A discussion of the possibilities for dialog between Islam and the West.
Most people who come to Sufism have preconceptions as well as questions about what Sufism is. What does the practice consist of and how will I learn and develop? Is there a detailed curriculum? Or hidden knowledge? What should I expect of my shaikh and what kind of relationship is possible? Some people might imagine [...]
In order that these practices should not become too mechanical, I sometimes suggest that a student begin with a clear intention to recite 100 of any zhikr with full presence. If you find yourself at some point having lost presence for more than one La illaha il Allah, for instance, begin again from the beginning. It is good to have tesbih beads for this exercise. Don't worry if you blank out for a second or two. Noone's concentration is perfect. But if you find yourself counting beads and you know that you have not been present for one or more beads, then start again.