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Reciting and meditating upon the "Beautiful Names" (Asmā' ulHusnā) of Allāh can be a very powerful and productive practice. This practice may be used to promote the conscious emergence and continual awareness of these "Divine Qualities" in one's own life as a means of connecting to and being a vehicle of the "Divine Presence".
Aside from a Zoom and Whatsapp account, you will also need the following to prepare for the course:
All recorded videos needed to prepare for the course as well as all other communication needs will be held over Whatsapp while all live online sessions will be held over Zoom.
For guidance in Arabic pronunciation, an audio sample will be provided. Please keep in mind that Arabic, much like English, is pronounced somewhat differently in different countries.
Each day, the schedule of sessions will be as follows:
The Arabic word "wazīfa" literally means assignment, duty, or daily ration and is commonly used to describe a Sufi practice of focusing the attention by means of recitation or meditation on a particular "Divine Quality" in order to allow that quality to be expressed more openly and more powerfully in one's day-to-day life.
The goal of wazīfa practice is to develop an intimate connection to these "Divine Qualities" and allow the qualities to be reflected openly and freely in your lives. All meditation and contemplation are taught with this purpose: "to harmonize one's innermost being with God, so that He is seeing, hearing, thinking through us, and our being is a ray of His light".
A common wazīfa practice is, for example, to use the "Beautiful Names" as part of a daily spiritual practice while deeply and powerfully imagining and feeling the successful expression of those "Divine Qualities" in one's own life experience.
When the divine quality is invoked in wazīfa practice, the prefix "yā" is commonly used, which is translated by the English expression "O", indicating that one is calling upon or invoking the power and glory of that specific attribute. For example, reciting "yā-nūr" as an invocation could be simply translated as "O Light", but thinking more deeply about the meaning and the intent of the invocation will often awaken a deeper personal meaning that might be something such as "O glorious Light of Divine Radiance, I humbly ask You to illuminate the path and show me the best way".
In this practice, depth is more important than quantity. The power of the words arises from the consciousness of one's intention. Without heartfelt intention and profound longing for success, mere repetition is pointless. Each of the "Names" is a drop that contains the entire ocean. Insha'allah (God willing), you will discover the "One" who lives in the heart of every name. All of creation is an outward expression of the "One Inner Presence".
The definitions of the "Divine Names", their translation and pronunciation, as offered on this course, are simply a starting point. They are mere fragments, pieces of a puzzle, awaiting your loving attention. By meditating on the essence of the multiple meanings of the Arabic roots from which each "Beautiful Name" is derived, one may discover deeply personal meaning and, thereby, learn how to most appropriately acknowledge and appreciate that specific quality in one's own life and in all of creation in every moment.
On any journey, an unfamiliar territory may be more easily traversed with the aid of an experienced guide and similarly, an experienced guide can be an invaluable aid in the study and use of wazīfa. The role of a spiritual guide is beautifully summarized in the Chandogya Upanishad (VI.14.1):
"As a man from Gandhara, blindfolded, led away and left in a lonely place, turns to the east and west and north and south and shouts "I am left here and cannot see!" until someone removes his blindfold and says "There lies Gandhara; follow that path." Thus informed, able to see for himself, the man inquires from village to village and reaches his homeland at last. Just so, my son, one who finds an illuminated teacher attains to spiritual wisdom."
Jalaluddin Rumi said:
"A friend is needed; travel not the road alone, take not thy own way through this desert! Whoso travels this road alone only does so by aid of the might of holy men."
Yet it is possible for the seeker to make the journey without a guide:
"Many ask, "Can one not take the direct road to God, without the help of a Teacher?" I say, "There is nothing impossible. A ladder is only a means to go from the ground floor to the upper floor; but if one can climb without a ladder, it is not impossible." As the ladder is a convenience, so the teacher takes the same place in the spiritual path." - Sangatha II, Riyazat, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
When one knows the destination, then the most suitable path may be rather obvious. However, since few people truly understand the destination and are unlikely to stumble upon the destination by taking random steps, most people will get better results with a guide. The real essence of the entire guidance issue is well summarized by the great Sufi teacher Abu Sa'id Khair who was asked about the steps required to reach the goal and he simply replied
"Between God and His seeker there is only one step, and that is the step out of one's self and into the Truth."
So, if you see how to accomplish that one step, then you don't need a guide. If you don't see how to do that, then a guide will be very useful. Fortunately, there is a teacher available in every moment, if one is awake enough to perceive the teaching. The "Almighty One" has sent many helpers, including the angels, prophets, saints, and masters; yet you must learn to hear, learn to see, learn to feel, and you must learn to overcome old habits so that you too are free to walk in harmony with the "Divine Will".
To those who expect the teacher to be a man, a man will bring the message; to those who expect the teacher to be a woman, a woman must deliver it. To those who call on God, God comes. To those who knock at the door of Satan, Satan answers. There is an answer to every call. To a Sufi, the teacher is never absent, whether he comes in one form or in a thousand forms, he is always one to him, and the same "One" he recognizes to be in all and all teachers he sees in his one teacher alone.
For a Sufi, the self within, the self without, the kingdom of the earth, the kingdom of heaven, the whole being is his teacher, and his every moment is engaged in acquiring knowledge. For some, the teacher has already come and gone, for others, the teacher may still come, but for a Sufi, the teacher has always been and will remain with him forever.
There are many possible paths; great progress may be made at the feet of a magnificent soul who has come to lead the way as a guide, one who has already overcome all greed, hate, anger, and lust, one who brings calm, understanding, and loving-kindness to every situation. If one cannot find such a guide, then another possible guide is the sincere spiritual seeker who has been treading the path, with favorable results, for many years. And if one cannot find such a guide, then yet another source of guidance will be found in the oral and written traditions of the great prophets, saints, and teachers. There truly is no shortage of ways to make progress, the "Divine Teachings" are everywhere.
Yet, as useful as a guide may be, the spiritual journey is ultimately a personal journey, a journey of direct personal experience of the "Divine". Guides, signposts, and maps are useful, but they can only lead one to the threshold of discovery. Beyond that threshold, one must go alone.
The Sufi teacher never wants his pupil to become an occultist or a great psychic or a man with great power. This does not mean that he will not become powerful, but the responsibility of the teacher is to develop the personality of the "mureed", that it may reflect God, that it may show God's qualities, and when that is done, then the responsibility of the teacher is over.
What Christ taught was, "Make your personality as it ought to be, that you may no more be the slave of the nature which you have brought with you, nor of the character which you have made in your life; but that you may show in your life the divine personality, that you may fulfill on this earth the purpose for which you have come."
On the spiritual journey, the matter of greatest importance is the direct personal experience of the "Divine Presence" through which one may selflessly express the "Divine", and these wazīfa practices, done with the utmost sincerity, devotion, perseverance, and loving-kindness can be valuable and powerful steps toward that goal. The task of the Sufi teacher is not to force a belief on a "mureed" but to train him so that he may become illuminated enough to receive revelations himself.
It must be understood that the path of discipleship, the path of initiation, is not such that the teacher gives some knowledge to his pupil, tells him something new which he has not heard before or shows him some miracle; if he does he is not a true teacher. Man is really his own teacher; in himself is the secret of his being, the teacher's word is only to help him to find himself.
The key to these practices is not found in the origin of the list but rather in the devotion, sincerity, and perseverance with which the seeker pursues the practices and approaches the threshold of discovery; one must be empty in order to be filled.
Born in Morocco and a 46th Generation Sufi, speaker of 5 languages, educated in the French system and holder of a bachelor's degree in finance, Sham lived for 20 years in California. After a successful career in real estate financing & restaurant operations, Sham has been called to live and learn from live masters from Hindu, Taoist, Sufi and Buddhist traditions in China and Morocco. In June 2017, he received authorization by his Taoist and Sufi masters to share and teach the techniques he learned.
Master Khalid was born in 1971 in Marrakech. He has taught Kototama, Qi Gong, Chakra yoga, Aikido, and Kyosho (art of self-defense). He was fortunate to have teachers who received their teaching directly from the source. He started Aikido at a very young age, 13 years old, and was able to draw all the secrets of this discipline to become today an Elkidoka with verified aptitudes. He is today a recognized aîkidoka with tested powers and skills. At the source of Aikido, there is Kototama, an art form which Master Khalid was able to discover inochi therapy and create his own art Aikishendo.
Master Carlo is a disciple of Nakazono.
This meditation retreat is held online. Koom Retreat and Training Center is based in Marrakesh, Morocco (GMT) and they will live-stream classes via Zoom which you can participate from the comfort of your home by just using your phone or computer.
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