The Mirror of the Subtle Heart - Its Properties and Dynamics
Abū Ḥāmid al-Ġazālī
Abū Ḥāmid al-Ġazālī
We often refer to the subtle heart as the organ or faculty of spiritual perception and knowing, but what is the subtle heart, what are its properties, and how do we cultivate it? In his book “The Marvels of the Heart,” the great 11th century Sufi master Abū Ḥāmid al-Ġazālī explore these and other aspects of the subtle heart that apply, even in our time, to our spiritual practical and life. Drawing upon his teaching, our class will attend to special properties of the heart, the knowing of the heart, the unveiling of realities, dealing with negative impulses in the heart during zikr, and the rapidity of the heart’s changes.
Written lessons will be posted, along with pertinent practices (including an audio tape of the practice), every three weeks. This allows time to read, reflect, do the practices, ask questions or make online comments, and enter into a written dialogue with class participants from around the world as well as with Himayat. Participants can enter the class whenever it is convenient to do so and can print off the lessons and class material to review after the class ends.
Past Class Reviews:
“Some years ago a tape by Himayat inspired me with a practice that helped me open my heart more. When I met him years later I thanked him and he gave me a more detailed explanation that expanded my heart even more. Because he was so immediately Present and willing to pass on his knowledge so efficiently I decided to take his online class. He has made a deep dive into the teachings of ancient Sufis both known and unknown and unraveled translations into clear English. He finds amazing music and poetry to enhance understanding as well as adds his own commentary to the teachings. The lessons offer the freedom to share with other students around the world by reading each other’s written experiences with the very useful and simple practices he is offering and meeting three times on vide-conference. Himayat has a manner of modesty and non-judgement that is true to the mystic ideal and is able to bring a person deeply committed to the work into mystic states.”
Murshida Asha Greer, Sufi Ruhaniat International
"It is some years ago now, that I joined Himayat's online community, and I am deeply grateful for this connection. One thing which I really appreciate is the fact that he puts a lot of time and energy and love to condense the teachings in a digestible form and offers written material, where I can go back to certain points again and again, reread important quotes and explanations, make notes etc., which would be impossible with only audio or video teachings. Plus I love his practices, which have an amazing subtlety and variety and are drawn from the ancient Sufi tradition as well as our own lineage. And I feel greatly supported by the discussions with other participants and Himayat in the online forums. It helps to stay connected, to learn from other's experiences and insights, and also their struggles. And I appreciate Himayat's profound answers to our questions and his ability to address the question behind the obvious questions.
The Buddhists speak of three jewels on the path - the teacher, the teachings and the sangha (community of fellow seekers). All three are present in Himayat's courses."
Nurunnahar Dengg, Vienna, Austria, the Inayatiyya
“There are many reasons I signing up for Himayat’s online classes: the inspiring readings we contemplate and discuss, the exquisite accompanying meditations, the camaraderie of fellow travelers on the path from around the globe, the many “flashes” and “openings” along the way.
Our “classroom” experiences together – spaces of nuance, subtlety, beauty, and new understandings – demonstrate the fresh revelations held in each moment as described by one of the greatest Sufis, Ibn al-Arabi. These studies exercise the mind and nourish the soul.
Lakshmi Barta-Norton, Providence, Rhode Island, the Inayatiyya
"Part of the explorations Himayat leads bring out the great truths of the ancient Sufis and introduce core concepts of these deep esoteric teachings. Such teachings are difficult to grasp without a guide whose teaching supports and encourages deeper attunement and understanding of their wisdom. A guide is needed who has deeply experienced these truths in their own path, and who can articulate them. I have found great inspiration for my own path in these classes, and hopefully a foundation is beginning to develop in me for delving much more deeply into this wisdom in the future.
The virtual community that develops from this is a great service and holding for spiritual life. The classes become portals that connect, sustain, hold and contain the immensity of our spiritual awakening. We are fortunate to live in an age where such wisdom can be shared so widely."
Sylvia Surya Mann, London, England, the Inayatiyya
“I have participated in several of Himayat’s on-line classes. I find these classes to be very enriching, adding to my growth, awakening and the repository of my spiritual heart. Himayat is an experienced and deep scholar of Sufi Mysticism with a brilliant yet practical mind. Through these classes, participants are guided into the depth of the wisdom of some of the ancient Sufis, many of whom I was unaware of. One thing I love is that Himayat pulls the diamond essence from among thousands of pages of writings of these great Sufis, giving to me teachings that I would never have the time to find or read on my own! The class format is elegant simplicity, first presenting pure teaching, then through commentary revealing secrets hidden in those teachings, and finally offering “motivational attunements” (i.e. practices) allowing us to dive into the depth of the teaching and have our own experience.
Himayat, provides audio instructions for each practice, periodic video Zoom calls to clarify or discuss the teachings and there is also room for participants to share their insights and comments or ask questions via a class ‘blog’. During the class I feel that Himayat holds each of its members in his heart and keeps us engaged through regular communication – he does not just post a class and then ‘checkout’, he is somehow aware and with us all the way through. The classes are easy to access from any device and allow me to work at my own pace. I very much enjoy them.
There is quote from our current class I’d like to share as relevant to what I feel we are doing together in these classes, it comes from Ahmad Sam’ani : ‘the experienced must sit next to the experienced, speaking about the grief and happiness of this talk, for both know the worth of the work.’
Pir Moinuddin Clarke, Fraternity of Light
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