SIMILARITIES BETWEEN SUPHISM AND YOGA
United States of America; Thursday, 8 p.m., many people are on their knees, praying: In the name of the Infinite Compassion and Kindness, in the name of the Source of Life.
There is a deep silence, in which you can almost feel a touchable presence filling the room. Lets focus on our breath.
Outside, the wind is strongly blowing on Vermont hill. Inside, an experiment continues it has been practiced here for 15 years time travel into the future and, at the same time towards the source of creation.
But it still is full of uncertainties, for which you sometimes have to rely on old and incomplete maps. Thus, we must always find the balance between tradition and present times, between what is ideal and what is real.
Now, when the spiritual brotherhood is taken for sects, when spiritual leadership is taken for tyranny and obedience for undiscriminating abandon, the sheikh Kabir Helminski (representative of the Mevlevi Order, founded by the poet Jalaluddin Rumi), encourages those unknown or wrongly understood values for guiding and transforming a spiritual group.
The wise man’s examples are derived from the suphit experience, within whose aim to awaken the Divine Essence in their own being. The observations are generally valuable for other authentic spiritual paths as well (among which yoga).
A DISCIPLE’S MATURITY IS LIKE MILK THAT BECOMES YOGHURT
A proverb says that if a log cannot burn well enough by itself, then for sure burning more of them will produce a big fire. A group, any kind of group, generates energy but its future depends on the quality of the energy and on its use for one purpose or another it may become a noisy crowd, a cult, or a spiritual group.
In the West a manage by yourself culture has been developed and in our deep selves we believe that we can achieve almost anything we want. But, sometimes we ignore the fact that we lack objectivity and knowledge when we are not focused on our true selves.
We might imagine that for spirituality we only need some good intentions and guide lines that must be followed. But, in Sufism, an aspirants maturation is like milk that becomes yogurt: you need the milk, the culture of bacterium, the proper temperature and all the time you need.
All of us can have the milk prepared but whether it becomes good or bad yogurt depends on certain facts and not on the existence of a small quantity of this culture of bacteria.
Similarly, any authentic spiritual school is founded on the fact that once somebody had a brilliant idea and made it known. Lacking this mental state, a group is not likely to succeed.
There isnt any sufi group that isn’t directly guided or connected to a man who has authentic spiritual experience, that has united his own existence with the Supreme Being and that has removed the veil between his mind and his heart.
A human reaches complete spiritual maturity and harmonizes itself with the universe by transcending the ambitions and satisfactions of this ephemeral world, and also the subtle blockages generated by self-satisfaction. All these must be burnt because their absence will create a life style deeply marked by a continuous union with the Supreme Being.
Each man can reach this level but most of them are overwhelmed by their karma, consequently living in an unconscious and decadent addiction to their own whishes, fears and self-images.
A group may become a source of confusion, misunderstandings and fruitless wandering unless it is wisely guided by a spiritualy advanced person. But the group can be protected from all these, if it possesses and applies the information and knowledge of an authentic tradition.
In order to encounter this alchemical process of transmutation, it needs a being that can release the energies and of the divine grace. The western culture does not cultivate the respect and abnegation that characterize the relationship between a spiritual master and his disciple in the traditional paths towards enlightenment.
In the East, the presence of the spiritual Master is considered necessary, as he is thought to be the gate and the way to God.