Sufism

The goal of Sufism is to achieve nearness to God by means of direct intuitive experience [ma’rifah] of His presence. Towards this end various spiritual exercises are undertaken under the guidance of a shaykh [spiritual guide]; which gradually lead to the purification and transformation of one’s inner being; so that one becomes increasingly conscious of the Divine. Through such spiritual training a seeker is transformed into a compassionate and morally upright person, possessing noble characteristics.

According to Sufis one’s inner being consists of various subtle centers of consciousness [lata’if] that serve as inner faculties for attaining direct knowledge of God. These centers are superior to the rational mind, in their ability to perceive the supersensory realm. Foremost among these centers is the heart [qalb]. Beginning with the heart, the practices of the School of Sufi Teaching are designed to activate the centers of consciousness; so that one is increasingly able to perceive the truth.