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The Rosebush and Rapid Method

My Sufi teacher taught Shattari—the Rapid Method. It was a wild ride! This is the spiritual lineage of Dervish Dancemeditation. Embodied spiritual development moves us quickly and fully through the stations of spiritual path. This is because it is embodied, and body truth is not the same as mind truth. Bodies are complex, ahead of any game the mind can devise. The body’s doorways to the mystical center are infinite, swift and full. In our current accelerated world, moving quickly and deeply into the heart of spiritual Path fits our mentality as well the needs of humanity, yet there is no shortcut. No. Rather we absorb a lot all at once and open in flashes. Digesting, therefor, is a crucial part of this Dervish training. (More on that another time). First, a story.

The Rosebush
We want to grow a rosebush. We chose the right season, prepare the soil, then take a rose hip, place it in the ground, and water it.  And we wait. The sun comes and goes. We water the planted seed. We wait. Under the ground the seed breaks its casing, chews nutrient, and sprouts. In a while, a green shoot pierces through the soil. A living miracle! Now come weeks of watering, adding more nutrient, picking pests off the leaves, and guarding against leaf mold. The season warms as the days lengthen, and now we see the first bud. Oh, this is amazing!  A bud. The rose bush is blooming. Perhaps there are many buds or a few. Any bush in its first season is slender and tender. In time and over seasons, with care, it will become hearty and prolific. But in this first season a few blossoms is a triumph.

The day comes at long last. The bud has been unfurling ever so gradually and today the tip opens. In the heat of the day, the petals spread. A velvet beauty. We bend toward the blossom and inhale a scent perfect beyond the harvesting art of even the most skilled perfumer. It is intoxicating. We cannot stop breathing it in. Again and again, the perfume taps our soul, changes us.

We do a practice, say movement and breathing. (See below.) At first we apply effort. (Three Phases of Deepening)  We have to keep our mind on what we are doing. This phase takes a while. We think about this and that. We feel grinch-y. We aren’t smooth. Then after a bit, the practice picks up momentum. It takes on a life of its own and carries us along. We forget about outside things and become interested in how we feel. Magic unfolds. What is happening right now is more important than before or after. Absorbed in what we are doing, not distracted, a deepening state moves around and through. In the Moment. That’s where we are. In the Mystery. Time dissolves. At length the movement subsides and comes to a finish. The state continues. The state grows, deepens. The Subtle.

The rose hip is the instruction.
The planting, sprouting, and growing of the rose hip is your effort and patience in the doing the practice.
The rose bud is the falling away of the outside world and entering the now.
The rose blossom is the Moment.
The perfume is the Subtle, the Unity.

You Can Only Get there from Here

Effort-ing—that phase of doing the practice with awareness—is only the small part of spiritual growth. Expanding the capacity to experience and be sustained in deeper states is the larger part of spiritual development, and this happens in the final Subtle phase.The Subtle is the most accelerated aspect of development. But you cannot skip over the previous parts. Like the rose bush growing, you must go through all the phases.

Hacking Down the Rose
If we end abruptly, drop awareness, and dive right back into our neuroses, we have hacked down our rose bush, done all that work for nothing. In a group setting, and thoughtlessly making noise hacks down the rose bush for all.

This is the Rapid Method. This. Much. Patience. This. Much. Awareness. This much time right now in this Moment. If you are interested in embodied spiritual development, do this. Everything else is a waste of your time. You are just spinning your wheels getting nowhere. And remember, a robust, fragrant rose bush is not grown overnight or in one season. Don’t expect heaven right away. Do this process with integrity and sincerity and you will, in time, have Perfume beyond your dreams.

This is the fastest way.

Practice: Breath & Movement

Simply this:

  • With your eyes closed, move and connect each movement to an inhale or an exhale. Stay with this for a while.
  • After a while, move freely being aware of your breathing.
  • After while, let the movement subside. Be aware as you sit in stillness. Remember, at the end of the external movement, the practice is not yet complete. The perfume is yet to come. Continue in stillness, watching with your inner gaze for the full flowering.
  • After a while, lie down and rest.



Share the movement...
    1. Love Love Love this. “This. Much. Patience. This much. Awareness. “. Yes.
      The rose analogy is exquisite. Beautiful and a wonderful way to understand the process of unfolding. Thank you!

      January 24, 2013
    2. David Hammond #

      . . . the triangle’s ting . . .

      January 25, 2013
    3. Yes, the triangle’s ting…

      January 25, 2013
    4. karleen #

      What a wonderful metaphor. What I love most about this practice is the subtlety, which makes the moment so exquisite….

      January 26, 2013
    5. Karleen, exactly so…
      Anastasia, love your underlining of those words. Never can be enough of truthful ‘gentle reminders.’

      January 26, 2013
    6. Thank you for writing this down, and for expanding the analogy. This is the most beautiful explanation for the value of resting, for a soft, gradual return from practice.

      Alia <3

      February 2, 2013

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