Last night in zikr you said something about it being an encounter with yourself. Isn’t it about fana, the annihilation of self?
Zikr is many things and it incorporates many possible points of view. It is not logical or linear. You have to find out what it is for you, not what it is supposed to be. Zikr is an invocation, a call to enter a relationship. Speaking of zikr, Ibn Arabi asks: “Where were you and where was I when we had our meeting?” It’s all about the meeting. What happens there is up to the two of you.
Do you know where you are? Conceptually, you think you are in the zikr chamber in a certain building on a particular street. Your position is fixed by ideas and by your personality which is held together by fixed postures and muscle tensions along with the perpetual humming of one of your habitual emotions…you have at least three or four…anxiety, disagreement, elation, greed…
To change where you are, you must first relax the physical, release habitual tensions, become more fluid. Mind clears. Direct sensing becomes possible. Where are you? Sensing looks for orientation. There are the sensations of the body, of breathing, and there are other more subtle influences. The space around you has texture and movement, the turning of the planet, the radiation of stars? There is no need to speculate or itemize. You enter the present. Heart awakens, feelings are engaged that have no name. You have become human again. This is the first remembering, re-establishing what it is to be human, you remember yourself. This is where you are. The conceptual world is nowhere to be found.
Now you must let go of the sense of being the center, cease to be the active one. Can you sense that you are seen? Does this naturally give rise to a feeling of humility? Do not be rushed. Can you agree to be experienced, recognized, accepted? Is there a feeling of intimacy in this contact? Who is it that recognizes you? Is this your Lord? What could this mean? There is nothing abstract in this feeling of being seen. There is nothing theoretical about this Lord. This is not the mentally constructed God of the religions. This Lord is unique to you, the pattern from which you were created. You were made in the exact image of this One. This is the second remembering, in which you are remembered.
The repetition of zikr begins. Sound enters the body, circulation is altered, breath synchronizes and lengthens. Silence follows. Fikr, fikr-a-sirr. The molecules of the body, mind and heart are newly ordered, formed as a key for a lock which opens another chamber in this house of many mansions, where your Lord may be worshipped and honored and glorified in all the ways that He has devised in order to share Himself with you. You are entering a co-dependent relationship. Because you exist and turn in His direction, He may experience His own splendor in your response to Him. The adoration is mutual. You have entered Suhrawardi’s Na–koja–Abad, the Country of Nowhere. This is where you are.
I have said, in my response to you, that my Lord is He. Do not let pronouns disturb you. The conscious universe takes form in every being and finds itself in every possible human expression including genders beyond our knowing. In this hall of mirrors, no one else exists.