Murshida Nuria Stephanie Sabato
A practice delivered by Murshida Nuria Stephanie Sabato at the International Sufi Movement Summer School 2010, Katwijk, Holland. Click on the audio file link below to listen or watch the video which also includes the object of concentration.
Play Audio of Concentration Practice (Length 30:50)
The following excerpt was read before Concentration Practice:
Reading: An Introduction to The Message in Our Time
by Hidayat Inayat-Khan
An impression is the shadow of external circumstances received through the five senses and traced automatically upon the screen of the mind, while will power is the energy which motivates the thought, enabling thereby a coordination of colors, shapes and lines, creating thereby an intelligible image.
Everything, which is perceived through the five senses, is stored deep down in the memory in a scattered form when not actively called upon. However, when wanted, all the pieces are again correctly re-assembled, reconstructing thereby the original image.
Concentration fixes the impressions received and also helps to secure the retention of thought, which obviously explains why memory is so dependent upon the correct observation of an image, as it also is dependent upon will power with regard to the creation of thought. And what is more, besides the impressions received through the five senses, there are much finer ones which vibrate within the feeling heart and, as a magnet can hold pieces of metal by the power of attraction, in the same way, thoughts may be steadily fixed in the concentrated mind by the magnetic power of the feeling heart.
Concentration may create positive or negative results, either intentionally or unintentionally according to whether the concentration is willingly directed, or whether one is obsessed by oneís own thinking. Obviously, if one is not able to delete unwanted thoughts, there is some danger of becoming a slave to the power of concentration. For this reason both holding and erasing, the two great applications of concentration, should be developed simultaneously.
The holding of a thought is constructive inasmuch as it helps to bring about inner strength and steadiness of mind, whereas the other power, the ability to delete unwanted entangled thoughts, helps to free the mind of worries and fears, and could be called de-concentration.
Besides inspiring images, the most uplifting subject of concentration may be found in the personalities of spiritual souls whom one idealizes and whose examples offer either creative or spiritual guidance. Whatever be the chosen ideal, it is the intensity of oneís devotion that shall affect the beauty of the achievement.
When opening oneís heart to God, and finding oneself face to face with the Divine Presence, at that very moment of self-redemption one realizes that what one thought to be oneself, was only an illusion, yet paradoxically, individual consciousness is at the same time Godís consciousness, like the drop of sea water which is just a drop and yet at the same time is the sea itself in an individualized form.