very joy and happiness that we are "seeking/trying" to "establish" on a "permanent" basis in our lives. This is stated so nicely in Qur`an "Verily it is in the remembrance of God that the hearts find their fulfillment". 

How simple it is. Why are we seeking? Because we have not "found"! Why are we "trying"? Because we have not yet "succeeded". Why do we want it "established"? Because we have not yet discovered that it already is. And why do we want it "permanent"? Because nothing less will satisfy. Don't you see that the "life of this (your, private, individual) world" is an exact mirror image of the Real World, into which God (Allah) wants you to step with full faith, trust and confidence? (See- "The Switch" & "The World is a Reflection")

So how do we get this faith, trust and confidence? Simple. Pick it up from them that got it. "And who are they", you ask? I put it to you, the masters of the Sufi way. "And how can they be so sure", you ask? Well, ask them. Meet them. Read them. They've all tried it and to a person wish to be living testimonials that it is the truth. That is why "bearing witness", or testimonial to truth, is such a strong part of their lives. (See - On the Importance of Testimony - Bearing Witness)

"And where did they get this from?" They got it from the truth itself, from themselves, their observations, their own willingness to believe in, search and explore possibilities. They got it from others who had done the same and found it to be a safe and well-trodden path. They got it from seeing Love in desperation. And when they heard that this was, in truth, the very message with which all the prophets were sent, they knew it was the truth already in their hearts, and believed the message of the prophets. So they joined them and their communities to live in, enjoy and spread the word of this Way. 

Kindling your spirit is the beginning. Ongoing life and living, in and by the Presence of the Divine, is the goal. So come to the Sufi Way. Taste the true joy of life, Drink the wine from the cup of love, and feel the peace of certainty and knowing. Feel the existence of endless Divinity, living your life in peace, security, love, and friendship, with understanding and healing for yourself and others. And Love. Above all, feel and know Divine Love.

On Religion and Spirituality

Religion without a spiritual quest is death. Just ask the people of religion. They're all waiting to die to know God. Meanwhile they know only what they know and are steadfast in their resolve to stick with it, even though their religion insists that the quality of a true believer is that of a seeker of knowledge from the cradle to the grave.

And ask the people without religion. For the most part, they want nothing to do with it, and for the very same reason. On the other hand, a spiritual quest without religion becomes a form of stubborn resistance and unwillingness to investigate any further, and a self-assertion stating an almost fearful dependence upon "independence". It becomes a heart without a soul. 

Religion without a spiritual quest affirms the mind and ego as being the seat of the soul and denies the heart to its rightful owner. Spirituality alone in a sense affirms the heart, but denies the soul. Acceptance of soul requires the acceptance of religion, at least in general, and the popular abhorrence of religion in general for its authoritarianism and oppression will not allow for that. So we are caught in the predicament of needing to deny our souls the access to the very purpose of religions, the 'salvation' of the soul. 

On Self-expression

Self-expression is the fountain of youth, it is the creator of beauty. It is the hopeless addiction, the frustration of which leads to violence and bloodshed. Repression is of exactly that - self-expression, whether we are repressing ourselves by taking sides with the oppressor or allowing ourselves to be repressed, as in feeling that being a victim is the necessary route to take to get to our needs. 

My father discovered the secret of the hopeless addiction to self-expression and realized that nothing could stand in the way of this, and therefore harbored no illusions to the contrary. As a result he is now an immensely prolific author, playwright, actor, painter, artist, poet and gardener, and still a very happy and youthful man in his eighties.

When Self is Expressed

When self is expressed, we have a clearly manifested, unburdened soul. When self is ex-pressed, soul is unburdened. Unburdened soul manifests. The self obscures and burdens the soul, and the soul burdens and confuses the self. The self is also a reflection (mirror/reverse image) of the soul. In much the same way as the soul is created in the image of God.

Self-expression is the unburdening of the soul, which is a manifestation of soul intent. Self-expression in any way is soul-manifestation, the intent of the soul being to unburden itself, to manifest, to emerge.

So we are souls, learning how to express ourselves. And everything, in a sense, is soul manifestation. Or all manifestation is manifestation of soul.

Initial manifestation is with the intention of completion. An initial manifestation is always an intent to complete something. This is why, in healing, all offers, all manifestations, no matter how 'negatively' perceived, must be accepted, and equally. Because often it is that the perceived positive is as veiling as the perceived negative, but even the veiling is a manifestation of intent to be seen, and must be seen and accepted as such.

Completion is different from initiation. Initiation can take place without completion, but completion cannot occur without initiation. Without experience, initiation may be fumbling in the beginning, but if allowed to follow its own course of events, the point and final product will be achieved. This is why it is often said that we must surrender to ourselves - the good, bad and ugly, because we will achieve our goal, if we are not deterred, distracted or discouraged. And even then, we will, for the most part, figure out some other way. And that's where straightforwardness is lost and things get devious and confusing. 

In the absence of security, we will look for a means to create it, because from security, our confidence manifests and it is then OK for us to feel good about ourselves without criticism, and that's the beginning of what we are looking for. In order to feel good, we must feel good about ourselves. 

Acting on impulse is the creation of opportunity to challenge validity through the exploration of consequences. It is a search for confidence and a part of the soul intent to have self be all-knowing. Soul is inviting self to know itself perfectly, as perfect self-knowing is a divine, and therefore soul, quality. Valuable lessons are often learned through trial and error, and it is fortunate if we can learn them in the company of forgiving friends. For this I am thankful for the presence of forgiving friends.

The point and purpose of the religion of Islam (Surrender) is to support and facilitate the clarity of the soul's manifestation. Coming from the truth and leading to the truth, Islam (Surrender) is purifying. Accepting the religion of Islam (even that it exists) is soul purifying. Self-purification in Arabic is called Tasawwuf. Tasawwuf is the Arabic word from which derives the English word Sufism.

So true Muslims (Surrendered as the little children are Surrendered) are Sufis. They are the Divine children of God, and they are taking responsibility for it.

It is this quality of soul-purification, inherent within Islam, that is observed when it is accepted and practiced with a pure intention. Purity of intention is discovered and manifested more easily when under the guidance of a realized master, for that is the way that true prophetic transmission is received.

In Islam, the truth of one's Surrender to Allah is confirmed at the hand of the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings. And, in the Sufi way, this confirmation is extended through an unending chain of realized masters, who have completed their education in mystic (esoteric) realizations and religious (exoteric) studies, and have received acknowledgment for such in the form of a confirmation, or a "permission" to teach. This permission is from Allah and therefore inherently within all of us. 

This inherent capacity has also been recognized by the prophet himself. But its outward confirmation, its proof, activation, fulfillment of potential and maximum effect, is to be found only in the seeking, finding and learning from a living master or authorized representative. For how can you have your surrender and self-realization activated, recognized or confirmed by one who is not? 

True surrender is more than self-realization, even though self-realization is the beginning, the process and the goal. Self-realization is the process of healing the mental, emotional and spiritual difficulties inherent in life, and is prerequisite to gratitude and a soulfully motivated willingness to continue by acceptance of further studies.

After self-realization there is self-manifestation, which results from motivation, so there are choices to be made. Awareness of the field of possibilities and the processes by which choices are made will be expanded and the wisdom must be acquired in the process of learning to make better and more informed choices.

Without self-realization there cannot be love and gratitude, and love and gratitude (either the expression of or quest for) are the only true motivations for accepting Islam (surrender) and walking in the way of the Sufis. Fear and obligation will simply not last. 

So without healing there cannot be self-realization, and without self-realization there cannot be true responsibility, and without true responsibility there cannot be gratitude, and without gratitude there cannot be love, and without love there is no true motivation. And until all those truths are realized in one, one is not truly of whole mind and sound body, and is therefore neither required nor able to completely understand and accept the responsibilities of Islam.

So the healing - self-realization - is first. Then we are at least able to join the ranks of the rijal-ullah, the whole men and women of Allah. And willingness (himmah) comes from the soul.

So it is the duty of Muslims (surrendered and enlightened people) to enlighten (lighten the burden of) others, to help them unburden their souls and set themselves free. It is not, as is often assumed, to burden them by insisting that they share in some form of slavery to religion. A freed people will always come to the aid of their liberators.

Tasawwuf (Sufism) is the soul purifying power of accepting Surrender. Surrender, and the life in Surrender, is the purpose, manifestation and result of the true prophetic revelation. Tasawwuf is the power of Surrender to purify and to cleanse the soul of the dross and residues of mortal life.

In effect, what one is doing when making the prayers, is self-expressing (gratitude), and further cleansing and purifying one's soul by surrendering the heart, body and mind into a divine light, until it becomes so saturated with truth that there is nowhere left for falsehood, the driving illusions, to hide. But this is only for the people who want that. 

How can one be truly surrendered and still be all alone? Must it not be realized that there are others gone before and still more to come? It must be realized that surrender and mastery are a chain, and have a source. 

Will a truly surrendered person allow fear of authority to keep her from discovering the loving benefit to be had from a master? I think not. 

One may discover the love of Surrender on one's own, and many do. But the understanding of mastery - the permission to manifest it and the ability to transmit it - which is the fully fulfilled and manifested power of self-realization, comes only from having received it by such means.

So the search continues for a perfect master from whom to receive the transforming reality of "shaktipat", or "the master's touch". Such is the Sufi way and the way of the true Islam, the way of the truth and the Surrender to Allah, the One who is always true.

How to focus spirit - Dhikrullah! Hu! Hu! Hu!

The remembrance of God, to remember and remind (and lots of it), is the way to manifest. Dhikrullah (group and private remembrance practices) is the soul manifesting its truth. It is the soul manifesting its desire. It is the soul manifesting its desire to manifest. It is a manifestation of the desire of the soul to manifest and fulfill its intent. It is a manifestation of the desire of the soul to manifest and fulfill its intent to be fulfilled. It will be fulfilled. It wills to be fulfilled. It wills to be fulfilled because Allah wills it to will to be fulfilled. 

How can Surrender to Allah lead to anything but real fulfillment? How can it be anything but the real fulfillment?

The search for satisfaction or completion (of the mission) is based upon a feeling of emotional dissatisfaction, and not upon Reality. It is to the quest for emotional satisfaction that creation, the composite of the personal worlds of all souls, poses itself as a medium for fulfillment. Herein lies the distinction between Truth and illusion, but illusion is also truth. Or Reality and illusion, but illusion is also real, and it is in the reality of illusion that the dramas of life are played out. But in Truth, nothing is done.

So it is the emotional body (and the heart is the seat of the emotional body) that is doing the driving. But in Truth there is no emotional body, no driving, and nothing to be done because it is done already by Allah, in Truth! It our job to at least believe in this Truth, to recognize it and honor it, and to access it, using it as the true point of reference, as need occurs, and it does, often. And without this Truth, the point of life is lost, and so are souls. Hence the 'salvation' principle - the idea of 'saving' souls. And Islam (the religion of Surrender) is nothing if not about that.

Our 'world' is here as a place to manifest our soul's intent to know and experience itself fully. And when wasn't that so? Our fulfillment of that intent is in Surrender to it, but our Surrender is not to or for our illusory 'world', but only to and for God.

Only He is! So be He! 
Completely emerged
Completely fulfilled
Completely realized