Practice: Shafi Chant (To Cure, to Heal)
Lie on your back on a comfortable mat, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. You can rest your arms alongside you or rest your hands on your belly. Close your eyes. Be at ease. Connect your attention to your breathing. As you breathe, let your bones, your muscles, your organs, your fluids sink more and more heavily into gravity. Let you skin become tender. Let your skin breathe.
After a while, draw your attention to your breathing. On the inhale, inwardly hear the sound ‘shaaaaaaaa….’ Let this sound slide softly into you. On the exhale, inwardly hear the sound ‘fi’ (pronounced ‘fee’). Let the sound ease out. (If you are unsure about the actual sound of the chant, do the breathing and sinking into gravity without the sound. It is important that you hear internally the correct sound.) Inhale ‘sha’. Exhale ‘fi’. Draw your wandering mind to what you are doing. Nothing else matters right now. Just this sound and breath, just this feeling in the body. Just the simmering of energy within. You’ll see that as you continue your breathing will shift. And your energy will shift. Inhale, letting the sound and breath gently lengthen. Exhale, letting the out breath take you more fully into gravity. Again and again bring your focus to the inner chant, the breathing, the awareness of your body softening, the inner state developing.
If this is the only practice you are doing, continue for 20 minutes. Or do breath & movement for 10 minutes then do 10 minutes of the ‘Shafi’ chant. Then relax your concentration and rest.
Once you have done this practice and rested, write in your journal from the experience or about the experience. Let your writing be relaxed. Stay with your breathing as you write.
Shafi is one of the Names of the Divine in the Sufi tradition. It is in Arabic.