Polishing the Heart – focusing intention away from self and towards a higher being

Gem 12 in the book Spiritual Gems of Islam** finishes with a practice opportunity that the author suggests can be easily modified by Christians.  Here is my modification:

  • Sit quietly for several minutes, allowing yourself to quiet your mind (use a labyrinth or mandala if you have some trouble with this)
  • Sway very slowly – just a few inches in each direction. Do this for a minute or two
    • Humming something while doing this adds even more to the experience
    • If doing this with a larger group, consider having everyone hum a song like Amazing Grace while swaying
  • Now slowly and gently make polishing motions on your chest, as though polishing your heart (in keeping with the humming idea, you might consider humming the tune to “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord”)
  • Continue swaying and polishing while saying something meaningful to you about God’s mercy, your compassion or ??? My first effort at a three-phrase “mantra” to repeat while moving is…
    • Open up my heart to you, O God
    • Empty my heart of ME
    • Fill my heart with YOU

One favorite way of polishing the heart is practiced by “whirling dervishes” – you can see examples of their efforts HERE and HERE

** written very well by Imam Jamal Rahman, you can see more Spiritual Gems of Islam book details HERE, including purchase options – I’d recommend purchase of this book, for sure!