Tag Archives: Trust

“Four Breaths” by Hasan Askari

FOUR BREATHS

by Hasan Askari

(Alone to Alone: From Awareness to Vision)

One may concentrate on an idea that connects oneself to the whole of the cosmos and which heightens and deepens one’s self, and at the same time start gently and wholeheartedly breathing within. Which is so important and effective, idea or breathing in, depends upon one’s crucial choice in attention. By accompanying the act of inhaling with attention one touches the fringe of the life of the idea, its universal power and joy.

First however is the breath of purification, of burning away all that is dense and hard, all that is alien.

Second is the breath of returning from the outer limits, from the six directions of front and behind, right and left, above and below, it is a breath of returning to the seventh point, the centre within.

The centre is also the sphere; as a centre it is eternity, and as a sphere it is infinity.

Third is the breath of ascent to one’s archetype remembering that one’s form here below is an image.

The archetype is both the Self and the Cosmos, after the analogy of centre and sphere.

Fourth is the breath of adoration at the appearance of vision before the innerly directed eye, before the thought in rest, stable and gentle.

This discourse has nothing to do with one’s physical and psychological well-being. If one feels physically and psychologically healthy, that is a very minor reward. The relation of the exercise to the life of this world consists in ingathering the positive and helpful forces. The rest, its greater part, lies above consciousness, above the imaging faculty.

However, valuable, whatever be the authority on which they rest, all techniques of self-development in their elaborate rules and details, without the simplicity and willingness to surrender before the Great Work that goes on above our knowledge, are a burden keeping the novice under one illusion after another.

Pay attention to the idea, and hold it invisibly, its wonder and beauty hidden from one’s ordinary sight. Remember how one sows the seed, and hides it, and waits in trust.

Towards Unity

from ”Alone to Alone” by Hasan Askari (1932-2008) published 1991

The very idea of unity is a step towards self unification, towards unity of all that is, which carries within its simplicity the secrets of universal communication and sympathy.

The path that opens up towards self unification leads also to intuitive and revelatory experiences bringing along with them a transparency and a power, a knowledge which results from the abolition of all dichotomies: subject and object, I and you, here and there, now and then, inner and outer, far and near.

The world is then seen as a reflection of multiple dimensions, domains, presences. A great unrest may follow. One may require a guide at this stage.

Time is then multiplied moving, as though, in a circle. The difference between eternal recurrence and eternal “now” might disappear. Great confusion may set in. One prays now for grace.

A power unknown in its might and scope is brought near, a power all the time within us and before us, and yet hidden, the power of the unembodied over the body, of control and direction without physical means, so sacred that is calls for humility and renunciation of all power.

Those who practice patience wait in trust, and those who cannot contain what they have known and seen go mad. Those who combine both the states are the dervishes who whirl with ease and intensity around an invisible axis. Their secret is hidden.

BABA NIZAMUDDIN! BABA NIZAMUDDIN!

By Syed Hasan Askari from his book “Alone to Alone”

“It was winter. What is winter, she used to ask, and what could one say about it. It is sheer negation, a moving away from the sources of warmth.

North East India. The middle of the thirteenth century. A period of widespread upheaval and powerful manifestations. A century of the rise of Ghengiz Khan and the Mongol Hordes, and also a time shared by such great mystics as Francis of Assisi and ‘Attar of Nishapur, Ibn ‘Arabi and Mere Angelique, Rumi and Dogen.

A small town on the Gangetic plain. A mother and a child in a room without wood, without coal, without any means, without proper clothes, without adequate blankets for the cold season.

It was winter. There was poverty.

What is winter, she used to ask, and what could one say about it. It is a returning to one’s own self, to another fire and warmth, a compelling invitation to rethink our humanity.

Mother and child. There was an air of gratitude about them, between them.

She did not look at winter. She looked at one of the faces of God. The child looked at the face of his mother.

It was winter. It was also a Word from Him, she used to say to herself, and her face used to glow as if she were facing the sun on a warm summer day.

There was poverty. She was one of those few who knew that particularly in poverty God’s providence was beyond measure.

Nizamuddin Auliya was one of the well-known Sufi masters of India. He passed away in 1325. A contemporary of Dante, Amir Khusru, Eckhart, Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, Muso Kokushi and Haji Bekuash. Nizamuddin’s shrine is in Delhi, and has been a source of inspiration, over all these centuries, both for the seekers and the pilgrims.

When Nizamuddin was asked how and when it was that he first experienced the spark of divine love within himself, he said: First the spark of trust lights the lamp of joy, and then we discover that we are in the mansion of His Love. Then he recalled his childhood: It was a long time ago. My father passed away when I was a small child. My mother had no means of her own. Sometimes we used to get up in the mornings during winter to discover that there was nothing in the house, not even a piece of wood or coal to boil water. It was on one of those mornings that my mother used to come up to me while I was still all huddled up in some sort of blanket with lots of patches and holes, and say to me: “Wake up!” Then, after a pause, I used to hear, amidst all that poverty when we had nothing in our house, not even a loaf of bread, my mother saying to me:

“Baba Nizamuddin! Wake up! We are guests on this day in the House of God!”.  And she used to glow with joy, and her hands were warm while she lifted me and held me in her arms. It was my mother who initiated me upon the path of trust and joy, who liberated me once for all from the slavery to the seasons and the conditions of this world.”

The Seven Steps

 
THE SEVEN STEPS  

by Hasan Askari from his book “Alone to Alone”

 There are seven steps: Testimony(“tasdiq”). Trust (“tawakkul”). Patience (“sabr”). Gratitude (“shukr”). Remembrance (“zikr”). Love (“hub”) and Gnosis (“irfan”).

When one knows, one loves; when one loves, one remembers; when one remembers, one is grateful; when one is grateful, one learns to be patient, and it is the proof that one trusts; and when one trusts, one has given a true testimony.

Gratitude is faith. It is the cornerstone. It is the bridge. Without gratitude there is no strength in patience and no pleasure in remembering. Gratitude is for both material and spiritual gifts, but there is another far higher gratitude, gratitude to the Supreme who is all possessing and yet, what is in reality His, He calls it ours.

Gnosis results in love. Love is remembrance of the object of love. When true gnosis is there every other step follows effortlessly. The begining and the end are connected without break or interval.

 Trust in the unseen is the reliable proof of a testimony being true. If there is no trust as such, testimony in any form is false.