May 222015
 

Contact:

Sufi Therapy Counselling

Email: sufitherapy@gmail.com

Phone: 226-978-2627

English Web Sites

www.sufitherapy.ca   and www.sufitherapy.net

Turkish Web Site

www.sufiterapi.net

FARUK ARSLAN

I am using a holistic Sufi Mindfulness approach, including mind, body and spirit in healing approaches. Topics normally addressed in therapy include depression, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflict, self-esteem and confidence, grief, anger, lack of focus, communication, motivation, trauma and abuse, childhood dysfunction, stress, inner conflict, managing behaviour, insomnia, eating disorders, psychosomatic issues, and parenting challenges.

My qualifications, degrees and work experience include:

Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, 2014 , currently registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers (RSW) and and Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) , have worked in many social service agencies in various capacities.

Mind Over Therapy as branch of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), 2013, trained by 27 years experienced therapist, and trained at the Stratford General Hospital in Stratford, Ontario.

Solution Focused Therapy and Signs of Safety, 2013, trained as Children Protection\ Intake Worker at Children and Family Services of Brant in Brantford, Ontario.

Cultural Sensitivity Training at Six Nations Reserve, March 2013, Ohsweken, Ontario.

CBR at Social Planning Toronto, Newcomer Women Centre, Toronto, 2012.

Mock Disaster Course Certificate, Network Ideas, 2007, Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario.

Honours Bachelors in Sociology, Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, 2011, Toronto, Ontario.

Social Service Worker Diploma, 2008, Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario.

Director of Interfaith Affairs, 2006-2011, Intercultural Dialog Institute, Toronto, Ontario.

Export Manager, 2003-2006, Astra Canada Pulses Inc., Regina, Saskatchewan.

Community Organizer, 2000-2003, Sunrise education Trust, Toronto, Ontario.

 

“Psychotherapy is about comforting the disturbed, and disturbing the comfortable”

Fees for Services

Cost of individual treatment is $100 per hour, no GST. Payment is due at the time of service, payable by cheque or cash, unless otherwise arranged.  Sessions must be face to face, I respond prompt questions through emails.

Many private health plans cover individual and family counselling with a registered social worker (RSW) and Psychotherapist with Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW),  Ontario, Canada.  I am a Registered Social Worker (RSW)  and having Master of Social Work (MSW). Counselling services by a registered social worker can now be claimed as a medical expense tax deduction with your income tax return.

Individual treatment sessions cost $100 per hour. Payment is due at time of service, payable by cheque or cash.

Hours of Operation:

Hours of Operation:

Monday       9-11 am

Wednesday  1-4 pm

Friday          10-12 am

Saturday      12 – 6 pm

Sunday           12 – 6 pm

24 hours is required for cancellation of appointments, otherwise full fee will be charged.

Sufi Mindfulness Group Therapy Sessions ( It is not offered in 2015).

Winter and Spring 2014 Sufi Class Schedules and Fees:

Adult Beginner Wednesday   1:00-3:00 pm January 15 – March 26 11 weeks $165
Adult Intermediate Thursday 1:00-3:00 pm January 16 – March 27 11 weeks $180
Adult Experienced Saturday2:00- 4:00 pm Apr 12 – Jun 28 11 weeks $200
Teenager Beginner13-21 Thursday 7:45- 9:45 pm Apr 10 – Jun 26 11 weeks $150
Children 7-12 yrs. Friday   5:00-7:00 pm Apr 8 – Jun 13 10weeks   $70

New people are welcome to try one class anytime for $10 and see if it’s right for you ($8 for teens, $5 for children). If interested in continuing, payment is then due for the remainder of the session. Missed classes can be made up by attending one of the other classes during the same session.

Contact:

Sufi Therapy Counselling

Email: sufitherapy@gmail.com

Phone: 226-978-2627

English Web Sites

www.sufitherapy.ca   and www.sufitherapy.net

Turkish Web Site

www.sufiterapi.net

BİREYSEL SUFİ TERAPİ FİYATI:

Kanada’nın Ontario Eyalet’inde Psikoterapist ve Sosyal Çalışmacı olarak çalışan Masterlı terapistlerin denetim için üye olmak zorunda olduğu the Ontario College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers (RSW) ve Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) kurumlarının üyesiyim.

İnternet üzerinden görüntülü seanslarla ve sorulara email üzerinden verdiğim anlık cevaplarla  Türklere yönelik yaptığım terapide Ücretim bir defalık 100 Kanada doları, 200 TL dir. Bireysel rapor ve kişisel analiz çıkarılması için  Özel Sufi Assessment soruları yolluyorum. Daha sonra Psikososyolojik Analiz için tercihe göre yazılı veya görüntülü görüşmede epey sorular soruyorum. Bunları aldıktan sonra  görüntülü olarak 50 dakikalık başka bir seans görüşme yapmamız gerekebilir. Burada neden terapi almak istediğinizi net konuşuyoruz.
Sufi terapi facebook hesabına üye olursanız, oradan kameralı görüşebiliriz. Bu sadece bireysel terapi almak isteyenler içindir.
Bunların hepsini yaptıktan sonra size bir rapor çıkartıp, galip esmanızı belirleyip, kişisel zikir verme aşamasına geçebiliriz. Ödeme rapor ve galibi esma verilme sırasındadır, yani en sondadır. Sadece PayPal üzerinden ödeme kabul edilmektedir, kredi kartı kullandırmıyorum. PayPal hesabı olmayanlar kolayca yeni açıyorlar, bu İnternet’de en güvenli ödeme biçimidir.
Eğer terapi üç seanstan fazla sürecek yoğunlukta ise yeniden konuşmamız  gerekiyor. Zira daha derin sorunlarınıza ineceğiz.
ÜCRETSİZ  SUFİ TERAPİ

Aşağıdaki genel bilgi, newsletter ve 1. seansla ilgili dosyalar bulunuyor, bunu isteyen herkese gönderdim, gönderiyorum, sitelerimdende ulaşılabiliyor.  Böylelikle kamu eğitimi, ‘public education’  yapıyorum, genel terapi almak tamamen ücretsizdir. 10 hafta boyunca her Cuma seanslar, newsletter sürecektir ve bundan yararlanan kimseden ücret talep edilmeyecektir. Sufi terapi email listemde binlerce insan bulunuyor, sorulara anlık cevap versemde yakından ilgilenmem kişisel dosya açmama bağlıdır. Haftalık kapasitem azami 60 müşteridir.

Ey Dost!

İlk Sufi mektubumuz 24 sayfa oldu, PDF olarak herkesin açabileceğini umut ediyorum. Türkçe’nin yanısıra İngilizce olanıda koydum.

sufiterapinewsletter1English

sufiterapinewsletter1Türkçe

Birincisi, mutlaka göndereceğiniz İngilizce bilen bir tanıdık vardır. Kanada’da hapishanelerde bu Sufi newsletter’ı kullanacağımız için içeriği Türkçesinden biraz farklı hazırlandı. Namaz niyazı, dua öğretme, tebliğ amacı da taşıyor. Sufi Terapi, tebliğ insanı ve müslümanın 7 vasfını öğretiyor, 7 farklı ego, ‘the self’ tanımı yaparak ve farklı terbiye metodları sunarak Batılıların güya bilimsel, objektif, pozitif bilme dayanan Psikoterapi anlayışını epey aşıyor.

İkinci önemli uyarım ekte gördüğünüz Excelde takip çizelgesidir. 10 hafta boyunca günlük yaptığınız zikirleri yazınız, yapmadı isenizde yapamadım diye yazınız. Duygu ve düşünce çizelgesini ve kendinize not vermeyi nasıl dolduracağınızın modelini koydum. Bu çok önemli. 10 Hafta sonra bunu doldurmazsanız, kişisel analiz raporu ve bireysel zikir çıkarmam zorlaşır.

TAKİP

Üçüncüsü, İsmi azamları, bela, fitne ve şer zamanı okunan yeni kunut duasını ve Allahümme Zıdna duasını ezberlemeniz gerekiyor. Elbette hayatınıza uygulamanızı ve adet haline getirmenizi hedefliyorum.

ZİKİR VE DUA TAKVİMİ kısaltılmış

Dördüncüsü, bazı zikirlerin rakamları konusunda ulema arasında ihtilaf çıktı. Kulubudaria’nın ilk baskısı ve son baskısı arasında da rakmlar değişik. Son baskıyı dikkate alarak değişiklikleri yansıttım. Ekte iphoneda kolay indirmeni için tek sayfa PDF olarak koydum.

ZİKİR VE DUA TAKVİMİ kısaltılmış

Beşincisi ilk terapi seansının özeti şudur: Şiir, nesir, nazım yazdırarak veya bunlara kabiliyetiniz yoksa günlük tutturarak kendizi tanımanıza yardımcı olacağım. Okuma ödevlerini veriyorum ve yazarak kalıcı getiririyor, ayrıca ne öğrendiğinizi anlamaya çalışıyorum.

Sufi terapi 1. Seansının özeti: Yaşamınızdaki mevcut bazı aktiviteleriniz, duygu ve düşünceleriniz sizi depresyona sürüklüyor. Bunları teşhis etmemiz ve neleri kontrol ve baskı altına alıp, hangi depresyon unsurlarını azaltabileceğimizi beraber anlayacağız. Herşeyi kontrol ve baskı altına almak isterseniz depresyon tuzağına düşersiniz. Sizin için daha anlamlı olan bir yaşam talebiniz var. Öncelikli kontrol edemediğiniz konularla vakit ve enerji kaybetmeye ihtiyacınız yok. Sağlıklı yaşam için değiştiremeyeceğiniz alanlarda kabullenmek ilk basamaktır. Mesela evliliğinizde yaşadığınız sorunları kabul ederek, hangi alanlarda değişiklik yaparsam depresyon yaşamam diye kendi kalbinize sormalısınız. Öfkeleniyorsunuz ve sonuç alamayacağınızı bildiğiniz halde tartışıyorsunuz. İkinci basamak seçim yapmak zorundasınız, davranış tarzınızı seçebilirsiniz.

Üçüncü basamak için seçtiğiniz davranış tarzını uygulamalı, aksiyona dökmelisiniz. Kısaca üç kelime. Kabullenme, Seçim ve Aksiyon…

Adım: Değişim için bir Zemin Oluşturma: Yaşadığınız depresyon, sizin halen yaşadığınız hayatla ilgili sorunu çözmenizi engelliyor, kulağınızla duyduğunuz ile içinizde yaşadığınız arasında kopukluk var. Ne yapabilirim diyorsanız, küçük bir örnek veya tavsiye vereyim. Eşinize en son ne zaman çiçek aldınız veya eşinizi dışarıda başbaşa bir yemeğe çıkardınız? Küçük adımlarla değişime zemin hazırlıyoruz. Bunlardan birini yapın, eşinizin size karşı yumuşadığını ve farklı davrandığını göreceksiniz.

Adım: Depresyonu Atma ve Diri Yaşama Giriş: Arzu ettiğiniz yaşama giriş yapmanızı engelleyen hoş olmayan gerçekleri bir kenara bırakmalısınız. Eşinizle yeni bir tartışma yaşarsanız daha önce düşündüğünüz veya davrandığınız gibi değil de bu sefer daha farklı davranın ve düşünün. Mesela ya susun, dinleyin eşinizi veya öfkenize hakim olamıyorsanız yan odaya geçin, bir abdest alın, rahatlayın. Ayakta iseniz oturun, oturuyorsanız yatağa uzanın, yatakta iseniz dua okuyun. Bunları yapabileceğinize inanın.

Adım: Dayanma Gücü için Sorumluluk Alma: Yeni bir plan yapıyor ve yeni bir strateji geliştiriyorsunuz. Özetle geçmişte yapmış olduğunuz, öğrendiğiniz bazı şeyleri farklı yapmayı öğreniyor, depresyona dayanma gücünüzü sorumluluk alarak artırıyorsunuz.  Bu bir kendi kendine yardım etme yöntemi. Nefsinizle başbaşasınız, zafiyet gösterdiğiniz anda depresyon tekrar hayatınıza sızar ve gelecekte de sizi rahatsız edebilir. Eğer yeni davranış tarzınıza destek olacak bir güç merkezi kalbinizde oluşturmazsanız, depresyon tekrarlayabilir. Tekrarlaması normaldir, hemen umutsuzluğa kapılmayın. Bu sorunu aşmak için bazı mücadele stratejilerini birlikte tanımlayacağız ve farkındalık meydana getiren pozitif, olumlu Sufi davranış kurallarını özümseyeceğiz. Bunun için zaten her hafta yeni dualar verecğim ve bazı Sufi sözleri hayat felsefesi haline getireceksiniz.

Altıncısı, personal karakter, anne ve baba adına, doğum  günü e evlilik tarihine göre Ebced sistemiyle hesaplanıp zikir verilmesi, galip esmanın bulunması sonraki aşamadır. 10 haftalık terapi seansları sonrası beş alanda soracağım sorularla  ve Excel dosyanızı inceleyerek kişisel Sufi analizi çıkartacağım . Bunu mütakip bireysel esma belirlenecektir.

Yedincisi, Bir günde email gönderme limiti olduğu için listemdekilerin yarısına bugün, yarısına Cuma gitmiş olacak. Sufiterapi facebook ve aynı isimle twitter hesapları açıldı. Gerekli duyuru, hafta içi ek terapi sözleri buradan paylaşılacaktır. Bu email bundan sonraki başka bir iletişim aracımızdır. Mümkün olduğu kadar her soru sorana cevap vermeye çalışıyorum. Yetişmekte zorlanıyorum. Eğer yolladığım email ikinci defa geliyorsa bildirin, bazıları sanırım emalini iki üç defa verdi, listeye double double girdi.

Son hatırlatma, 10 haftalık terapiye katılmak ücretsizdir, elbette her birey üzerinde yoğunlaşmam halinde emek  ve zaman harcama gerektiren bu kişisel Sufi raporu ve bireysel zikirleri  almak küçük bir ücrete tabi olacaktır..

 

Selam ve Dua ile…

 

Faruk Arslan

 

MSW, RSW, Psikoterapist

May 222015
 

A HEART-BASED SUFI MINDFULNESS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

EMPLOYING SELF-JOURNEYING

By Faruk Arslan

Abstract:

Spiritual Psychology is the study and practice of the art and science of the human evolution of consciousness. The heart occupies an important place in Sufism and is considered to contain the divine spark that leads to spiritual realization. Fethullah Gülen’s action-oriented Sufi methods described in his book series “The Emerald Hills of the Heart” provides the basis for a heart-based therapeutic intervention through self-journeying, which is the objective of this thesis. These self-purification and mindfulness-related transpersonal methods generate a form of treatment that is culturally sensitive. Through my reflections in this research, I transformed my personal experiences into a transpersonal narrative by writing 80 poems in 80 days, and this output, along with Gülen’s teaching methods, techniques and spiritual practices formed the source of my intellectually generated data, and the basis for the new therapy model. It took two forty-day periods in two different cultures—Canada and Turkey— to reach the necessary divine knowledge for discovering the innate power of the spirit. The journey involved seeking freedom from the ego, or the lower self, in order to reach self-awareness and a conception of how to use the self. I also categorized seven different levels of development of the soul, representing the levels or stages of the self, ranging from absolutely self-centered and egotistical to pure spiritual human perfection. My examination of the two forty day periods revealed the seven categories of thankfulness, purity of intention, reflection, patience, truthfulness, trustworthiness and presentation. From these I developed a model for ten weeks of therapy for a specific population. This thesis presents my journey in Fethullah Gülen’s Sufi path and an emerging model for a heart-based Sufi mindfulness spiritual practice. In this research, I propose a faith/spirituality-based model of heart-centred psychotherapy rooted in the spiritual philosophy, psychology and discipline of Fethullah Gülen’s practice.

Key words: Sufism, Fethullah Gülen, mindfulness, self-observation, the self, thankfulness, purity, sincerity, truthfulness

sufiterapifarukarslan

This paper presents my journey in Fethullah Gülen’s Sufi path and the emerging model for a heart-based Sufi mindfulness spiritual practice. In this research, I propose a faith/spirituality-based model of heart-centred psychotherapy rooted in the spiritual philosophy, psychology and discipline of Fethullah Gülen’s practice. Many people suffer from mental and spiritual shortcomings among some Muslim populations, especially in the Hizmet Movement in Canada and abroad. In fact, humanity’s spiritual nature and needs are often ignored; psychology and social work systems have traditionally had little positive regard for the concepts of soul and spirit in solving problems of depression, streess and anxiety (Cunningham, 2006, p 63). Clinicians, social workers, doctors and other health researchers and educators overlook experiential research based on the perspective of positivism and objectivism, and they mostly use the medical model to justify treatment of client needs. The legislation guides this intervention, but in a very constricted way and allows only a euro-centric theoretical perspective to guide social workers’ interventions in this area. Existing theories address poorly the real problems that the client group faces. Current Canadian legislation and policy structure are unable to meet clients’ needs. In my opinion, counselling changes are needed to address the impact of power relations on the service structure. The medical model must recognize and use an alternative talking cure, using in particular the Sufi mindfulness and spitirual practice models outlined in this thesis. These models should be included in policy, legislation and existing service structures, because of the way that spirituality can alter the world, client experience and the social worker. I would like to offer a Sufi path and an emerging model for a heart-based Sufi therapy, and suggest its potential use in spiritual psychology and social work.

What is Sufism?

Sufism is a lovely, light-giving, and spiritual truth known under various terms: tariqa (spiritual order or way), sainthood (being God’s friend), initiation, and following a spiritual order or way (Nursi, 2007, p. 426). Sufis are convinced, through the pleasure and enlightenment received and the ability of spiritual discovery acquired, that the Sharia’s commands and principles are of Divine origin and the truth (Nursi, 2007, p.427). In Islam, “Sufism is the path followed by individuals who, having been able to free themselves from human vices and weaknesses in order to acquire angelic qualities and conduct pleasing to God, live in accordance with the requirements of God’s knowledge and love, and experience the resulting spiritual delight that ensues” (Gülen, 2006, p. xii). Spiritual Psychology is the study and practice of the art and science of human evolution in consciousness. Spiritual practice is a prominent spiritual tradition, enhancing the socio-psychological well-being of a large number of people, not only in Islam, but also in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and many other belief systems. In fact, many of our social work clients have spiritual beliefs that are of great importance to them, but Canadian human services, including social work, psychology and psychiatry, have become the places most commonly turned to in times of crisis, inheriting a role that was once reserved for priests and ministers. Social workers are being challenged to honor the spiritual issues woven into the concerns clients bring to them (McKernan, 2005). Spiritual orientations and practices provide freedom from the self and the ego. Spiritual psychotherapy has been gaining in popularity and acceptance within the mental health services, offering alternative healing methods and extending the range of therapeutic interventions in social work practice.

A modern day Sufi master, Fethullah Gülen, accepted afresh the thinking of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi (the greatest Sufi master in the 13th century), and started a social movement called “Hizmet” in the 1960s. In this research, I provide a faith/spirituality-based model of heart-centred psychotherapy, which is rooted in the philosophy and practice of Gülen’s spirituality used within the Hizmet Movement.

The purpose of this research is to study the roots of Fethullah Gülen’s Sufi path as found in his Sufi masterpiece “Kalbin Zumrut Tepeleri” (hereafter referred to as The Emerald Hills of the Heart) in which preference is given to the well-being and happiness of the other, providing solutions to depression, strees and anxiety problems. Gülen doesn’t accept that he is a Sufi master, but Gülen’s way of living can be described as a Sufi life-style. As an individual he provides a transpersonal sincerity approach which is an inclusive, holistic model of practice, enabling the social work practitioner to provide clients “a bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework for personal empowerment, development, and growth” (Cowley, 1996, p.66). The research also includes an account of self-journeying experiences with a transpersonal narrative because Gülen’s Sufism texts are complex and complicated, difficult to understand, and need to be simplified to extract useful techniques and guidelines for spiritual practice and psychotherapy. My interpretation of Gülen’s teaching methods, techniques and spiritual practices offers spiritual-transformational work for the healing of soul and spirit.

My interpretation of Gülen’s Sufi writings includes the use of poetry as a social innovation method and mindfulness as a means of making use of my poetical writings for reflexive analysis. My contribution provides a context for Spiritual discipline in therapy, and extracts 40 key concepts of Sufism from more than 250 concepts, which can be related to this Sufi therapy and personal healing method. Examining Gülen’s action-oriented Sufi therapy provides a heart-based intervention through true self-purification and mindfulness-related transpersonal methods, which in turn generate a form of treatment based on culturally sensitive methods of healing. Spiritual teaching as an Eastern therapy model has already found its place in the curriculum of many medical schools in the Western world (Sims 1994, Puchaski, 2001, p. 4-5). Sufi spiritual practice provides significant guidelines for social work among specific client populations because Sufism offers collected wisdom transmitted down through the centuries.  Through use of this wisdom, a person can proceed towards a transformed mentality and obtain a deeper love, more positive character traits and courage in order to work for the improvement of society (Michel, 2005, p. 347).

Similar to Sufism, the science of Spiritual Psychology and social work concentrate on the heart, but Sufism also respects the body and mind. For Sufis, the heart is the source of human truth as it is the centre for all emotions, intellectual and spiritual faculties. Spiritual health of the heart is vital for the health of the whole body and that is the basis of the heart-based Sufi mindfulness therapy.  Transpersonal, or “beyond the personal,” is a term apparently independently introduced by William James and C.G. Jung to refer to spiritual experience (Krippner, 1998). The transpersonal method pushes the boundaries of structural social work in ways that that can be seen as postmodern, possibly even as post-structural constructivism (Linehan, 1993). As a therapy approach or orientation, transpersonal practitioners are concerned with bridging psychology and spirituality, either by directly facilitating spiritual growth, or by attempting to facilitate the healthful integration of spiritually-referenced experiences into adaptive psychological adjustment (Hutton, 1994; Walsh, 1992). Expanded use of transpersonalism in social work practice may grow out of an understanding of the context, content, and process of transpersonal psychotherapy (Vaughan, 1979, p.144).

First of all, my study focused on the way Gülen, as my Sufi master, facilitated my healing with his civil, moral, and holistic engagement model through his Sufi writings. The new Sufi therapy model that I propose may offer a new pathway to social altruism with the potential to alter the culturally sensitive alternative personal therapeutic approach for some individuals, thereby filling the gaps in social work practice for healing others. In fact, Gülen’s Sufism directs the organic interconnectedness between one’s  inner spirituality and outer acts of piety, that are to be reflected, enriched and perfected by interaction with society. This is highlighted in his idea of a socially engaged Sufism, which is portrayed as a synthesis of sobriety, activity and sociality. Gülen is convinced, and tries to convince others, that genuine Sufis are the seekers of spiritual progress in the increased happiness of others (Kim, 2008, p. 366-367). Gülen stresses the inter-connectedness of ‘internalization and externalization’ in faith. This idea of socially engaged Sufism is a reactivation of the Turkish Sufi tradition, distinguishing itself in a contemporary context in which, as Michel describes, “many Sufis divorce themselves from real life and engage in useless metaphysical speculation” (Michel, 2005, p. 348).

My main objective is to clarify and unfold the truths inhering in the final point of Fethullah Gülen’s Sufi way, that is, expound upon the fruits of self-journeying.  My main question is how do I immerse myself in Gullen’s Sufi teachings to experience healing and extract healing principles? Then my sub-questions are:

1)      What healing principles do I glean from my immersion in Gullen’s Sufi model?

2)      How does the Sufi path benefit therapeutic practice in social work?

Epistemology & Ontological Orientation

Knowledge, as understood in the Sufi tradition within Islam, is generally described in

terms of gnosis acquired through unveiling. And indeed, the writings of Fethullah Gülen are grounded in his multiple experiences of unveiling. Gülen points to these experiences in different parts of his works through the use of a number of concepts and phrases such as ilham (inspiration), sünuhat (accesses), hads (spiritual analogy), tuluat (offshoots) and tahattur (remembering). Besides these references to unveiling in the writings of Gülen, four sources of gnosis, namely Muhammad (pbuh), the Universe, the Quran and Conscience appear as other important aspects of Gülen’s Sufi epistemology (Eris, 2006, p. 100).  Gülen’s ontological position, and the one that will be followed in this thesis, is thus action-based, and practical, but defies identification with this community and his Sufi followers.

In Sufism, knowledge is a type of information which can be obtained through the human senses or through the revelations and inspirations of God. A key understanding of Sufi life or a Sufi order means remove unnecessary needs from your life and solve the ego problem with your heart. Sufism emphasizes a spiritually meaningful life in contrast to a materialized and monotonous life style. Sufi therapy offers simple lifestyle with Sufi order or can be without following any sect, cult or order. Sometimes it is understood as information that is relevant to an unseen reality or to gaining true understanding of a subject. Knowledge in Islam can be categorized in different ways according to different bases. When categorized according to its methods, Gülen divides it into two groups: knowledge that is obtained through the intellect and knowledge that is obtained through transmission. Knowledge that is obtained by transmission is also of two kinds and that knowledge which is called discovered through Islamic spirituality and inspiration can be either abstract or direct (Eris, 2006, p. 103). Gülen states that at the beginning of unveiled knowledge, the inner faculties of the Sufi’s heart begin to face toward God (Gülen, 2001). He explains that the Sufi begins his journey with abstract knowledge, and this knowledge leads the Sufi to belief. Then, belief generates detailed knowledge; and detailed knowledge leads to an intense spiritual life. Finally, this practice generates direct knowledge (Gülen, 2006). I will draw on the deep wells of this teaching and show how they affect my self-journeying while feeling the Sufi stages and writing poetry as a part of my auto ethnography. I will conceptualize this process in simple poetry that provides applicable poetic quotations and thereby creates an effective Sufi therapy conversation model for social work practice. This journey experience can be varied from person to person.

Paradigm/ Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

My conceptual framework is transpersonal spirituality based on a developmental perspective that acknowledges access to “higher” levels of being, that is, to the “unitive self or Real Self’ beyond the personal” that is metaphysical and transcendent person (Cowley, 1993, p. 527). Transpersonal psychoanalytic approaches incorporate diverse worldviews. Existential theory, for example, focuses on meaning-making, and it operates from a perspective that emphasizes that authentic meaning comes from personal experiences of a transpersonal or sacred nature (Canda, 2006). Transpersonal Psychodynamic Theories look at psychotherapy as healing for the soul (Cowley, 1993). Carl Jung’s version explains the categories of preconscious, personal unconscious, and collective unconscious as universal potentials for meaning which he terms “archetypes” and synchronicity (Canda & Furman, 1999a, Canda & Smith 2001). Roberto Assagioli invokes misidentification with the sub-personalities of the lower unconscious and making contact with the higher conscious – that so-called “Transpersonal Self” (Assagioli, 1973, 1993, Robbins et al, 2006). Then there is Abraham Maslow, who developed the theory of Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence based on the notion of living with dignity and worth, rather than living based on principles of acquisitiveness/materialism (Cowley, 1993). There is no unified theory as yet, since ‘transpersonal’ is an umbrella term, covering a multitude of theories, and debates about them continue. Transpersonal social work literature is a newly developing area (Canda & Furman, 1999b). Spirituality/Transpersonal practices are not often taught as part of social work education. “Transpersonal content refers to any experience in which an individual transcends the limitations of identifying exclusively with the ego or personality” and captures the heart of truth (Vaughan, 1979, p. 104). Transpersonal content encompasses the discussion of “paranormal” and/or spiritual phenomena (Boorstein, 1986, p. 123). Such experiences are not valued as the goal of therapy, but rather as potential resources for growth and empowerment. Transpersonalism provides an opportunity to enhance the worker’s ability to respect and honour client self-determination, facilitates bio-psycho-social-spiritual growth and development, and empowers even the most vulnerable in our society (Cowley, 1996).  It is a method inclusive of all spiritual traditions and holistic, and one which seeks to effect structural change by focusing on expanding individual, group, and societal consciousness to transcend the paradigm of modernity in order to attain non-dualism, oneness, and  interconnectedness. Challenges to dualistic thinking mean that the personal and the political are one similar to feminist formulation, and are inextricably interconnected, rather than being seen as juxtaposed. Personal experience is validated and behaviour is legitimized rather than being pathologized. Social worker and client, as seekers, are empowered through a process of growth and development through mutual self-knowledge, self-care, and self-validation (Cowley, 1993, 1996). A transpersonal approach to client care encompasses realms of expanding consciousness, unitive social and spiritual connectedness, and human purpose and potentiality. A holistic model of practice is more comprehensive with the incorporation of the “phenomenological, the intuitive and the transpersonal” (Cowley, 1996, p. 668). A transpersonal approach affords the worker added context, content, and processes for addressing environmental, societal, and cultural stressors, non-pathologic transnational phenomena, and the grief associated with human existential suffering. Spiritual seeking is a valid and healthy human urge (Rowan ,1993, Cowley, 1993, Canda & Furman, 1999).

Research Methodology

Sufi poetry, music and dance have long been used for mental health intervention in order to heal and cure people who are experiencing anxiety, depression and stress (Mirdal, 2012, p. 1008). I used autoethnography and its technique of poetry as a Sufi poet. Poems talking about the pleasures of drinking bitter red wine and intoxication, or spending a long dark night of passion with a beautiful one are quite common in Sufi literature. Autoethnography is a genre of writing and research that connects the personal to the cultural, placing the self within a social context (Reed-Danahay, 1997). Gülen is the greatest Sufi of this century, and his positive and curative sermons, speeches, books and poems contain a great deal of healing insight suitable for diverse populations. As a bicultural person, I studied Gülen’s Sufi texts and poems and construct a poetical healing narrative both in English and Turkish versions. My spiritual guide is Gülen’s techniques and methods between May 21-June 30 in Kitchener, Canada as my “Erbain”, I generated and extract data from its context, analyse Gülen’s Sufi discourse, and incorporate my autoethnographic reflections in the poetic form. My target was to extract a new alternative intervention and psychotherapy model through thematic thick descriptions and personal reflexive analysis. I did not, however, study the political, historical and social implications of the activities of the Gülen community in Canada and abroad, because these have been dealt with in various scholarly works. I focused instead on the holistic Sufi therapy healing model, because it is important for newcomers to a country to adapt to the structures and order of that country‘s social, economic, political and cultural landscape. This new model may have significant impact on the struggles of multicultural communities, thereby also having an effect on mental health intervention, and on reshaping current healing techniques. Introducing concepts, images and metaphors based on Gülen’s universal concepts and key principles could constitute a meaningful alternative to mindfulness-based therapy, his-inspired practice in trans-cultural psychotherapy. My method was consist of operationalized readings of Gülen’s existing Sufi poems and texts, and the creation of a content/discourse analysis of Gülen’s poetic healing methods and finally the creation of a journal based on a period of intense Sufi inspired reflection, that  provided useful, transferable and applicable universal techniques for a therapeutic model.

Findings: 7 Main Categories for 40 Concepts for 10 weeks therapy

Findings consisted with 7 categories as thankfulness, purity of intention, reflection, trutfulness, trustworthiness, patience and presentation covered up 40 concepts in my 40 poetic writings and established 10 weeks therapy as a Sufi therapy model.  I offer ten-week long a specific model of Sufi therapy that intended for specific type of people, in which the processes mediating against depression, anxiety and stress. It is not universal model for everyone; target population is some Muslim immigrants, refugees and Canadians. I suggest that Sufi therapy can change negative to positive thinking patterns (Nurbakhsh, 1992; Gülen, 2006; Nursi, 2007), and is designed to achieve these aims with the Emergent Spiritual Practice. This Sufi model demonstrates how the Sufi path benefits therapeutic practice in social work for a therapist to a client. A method of practice, special prayers and this discipline can be formulated and tailored for each client after a therapist makes a Sufi assessment based on client’s needs.  Increased use of Fethullah Gülen’s model of mindfulness is relevant to the prevention of the relapse/recurrence of depression stress and depression. I focus instead on the holistic Sufi therapy healing model, because it is important for newcomers to a country to adapt to the structures and order of that country‘s social, economic, political and cultural landscape. This new model may have significant impact on the struggles of some Muslim multicultural communities, thereby also having an effect on mental health intervention, and on reshaping current healing techniques.

I suggest that depression, anxiety and stress can be healed by self-acceptance and keeping the focus always on what is good for patients. After an initial individual orientation session, the Sufi therapy program must be delivered by an instructor, or a guide as a therapist or social worker, in ten weekly sessions at the beginner level, involving two hour group-training sessions with up to 10-12 depressed patients. During that period, the program includes daily homework exercises, prayers, and meditation as dhikr. Homework invariably includes some form of guided (taped) or unguided awareness exercises directed at increasing moment-by-moment non-judgmental awareness of bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings, together with exercises designed to integrate application of awareness skills into daily life for self-control, self-purification and self-realization. The therapist works with the individual’s spiritual beliefs and practices such as meditation, prayer, etc., but at no point attempts to in still his own beliefs or any beliefs not held by the patient into the therapeutic process. The therapy spans ten sessions, each session lasting 120 minutes, conducted once a week. The therapist can see patient individually separately from the group therapy and tailoring his\her intervention based on their needs.  

Session One: Remembrance of God

Harmonizing your seven souls and learning seven main categories is not an easy process; the Sufi therapy begins with developing a deep inner peace by calming and brightening your mind so that everything is within you, and all you need to do is to uncover it. The battle with our negative ego is an inner struggle; we have to fight on the spiritual path. A good human being is one who remembers God no matter what happens. The world is designed to make us forget, our job is to remember (Frager, 1999, p.131). Conscience is one of the proofs for God’s existence and oneness.

The therapist must explain that one of the great Sufi practices is that of remembrance of God. Remembrance is the repetition or invocation of a mystical formula or divine name which allows the patient to practice, and which leads to sincerity of intention, awareness, and concentration. Remembrance provides a temporary inner state (hal) and a stable inner station (makam) in which invocation and mindfulness have become constant. A Sufi’s tongue, heart and soul must attain to the state of constant inner prayer ((Frager, 1999, p.160).

Each prayer, I recite 99 times Al-hamdu li-llah (All praise be to God) is a Qur’anic sentence meaning, according to Arabic syntax and semantics, that every praise that has been or ever will be uttered by any being to anyone else is, in reality, for and deserved by the Necessarily Existent Being: God. (Nursi, 2007, p. 385). I also recite 99 times, “HasbunAllahi Wani’mal wakeel” Allah (alone) is sufficient for us (Qur’an 3:173). By leaving your affairs to Allah, by depending upon Him, by trusting in His promise, by being pleased with His decree, by thinking favourably of Him, and by waiting patiently for His help, you reap some of the greater fruits of faith and display the more prominent characteristics of the believer. When you incorporate these qualities into your character, you will be at peace concerning the future, because you will depend on your Lord for everything. As a result, you will find care, help, protection, and victory.

When Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) was placed in the fire, he said, “Allah (Alone) is sufficient for us, and he is the best disposer of affairs (for us).” Thereupon, Allah made the fire to be cool, safe, and peaceful for Prophet Abraham. No person by himself is capable of fighting against the current of misfortune, nor can he fend off the blows of disaster when they strike. This is because man was created weak and fragile. However, when in times of difficulty, the believer places his dependency and trust with his Lord; he knows that all difficulties can be overcome. “And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed” (Qur’an 5:23). The verse: God is the All-Provider, the Possessor of Strength, the Steadfast (51:58) is so strong and firm a proof that all vegetation, animals, and babies announce it (Nursi, 2007, p. 404). The Qur’an constantly urges people to reason and investigate, as seen in such verses as: Will you not use your reason? Will they not ponder? Will they not reflect? It gives people of reasoning and knowledge a very high and important position. Each week, the therapist provides a special homework to patients, follow up them next week in which are including reading, dhikr, prayers and concepts, Table 7.

Table 7- Homework for Session One

 

Reading Sufi Dhikr Reflection Self-Criticism
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique One Sufi Technique Two Sufi Technique

Three

Sufi Technique

Four

Prayers Morning Afternoon X2 Evening Night
Concepts Remembrance Self-Journeying Sincerity Purity

 

Session Two: Protection

This session starts to teach the memorization of one important short prayer for a life time: “Bismillahillazi la yadurru ma’asmihi syai’un fil ardi walaa fissama’ii, Wa huwassami ul ‘alim.” The translation is “In the name of Allah, by whose name nothing is harmed! Neither on earth nor in the heavens and He is the all-Seeing, the all-Knowing.” According to Hadith, Prophet Mohammad said whoever recites this prayer (dua) three times in the evening and the morning: “He\she will not suffer affliction until the morning and if anyone says this in the morning, he/she will not suffer sudden affliction until the evening” (Abu Dawud, Sahih 5069). There is another hadith that also suggests reciting this prayer whenever you use any transportation three or seven times, in order to seek protection from Allah.

Gülen provided this prayer to me personally in a handwritten note in December 1991 in Istanbul, and I have been reciting it on a daily basis for over twenty three years myself. I do not recommend any prayers to my patients if I do not use them myself. I have been following several verses from Qur’an as the nearness of the mystery to those who do not know it is like God’s nearness to His servant, as proclaimed in His words, “We are nearer to Him than you, but you do not see”(Qur’an 56:83) and His words, “We are nearer to Him than His jugular vein” (Qur’an 50:16) Despite this nearness, the servant does not perceive or know anything; no one can know what is within himself until it is revealed to him moment by moment. Gülen always talks about the changes and alterations at the levels of nature, divine law, social life and personal life, and sees all of these changes as the reflection of the tablet of effacement and confirmation. At the level of nature, ecosystems, species, and the face of the earth, all the worlds are subject to changes and alterations. The mind is always fed through the channels of consciousness, and it has an important source of information:  the power of perceptiveness. This power is there when people sense, feel, or perceive the things around them (Gülen, 2000, p. 202). Homework, see

Table 8- Homework for Session Two

Reading The Soul Spiritual Heart The spirit The Self
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Five Sufi Technique Six Sufi Technique

Seven

Sufi Technique

Eight

Prayers Morning Afternoon X2 Evening Night
Concepts Protection Freedom

 

Fleeing Hope

 

Session Three: Forgiveness

If you are going through very difficult things in your life right, a way to cope is found through special prayers, and the only way is turn to Allah. Gülen’s advice to me was from a prophetic supplication as follows: The Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The supplication of my brother Dhun Nun (Yunus, peace be upon him), who called on Allah while in the whale’s belly: ‘There is no deity but You. Glory be to You! Verily, I have been among the wrongdoers’ (Quran 21:87).  No Muslim person says it, for any situation whatsoever, except that Allah Most High answers his call.” [Tirmidhi]  In Arabic is “La ilaha illa Anta, Subhanaka, inni kuntu mina z-zalimin.” I recommend memorizing the Arabic version and saying this prayer seven times in a day.

As a Sufi, when I am hurt, insulted or face injustice, I have three options in dealing with these feelings:  I can forgive, ignore and forget. Some individuals may choose to hate, harbour grudge and rancour, and live to seek revenge. Both choices are hard. But their results are opposite. Hatred, bitterness and hostility intoxicate your body (Hallowel, 2004). Negative feelings can throw you into frustration, stress, anxiety, depression; they can weaken your system and make your nerves tense. Anger, rancour and revenge are debilitating sentiments that poison the soul and add nothing but pain. Harbouring animosity and bitterness consumes a tremendous amount of valuable energy. Sufi therapy uses forgiveness as a tool that transcends the soul and frees you from your destructive negative energy.

Forgiveness heals you not only emotionally, but also physically and mentally (Ayad, 2008, p. 331). It is worth it to get rid of the burden of anger, hatred and in order to receive support. Forgiveness is a prevailing feature of Sufi therapy, one that promotes a person’s positive emotions, reduces anxiety and stress and readjusts hormonal balance, blood pressure and heart rate. As a matter of fact, lots of people refuse to forgive, thinking it a sign of weakness; they think that by forgiving they are surrendering to their offenders. On the contrary, by forgiving you cease to be the victim of hatred and anger, and you triumph over your own evil. Sufis believe that whosoever is patient and forgives, indeed is of the steadfast heart of things. Whoever worries too much sickens their own body. A Sufi keeps imploring until he or she reaches to the highest rank where the self is really purified. God deposited within human beings knowledge of all things, and then blocked them from perceiving them; this is one of the divine mysteries that reason denies totally and thinks impossible (Harvey & Hanut, 1999, p. 35). The best test of faith lies in showing forbearance and forgiveness.

I sought forgiveness through the most beautiful words during my erbain period. I recited several prayers from the Sufi tradition such as: “My God, Surely I have been one of the wrongdoers, have mercy on me,”  “Forgive all believers; you are the Most Merciful of the merciful,”  “O my Lord! I try my best to keep my covenant with You,”  “I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done,” “ I acknowledge Your favors upon me, acknowledge my sins,”  “So, forgive me, for truly no one forgives sins except You, ” “I beg for help. Rectify all my states and leave me not to myself.  Even for a moment shorter than the blinking of an eye! I am helpless. Increase my knowledge let not my heart stray after You have guided me.” Homework, see Table 9.

Table 9- Homework for Session Three

Reading Humility Suffering Sorrow Confidence
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Nine Sufi Technique Ten Sufi Technique

Eleven

Sufi Technique

Twelve

Prayers Morning Afternoon X2 Evening Night
Concepts Forgiveness Freedom

 

Fleeing Hope

 

Session Four: Purity of Intention

The Prophet Mohammad said: Have compassion. God shows compassion to those who show compassion to others. Show mercy to those on earth, so that God in heaven may show mercy to you (Hadith). Every soul fears death, but must come to the end. Cherishing ambitions strengthens the desire to live. Time obliterates the ambitions of humans. The soul multiplies ambitions, but death brings an end. A Sufi needs to purify his\her life intentions and goals, by seeking the abode of the Hereafter in what God has given you. Forget not your portion of the world, avoid traps in the world’s journeying that conceal much destruction. The enjoyment of this world is short; the Hereafter is eternal for those who obey God’s commands, filled with His fear. The soul weeps in desire for the world even though salvation lies in renouncing it. There is no such abode after death, therefore renounce it before. The first step is the will and intent to avoid what has been forbidden and what is deviant, engaging only in what is allowed. The second is care even with what is allowed. A Sufi shows no pull toward worldly attractions, and prefers to serve God over every other thing. The carnal self is our the real enemy. Humility is the opposite of arrogance, haughtiness and pride. A Sufi must know him or herself to be ordinary, others good, the self bad. I encourage patients in therapy to write poems, paint or play music to find their expression as part of the Art therapy model and homework is given to patients every week. Reading about each concept will lead them to think, and provide a reflective basis for their perception of the depression or problems. Prayer: The Prophet Jacob said in Qur’an:

He said, “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know. (Qur’an; Yusuf, 86). In Arabic: “Kâle innemâ eşkû bessî ve huznî ilallâhi ve a’lemu inallâhi mâ lâ ta’lemûn(ta’lemûne)”

 

Homework, see Table 10.

 

Table 10 – Homework for Session Four

Reading Commitment Expansion Decision Resolution
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Thirteen Sufi Technique Fourteen Sufi Technique

Fifteen

Sufi Technique

Sixteen

Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night
Concepts Sincere Intention Endeavor

 

Contraction Openness

 

Session Five: Patience

Patience is almost half of the therapy target, as is showing no rebellion against misfortune in life. Accepting one’s entire destiny without complaint is better done peacefully, even though these events are filled deep with distress and with terror. Having pleased acceptance of all God’s treatment is the first rule of the Sufi therapy. Observe patience when you are tormented by rage. Forgive one who harms you. These two qualities will, in due course, help you and God will give you protection. You will find your depressive events agreeable or disagreeable: you are only role players in the Divine drama. Everybody must play well on the stage of this world. You have no right or authority to interfere with the quality of whatever happens to an individual, only God can decide. The first degree is free will and belief in His Unity. The second degree must be acquired, a continuation of the first. The basis of the third degree leads to nearness to God. A Divine gift is not a station attained by will or by effort. Patients will be encouraged to think about God in the way that I wrote in my poem, as follows,

Make me feel Your ever-present company near me and do not let things cause me to fall distant from You.

 

Narrated from A’ishah radi Allahu anha, “When the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam saw something that pleased him, he would say: Alhamdulillahil lathee bi ni’matihi tatimmus saalihaat, and when he saw something that displeased him, he would say: Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kuli haal. (Narrated in Sunan Ibn Maajah, classified as Saheeh according to Shaykh Albaani rahimahullah in Silsilatus Saheehah hadeeth 265). Alhamdulillahil lathee bi ni’matihi tatimmus saalihaat means: All praise and thanks are only for Allah, the One who, by His blessing and favor, perfected goodness/good works are accomplished. Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kuli haal means: All praise and thanks are only for Allah in all circumstances. Prophet Noah has two special prayers for patience as, “Do not give up and do not be downhearted. You shall be uppermost if you are believers” (Qur’an, Surah Al ‘Imran, 139). Prophet Noah lived for 950 years among his people (Qur’an 29 14). He became very discouraged when not many people would listen to him. He then received a message from Allah, “None of your people will believe except those who have believed already: So don’t worry about the wrongdoers any more. Build a ship under our guidance. Those who are in sin will soon be destroyed. He called upon his Lord: “I am overwhelmed, so help me!” (Qur’an, Surat al-Qamar: 10) as this his second special prayer. In Arabic: “Fe deâ rabbehû ennî maglûbun fentasır”

Homework, see Table 11.

Table11- Homework for Session Five

Reading Will The Willing One The Willed One Certainty
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Seventeen Sufi Technique Eighteen Sufi Technique

Nineteen

Sufi Technique

Twenty

Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night
Concepts Patience Love

 

Divine Love Wisdom

 

 Session Six: Truthfulness

The concept of truthfulness reveals that there are two sides and two choices: the Willing and the Willed One. Will is living a spiritual life, overcoming carnal desires, and resisting animal appetites. The Willled one always prefers obeying God’s wish and pleasure over their own will, in complete submission to His Will. A willing disciple never relies on their power alone, but is absolutely submitted to the Will of the All-Powerful who holds all of creation in His Grasp, His pleasure. The one who has willed has become a favorite of God. Will is the first station on the path towards God. The first harbor for a Sufi setting sail for eternity is journeying toward purity of intent with the force of the inner desire to embark on this voyage. Your willpower is only a shadow of the One who does whatever He wills in whatever way He chooses. You are just a shadow dependent on the original. Any created will is dependent on the Creator. It is difficult to distinguish between a shadow and the original.

Sufi do not be grieved, God is in them. At the start, loyalty, faithfulness, and resolution are important. Solemnity, self-possession, and mannerliness come later. Who has erred in the beginning cannot advance to reach God. Who has erred in the end is reproved, their will fed by God.  Prayer is one of famuous Prophet Mohammad’s words: “None of you are believers until you love for fellow human what you love for yourself” (Hadith). [Who say], “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower (Qur’an, Ali Imran, 8). In Arabic: “Rabbenâ lâ tuziğ kulûbenâ ba’de iz hedeytenâ veheb lenâ min ledunke rahmeh(rahmeten), inneke entel vehhâb(vehhâbu).

 

Homework, see Table 12.

Table 12 – Homework for Session Six

Reading Modesty Austerity Piety Asceticism
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Twenty Nine Sufi Technique Thirty Sufi Technique

Thirty One

Sufi Technique

Thirty Two

Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night
Concepts Truthfulness Resignation

 

Seclusion Privacy

 

Session Seven: Thankfulness

Thankfulness is the other half of the therapy target and reveals that the real richness is the richness of the heart. Your heart is a God-treasure and a credit card that is valid everywhere; such mysterious capital is neither poor nor powerless. Poverty is your pride, showing neediness unto God. A Sufi looks upon poverty as the real core and meaning of existence. Do not despise poverty, it is the essence, all else form. Poverty is the mirror reflecting the independence of others. It is a remedy for all diseases of vanity and conceit. Increasing awareness of poverty engenders high degrees of dignity. Such awareness before the Absolutely Wealthy One is richness itself, feeling in your conscience God is the sole source of power and wealth. His help sought, it is to Him that you turn, needing nothing. It is His is power, by which we are powerful. We are well-known by His Name or His fame. We go beyond peaks and continue our way. We overcome all difficulties with ease. We possess nothing worldly, but are rich, dignified and respectable due to His Dignity. We follow the way of contemplation, so whatever exists is a source of knowledge of God.

The Sufi way of poverty severs relations with all and thankfulness is a result. Poverty is the goal, a most manifest sign of God’s love. The Almighty has placed poverty in the hearts of His friends. Poverty is a key of light to open the heart’s eye to the treasure. Poverty is the door to riches, this key is for the richest. You pass through this door in your conscience to the infinite treasuries. The Owner of All is clear; poverty is identical with wealth. Wealth is no more than the perfection of poverty. Prayer: “Search for God among poor, because it is the poor who render help and provide food” (Hadith).

My Poem about thankfulness is as follows,

The duty of thankfulness holds great emotion. Using my helplessness and destitution. Very few people live in true full awareness Feeling deep need to be grateful and thankful. Our weakness prevents us meeting our needs. Everyone has the need to be thankful, Whatever our level of spiritual heights or desires, Since thanking you is a blessing itself.  O Lord. How can I be thankful to You­? Unable to thank You as thanking requires.  Deepen my belief, love, gratitude towards. My net of sight filled with your fine gifts. If you are thankful He adds more unto you. It is a half with respect to this inclusivity. Patience two halves of life that is thankful. O God! Include us among those whom You love. Make me sincere, and bring me near to You. O God. Help me mention You, thank You. I worship You in the best possible way.

 

Prayer: Surah Al Anbiya verse 83, it is the dua that Prophet Ayyub made when he was sick:

“Waayyooba ith nada rabbahu annee massaniya alddurru waanta arhamu alrrahimeena”

Translation: “And Ayyub, when he called to his Lord, (saying): “Indeed adversity has afflicted me, and You are the Most Merciful of those who are merciful” (Qur’an, Anbiya, 83).

 

Homework, see Table 13.

Table 13- Homework for Session Seven

Reading Universal Person Insight Discerment Serenity
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Twenty Five Sufi Technique Twenty Six Sufi Technique

Twenty Seven

Sufi Technique

Twenty Eight

Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night
Concepts Thankfulness Perfect Goodness

 

Peacefulness Wakefulness

 

Session Eight: Passion

People are lonely and live in boredom with their place in the world and the surrounding conditions. They feel discomfort as if in prison or captivity. Why is it that you stay in such a sorrowful mood? Why is there sadness in your blessed inner world? Self-possession will lead you to passion in which is intense love, more than desire for Paradise, more intense than the lover’s love for the beloved. You’ve exhausted your power to endure such love. Your heart beating above all is God’s pleasure with you. Burning endurance to ashes with desire of union in words refers to worrying much if the beloved is loved by others. Who is my lover, who casts me in worry and distress?  In this session, group members will bring their artistic talents to conceptualize what being trustworthy means. Prayer: Mohammad said, “Say the word of ‘La hawla wala kuwwata illa billahi’l aliyyil azim’ because it is a treasures of Jannat (heaven)” (Hadith-i Sharifm Sunan-i Tirmidi). Translation: there is no power no strength but from Allah as is very effective means of beseeching Allah’s help and it has a lot of power in it.

My poetic expression is as follows,

A Sufi must feel that I am afraid someone else is in love with my beloved. The fire is so great that I see none other than Him. I did not know myself as I see myself now, I wonder whether He is me or I am Him? There is no longer any possibility of rescue or escape. Nothing more than meeting is with the Truly Beloved One. The lover is at the same time as a lover and the beloved. A willed one is at the same time as being one who wills. O Sufi! You’re at the same time as one who is sought. My heart is in love and desire; my soul is on fire why are these tears coming from my eyes, O Dear One! Losing my patience is coming to the end of my endurance. O my Beloved! I have no strength to bear all that occurs.

Prayer: Now, if they turn away from you, (O Prophet) say: “Allah is all-sufficient for me. There is no god but Him. In Him I have put my trust. He is the Rabb of the Mighty Throne.” (Qur’an, Taubah, 129).  In Arabic: Fe in tevellev fe kul hasbiyallâh(hasbiyallâhu), lâ ilâhe illâ hûve, aleyhi tevekkeltu ve huve rabbul arşil azîm(azîmi).

Homework, see Table 14.

Table 14- Homework for Session eight

Reading Individuality Verification Striving Life and Time
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Twenty One Sufi Technique Twenty Two Sufi Technique

Twenty Three

Sufi Technique

Twenty Four

Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night
Concepts Passion Love

 

Divine Love Wisdom

 

Session Nine: Trustworthiness

A spiritual faculty is deposited in the heart as Divine trust, as spirit for the body, will-power, feelings and mind. Each of the pillars of conscience has a function and goal. Feelings of love of God mean having a vision of God’s Face. Lordship manifests in the heart: the seekers feel its manifestation in a deeper manner, till the point where Divine Names are everything, and where witnessing opens Divine secrets, the secrets of manifestation. A Sufi must have a clear relationship with the world of the spirit. God knows best what’s in your inner world, your heart. The secret of being lies in a pure bosom of faithfulness and loyalty. The secret is rising when God prepares a heart to hold these qualities. The people of truth whose eyes do not see any save for God, always pursue His good pleasure, resist the carnal self and reach to the Pure Soul. Making every effort of submission, preventing worldly desire, our eyes and the universe are fed with the pure water of secrets. Faithful souls try to hide their rank with God from others, and keep the Divine gifts granted them concealed from others. They guard their chastity, though each is a star in the heavens. They have no expectations in this world, appearing as if just fireflies. These heroes do not spend even a moment without Him and use every event, thought and consideration to mention Him. They are self-annihilated in His company, living unaware of themselves.

Whatever good is done for others, and rendered God’s way, conceal it. Hide your good deeds, not only from others, but even from your own self. Even if you sometimes feel pride in yourself, seek escape. Spend your life amidst ecstasy in His perfect help and care, unknown among people, remaining hidden, enclosed by secrets. Prayer: “Wish for other men what you would wish for yourself and you will become an obedient subject of God” (Hadith).  As known as Prophet Shu’ayb prayer’s in Qur’an as follow:

“Indeed we shall have forged a lie against Allah If we go back to your religion after Allah has delivered us from It, and it befits us not that we should go back to it, except if Allah our Lord please: Our Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge; in Allah do we trust: Our Lord! decide between us and our people with truth; and Thou art the best of deciders” (Qur’an, A’raf, 89). In Arabic: “Kadiftereynâ alallâhi keziben in udnâ fî milletikum ba’de iz necceynallâhu minhâ, ve mâ yekûnu lenâ en neûde fîhâ illâ en yeşâallahu rabbunâ, vesia rabbunâ kulle şey’in ilmen, alallâhi tevekkelnâ, rabbeneftah beynenâ ve beyne kavminâ bil hakkı ve ente hayrul fâtihîn(fâtihîne)”  Homework, see Table 15.

Table 15- Homework for Session Nine

Reading Unity Multiplicity Silent Intoxication
Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua
Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Thirty Three Sufi Technique Thirty Four Sufi Technique

Thirty Five

Sufi Technique

Thirty Six

Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night
Concepts Trustworthiness Journeying in

 

Journeying from Journeying with

 

Session Ten: Presentation

Presentation refers to explaining to others what you have learned and are open to, how you are innately charged with discovering Divine secrets. Developing Sufi Observation and Seeing with insight, the eye of the heart makes you happy. The eye is the shadow and manifestation. This is a great Divine gift, the Divine Light and bright mirrors reflecting absolute Oneness. Beyond all concepts of modality, without eyes respect the observation of the Truth Himself. The Divine Being is as an object of observation. A Sufi feels the Divine Names and Attributes in such a disclosure—there are degrees of observation. Needing a vigorous heart with keen sight and hearing, these senses are highly sensitive, for receptiveness is based on the heart’s capacity, belief, hearing and certainty. Walking with a deep yearning to where there’s no existence, where the currency of speech is not valid or demanded. Whoever attempts to knock on the door at that station will receive the answer, “You are not able to see Me!”

The third degree is everything annihilated in God. The existence of the universe no longer felt, the One manifest. The Divine lights are in the time when hearts overflow with rejoicing and take His lightning-like manifestation for Being Himself. This point leads you to confusing the original with the shadow. Take an observation from the conscience and the heart in a state. Observing True Being Himself is a shadow that yields no more confusion. Two eyes see two worlds—this and the next—filled with the Friend!

The time comes when the Divine gifts invade the inner world with Divine quality. The Truth appears when you’re nearest to Him. Gifts come with fear, sorrow or rejoicing. If the gifts come with an air of fear and sorrow, a Sufi comes to embody fear and sorrow. If they come with exhilaration and rejoicing, there’s peace without loss of self-possession. I was consciously expressing resignation with such words in my poem: “Your favor is welcome, and so too Your resentment.”  Acting in peace and contentment, attain confidence in the valleys of reliance, surrender and commitment. The travelers are punished according to their rank. Your heart has lost some degrees in its relation to ranks of perfect godliness and nearness to God. For a purified saintly scholar is free from both time and state. The true heroes of time always take the present day into account and try to use it the best possible way. One who does not taste, does not know or perceive. As time serves like rain pouring down from the heavens, as a fertile field bursting with vegetation, you think of the past. Increase your devotion with prayer: “Should I not become a thankful servant?” My expression about ending the journey is in the following reflection,

The absolute Owner of Time shows everything annihilated in Him. His Names and Attributes manifesting, Himself in different forms. See a drop as if it were an ocean, a particle of light as if the sun. Nothing as if everything, uttering such words as: I am the true One. His being, there is nothing that exists, that truly exists, save God.

 

This absorption is the final state of the spiritual journey. It refers to all feeling, seeing, consciousness of the Truth and the heart cutting off relations with all save God. Thirst for the Divine Being is flying round His Face. Everything is a shadow of the light of the Existence of Truth. For a Sufi, it is shadows of the shadow of His Existence’s light, related to the absorption within absorption, and to seeing the rays of holy absorption. This is the rank of nearness to God: do supererogatory prayers. The greatest capital in being favored by God is absorption. He is the First, and the Last, the Outward, and the Inward. A Sufi becomes a polished mirror that reflects manifestations, observes deeply and clearly with inner external senses. This is the farthest point you must be to travel in God. My poetic reflection captured the moment my heart experienced as:

Now rotate around yourselves like the North Star. You are turning around your axis in your heart, while being in your body among people, worshipping alone. Absorption can never mean the unity of being, the unity of God. The universe or God’s being cannot be coincident with the universe. The One Who is the Eternal is eternal, different from mortals. Humans have both pure, transparent aspect and one that is tangible, dense. O Heart, being acts according to its own standard of measure. Worship your Lord until that certain event, death comes to you. Meeting with God based on experience at your own.

 

In this paper, I was not trying to be a positivist or an objectivist as in the traditional way. The greatest impediment to the study of transcendence experiences is the subjective nature of this experience and moving from “transcendent sincerity” to transpersonal theory using Fethullah Gülen’s perspective. My transcendent experience was unique and my discoveries were based on my observations. Discovering the Divine mysteries will be disclosed in the Divine truths. I was able to swim safely the ocean of spiritual initiation and journeying, and found a useful Sufi mindfulness therapy model through Fethullah Gülen’s writings. At the beginning of this journey, as a Sufi, I may know some truths; however, I was not able experience them yet. Therefore, I am not able to grasp the inner realities of the truths that I know intellectually, because experiencing is very different from knowing. For instance, belief, love, and spiritual taste are practical concepts; and their realities cannot be known until they become a dimension of the Sufi’s very nature. When they are experienced and practiced by the heart of the Sufi, the Sufi’s attitude predominates over his knowledge, and that knowledge begins to become immersed in the attitude; then it melts and finally perishes. This is called the immersion of knowledge in the attitude of the Sufi, since a Sufi never claims knowledge but claims he/she is zero and knows nothing. I provide a new research methodology from Fethullah Gülen’s methods and techniques which is one of important contributions for this research.

From the starting point of Fethullah Gülen’s spirituality, this Sufi therapy is designed to teach patients in remission from major depression ten Sufi concepts of categories and forty rules of Sufi teachings in order that they might become more aware of, and relate differently to their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. The program teaches skills that allow individuals to disengage from habitual (“automatic”) cognitive routines, in particular depression-related ruminative thought patterns, as a way of reducing future risk of relapse and recurrence of depression, anxiety and stress. It is the invention of a new Sufi model targeting greater connection with the spirit, the mind and the heart, and connecting all of these for the unity and discovery of seven levels of souls in the self.

This finding is consistent with Sufi therapy: increased use of Fethullah Gülen’s model of mindfulness is relevant to the prevention of the relapse/recurrence of depression stress and depression, as it allows early detection of relapse-related patterns of negative thinking, feelings, and body sensations and provides 10-week phase of Sufi therapy. This paradigm conceptualizes the healthy person as an individual who can pilot his or her own existential fate in the here-and-now, and who has far greater self-regulatory control over his or her own body, mind, soul and heart than heretofore imagined. Concomitant with this new paradigm is an attempt to develop and improve techniques by which people can self-observe their behavior, change it (if desired), and then continually modify and monitor it according to their spiritual needs.

The Sufi spiritual practice and therapy composes a perfect individual in the crucible of striving, and such a striving is based on controlling carnal desires and impulses. The Self needs to possess an operative mechanism of conscience in Spiritual Psychology. According to people of the heart, doing what is right requires use of the will-power that has been endowed in order to struggle against the carnal self and seek ways to defeat it.  A Sufi strives in God’s way, in the way that striving for His sake requires, consisting in struggles against Satan, and against impulses of the carnal self, with all his/her inner senses, consciousness, perception, and heart.

In summary, I gleaned healing principles, techniques and invented a new therapy approach from my immersion in Gülen’s Sufi spiritual practice model, and demonstrated how this Sufi path might benefit therapeutic practice in social work for some Muslim populations as a Spiritual Guideline.  It is not a universal model suitable for everyone; I acknowledge that it may not even work for some Muslim populations. I provide a spiritual practice guideline for social workers and psychotherapists working within a culture of Sufi spiritual practice, and promote a wisdom-based individual culture based on Fethullah Gülen’s methods, teachings and my own interpretations of Sufism. I explained and analyzed how I was transformed during the study and how I am going to help others with this Sufi therapy. It is a heart-based healing method for some Muslim individuals at the beginner level and is a therapy model that fills in gaps between some existing spiritual practice in Sufism and scientific methods.  As part of further research, this particular mindfulness spiritual practice and guideline can be moved and shifted to the next stage of developing possible intermediate and advance levels. I have not tested this therapy model as group therapy yet, I simply tested it at an individual level through my self-journeying. It might be biased to implement such a model for all Muslim population. However, it does fit the needs of Hizmet Movement followers. Individuals may need specific sessions to follow up this therapy model, and the therapist or social worker must tailor the therapy to each client to meet their spiritual practice needs.

In conclusion, the heart plays an essential role in self-purification, self-awareness, and self-criticism, understanding others and how to use the self. However, none of the scholars mentioned above have studied Gülen’s Sufism writings, poems and his positive thinking pathways in order to address solutions in social work and spiritual practice for some Muslim populations in need of an alternative heart-based psychotherapy.

 

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May 222015
 

Fear and Reverence

 

O Sufi!  The heart beats with fear and reverence

Open the eyes of my soul with a thousand-fold fear!

Holding back and refrain from displeasing God

On the spiritual path, fear as the opposite of hope

 

Fear denotes abstaining not only from all that is forbidden

But also from your deeds from which it is advisable to refrain

on the path to Truth does not feel secure against deviation

As you are the traveler refrains from conceit and self-praise

 

 

Tell you who will be the greatest losers by their works?

Your efforts have been wasted in the life of the world

While thought doing good, important than anything else

You must knit the laces of your life with these threads!

 

Have no fear of anybody else. Fear Him, if you are true believers

Exhorts them not to suffer groundless phobias: Fear Him alone

You fear your Lord, overseeing them from high, do all command

O Sufi! Forsake your beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope

 

Crying sometimes sighs and sometimes weeps, when alone

Feels great regret and seeks refuge in God Who will not enter Hell

Until such the milk drawn from a mammal is put back into the breasts

Shedding tears is the most effective way of putting out the fires of Hell

Lion’s Dreams

7 June 2013

Khawf and Khashya (Fear and Reverence)

by Fethullah Gülen on 17 September 2001. Posted in Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism-1

In Sufism, fear denotes abstaining not only from all that is forbidden, but also from those deeds from which it is advisable to refrain. It also signifies, as the opposite of hope or expectation, that a traveler on the path to Truth does not feel secure against deviation and thereby incurring Divine punishment in the Hereafter. As a result, the traveler refrains from conceit and self-praise.

According to Al-Qushayri, fear forces a traveler on the spiritual path to hold back and refrain from displeasing God. As such, it pertains to the future. Fear arises from one’s apprehension of being subjected to something displeasing, or uneasiness over not obtaining what is desired. In that sense also, fear pertains to the future. In many verses, the Qur’an points out the future results of one’s deeds and actions, and thereby seeks to establish a world embracing the future, one in which it is possible to discern the future with both its good and bad elements.

Implanting fear concerning their end or whether they will die as believing Muslims in the hearts of its followers, the Qur’an warns them to be steadfast in their belief and practice of Islam. Many verses cause hearts to tremble with fear, and are like threads with which to knit the lace of life. For example: Something will appear before them which they had never anticipated (39:47); and Say: Shall We tell you who will be the greatest losers by their works? Those whose efforts have been wasted in the life of the world while they thought they were doing good (18:103-4). How happy and prosperous are those who knit the laces of their lives with these threads! With such warnings, the Qur’an orients us toward the Hereafter and encourages us to consider it more important than anything else.

In His luminous Speech, God Almighty uses fear as a whip to force us to His Presence and honor us with His company. Like a mother’s reproofs to her child that draws him or her to her warm, affectionate arms, this whip attracts the believer toward the depths of Divine Mercy and enriches him or her with God’s blessings and bounties that He compels humanity to deserve and receive out of His Mercy and Graciousness. For this reason, every decree and command mentioned in the Qur’an and forced upon humanity originates in Divine Mercy and uplifts souls, in addition to its being alarming and threatening.

One whose heart is full of fear and awe for the Almighty cannot be afraid of others, and is therefore freed from all useless and suffocating fear. In His luminous, hope-giving Speech, the Almighty tells people not to fear anything or anyone other than Him: Have no fear of them. Fear Me, if you are true believers (3:175); exhorts them not to suffer groundless phobias: Fear Me alone (2:40) and: They fear their Lord, overseeing them from high, and they do all that they are commanded (16:50); and praises those hearts that fear and hold only Him in awe: They forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope (32:16).

He praises them because those who design their lives according to their fear of God use their willpower carefully and strive to avoid sins. Such sensitive and careful souls fly in the heavens of God’s approval and pleasure. The following is an appropriate saying by the author of Lujja:

If you are fearful of God’s wrath, be steadfast in religion,
For a tree holds fast to earth with its roots against violent storms.

The lowest degree of fear is that required by belief: Fear Me, if you are (true) believers (3:175). A somewhat higher degree of fear is that arising from knowledge or learning: Among His servants the learned alone fear God truly (35:28). The highest degree of fear is that combined with awe and arising from one’s knowledge of God: God orders you to fear Him in awe (3:28).

Some Sufis divide fear into two categories: awe and reverence. Although very close in meaning, awe connotes the feeling that leads an initiate to flee toward God, while reverence causes an initiate to take refuge in Him. An initiate who continuously feels awe thinks of fleeing, while one seeking shelter strives to take refuge in Him. Those choosing to flee make progress on the path difficult for themselves, for they live an ascetic life and suffer the pains of separation from the Almighty. However, those holding Him in reverence drink the sweet, enlivening water of nearness, which comes from taking refuge in Him.

Perfect reverence was a characteristic of all Prophets. When in this state, the Prophets nearly fell down dead, as if they had heard the Trumpet of Israfil and were brought before the full Majesty and Grandeur of the Truth. They were always conscious of the meaning of: When His Lord revealed (His) glory to the mountain He sent it crashing down, and Moses fell down in a swoon (7:143). Among those brought near to God, the one nearest to Him and the master of reverence, upon him be peace and blessings, said: I see what you do not see and hear what you do not hear. If only you knew that the heavens creaked and groaned. In fact, they had to do so, for there is no space of even four fingers’ breadth in the heavens where angels do not prostrate themselves. I swear by God that if you knew what I know (with respect to God’s Grandeur), you would laugh little but weep much. You would avoid lying with your wives and cry out prayers unto God in fields and mountains.

Here, the Prophet reveals his reverence that leads him to take refuge in God, and describes the awe of others that causes them to flee. Abu Dharr expresses this attitude of fleeing in his addition to this Prophetic Tradition: I wish I had been a tree pulled out by the roots and cut into pieces.

One whose soul is full of reverence and awe of God does not commit sins, even if he does not seem to feel fear. Suhayb was one of those overcome with awe of God. God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, praised him, saying: What an excellent servant Suhayb is! Even if he did not fear God, he would not commit sins.

One who fears God sometimes sighs and sometimes weeps, especially when alone, in an attempt to extinguish the pain of being separate from Him as well as the fire of Hell, which is the greatest distance between him and God. As stated in the Tradition: A man who weeps for fear of God will not enter Hell until the milk drawn (from a mammal) is put back into the breasts (from which it was drawn), shedding tears is the most effective way of putting out the fires of Hell. A believer sometimes confuses what he or she has done with what he or she has not done and, fearing that the action has arisen from his or her fancy or carnal self due to a personal failure to resist temptation, feels great regret and seeks refuge in God. The description of such souls is found in the following Tradition:

When the verse: Those who give what they give while their hearts are in awe, because they are to return to their Lord (23:60) was revealed, ‘A’isha, the Prophet’s wife, asked the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings: Are those (who are in awe because they are to return to their Lord) those who commit such major sins as fornication, theft, and drinking alcohol? The Prophet, the Glory of Mankind, answered: No, ‘A’isha. Those mentioned in the verse are those who, although they perform the prescribed prayers, fast, and give alms, tremble with fear that such acts of worship may not be accepted by God.

Abu Sulayman Darani says that although a servant must always be fearful (that God may not be pleased and therefore punish him or her) and hopeful (that God may be pleased), it is safer for one’s heart to beat with fear and reverence. Sharing the view of Darani, Shaykh Ghalib expresses his feelings of fear: Open the eyes of my soul with a thousand-fold fear!

Sızıntı, Mar 1993, Vol 15, Issue 170