Sufi Order

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i  Who We AreFAQ Winged Heart
8. Why do you change your names?
A Spiritual Name is a gift given by a guide or teacher to a seeker on the spiritual path for many reasons. The spiritual name reflects a Divine quality the teacher sees unfolding in the soul of his or her student. That quality may be the essence of the student’s being, or it may be a station that the student is in or approaching. Using the name helps that quality to manifest, both evoking the quality, and turning the student’s attention toward the quality.

Some people choose to become generally known by their spiritual names; others keep them as a deeply personal concentration. Some choose never to use a spiritual name. There is no requirement that the do so. Once a gift is given, the giver has no control over what is done with it.

9. What are "practices?"
A child repeats the alphabet, and thereby learns to read. Or he or she repeats the multiplication tables until they are automatically called forth when needed in daily computations. A musician plays scales and etudes over and over again, thereby gaining the facility to play more complex music, or to improvise.

An adept on the spiritual path also needs to hone certain skills: intuition, subtlety of perception, insight, devotion. These abilities are developed through the repetition of spiritual practice. Exercises with the breath, with sound and movement, meditation, concentration, contemplation, and prayer are the components of a seeker’s repertoire of practices.

Not all practices are valuable to all people. In fact a practice wrongly chosen can do both psychological and even physical damage. For this reason many practices are kept secret until the adept is deemed ready for them. Practices are prescribed by one’s spiritual guide, and should only be taken from a single source, much the same as one would not mix medications given by two different physicians.

10. Does Sufism offer experiences beyond the ordinary?
If beyond ordinary means rediscovering one’s inner knowledge and inner senses reflecting the soul and spirit, then it is a natural awakening to one’s Divine inheritance.

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