TOPIC: Practice With the Heart

The fundamental insight of Sufi Practice with the Heart is that each and every Human
Emotion is patterned by a specific underlying Latifa.   Unlike postures and movements
of the Physical Body or thoughts and attitudes of the Mind, Emotions themselves are
not learned.   Instead, Emotions are ultimately innate capacities of the Human Being
and it is only their expression that is learned and conditioned.

Every Human Being is born with the capacity to experience each and every Latifa
unconditionedly.  But as part of the development of the individual Personality (in the
"Arc of Descent"), the Lataif are embodied (in the cognitive and neuro-muscular
systems, for example) as conditioned patterns of Emotional perception and expression.

Some Lataif and their corresponding Emotions are blocked altogether (the person
incapable of Compassion, for example . . .).   Some are conditioned to arise only in
certain circumstances (the person only capable of Love for blondes . . .).  And some
are distorted into "negative" forms (the person for whom Strength arises as anger . . .).

Unlike Practice with the Body or Mind, Practice with the Heart is mostly indirect.
Bodily postures and Mental thoughts are learned and so can be evoked and re-learned
more or less directly.   But expressions of Emotions are primarily characterized
by the Bodily and Mental patterns that condition the underlying Lataif.  Practice
with Emotions is therefore mostly an indirect Practice through the Body and Mind.

Also unlike Practice with the Body or Mind, Practice with the Heart does not have
two equal aspects, one de-emphasizing old patterns and another developing new ones.
Instead, Practices with the Heart focus almost entirely on the first alone:   undoing
Emotional patterns that block, condition, and distort the underlying Lataif.  They

* sitting meditation with body sensing
* neo-Reichian bodywork and breath work
* dynamic meditation
* cognitive therapy
* emotional inquiry

There are also some Heart practices that work to weaken the Emotional patterns that
block, condition, and distort Lataif by evoking the underlying Lataif directly:

* Lataif Music practice
* Lataif transmission


TOPIC: The Lataif