Hazrat Inayat: Three Exercises, and the Light of Truth

Inayat young med modThere are three things which those who follow the inner cult use as exercises for spiritual attainment. One thing is concentration; another thing is contemplation; another thing is meditation.

Concentration is an exercise to train the mind to hold a certain object steadily, without wavering; and by the power of concentration there is nothing in the world that cannot be attained. But concentration is a very difficult exercise to accomplish; for the nature of the mind is such that when the mind takes something by itself–worry or trouble or a grudge against someone, or insult–it holds it without any effort; but when one desires to hold an object in mind for the sake of concentration, the mind acts like a restive horse. Once concentration is mastered, one has mastered life on earth.

Contemplation is not much different from concentration, the difference being only that in concentration the mind holds an object; in contemplation the object holds the mind. Concentration itself, when mastered, turns into contemplation. The contemplative person is he who easily holds in mind all he thinks about. The mystics contemplate upon the sacred names which signify the different attributes of God. By contemplating upon divine attributes man wakens the same attribute within himself, his heart reflects the light of that divine attribute which he contemplated upon.

Meditation is something different. It is a training of the mind not in activity but in passivity, the training of the mind to receive some inspiration, power or blessing from within. Meditation is more important and less difficult. The mystical temperament is a meditative temperament. The mureed who is receptive can benefit most from the contact with murshid. Therefore meditation is considered by Sufis the thing of the greatest importance in spiritual attainment.

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What every person thinks is a ‘fact.’ As soon as he realises the ultimate Truth, all the facts that appeared to him as Truth falls flat. They are like the leaves of a tree, they fall and new ones arrive.

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Truth has no sides. Truth is one mass of light, and on whichever part of knowledge it falls, it makes it clear.

5 Replies to “Hazrat Inayat: Three Exercises, and the Light of Truth”

  1. Sharifa

    Dearest Nawab, a truly beautiful image of our Master. I wonder how and when a meditative practice becomes a contemplative practice. Are wazifas and fikars contemplative practices? Thank you.
    Sending loving greetings,

    • Nawab Pasnak Post author

      Dearest Sharifa, the progression would be in the other direction, from contemplation to meditation. In concentration, we usually have a concrete target – we focus our mind upon some image, or we stare at some chosen object, such as a flower or a flying heart. In contemplation, the focus moves towards the abstract as we focus on qualities or feelings. Hazrat Inayat mentions Divine Names, which are all qualities, such as ‘kindness,’ or ‘beauty,’ or ‘justice.’ Meditation, on the other hand, means emptying the mind completely, and remaining blank, formless. When one comes to this state, it means self is forgotten.
      So, to answer the question, Wazifa and Fikar are contemplative.

        • Sharifa

          Dearest Nawab,
          I read the text and your answer and came up with another question. If the progression is from contemplation to meditation -according to your answer- and concentration itself, when mastered, turns into contemplation – according to the text- would the progression be from concentration to contemplation to meditation? I know this is not a mechanical process. I asked the question to have a sense of the exercises for spiritual attainment. Thanks you again,


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