Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, achieve a mentally clear and calm and stable state. Some of the earliest written records of meditation, come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism around 1500 BCE. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity in numerous religious traditions and beliefs as part of the path towards enlightenment and self realization. Since the 19th century, it has spread from its origins to other cultures where it is practiced in private and business life. Meditation may be used with the aim of reducing stress, anxiety and pain, increasing peace, self-concept, well-being. Meditation is under research to define other effects; the English meditation is derived from Old French meditacioun and the Latin meditatio from a verb meditari, meaning "to think, devise, ponder". The use of the term meditatio as part of a formal, stepwise process of meditation goes back to the 12th century monk Guigo II.
Apart from its historical usage, the term meditation was introduced as a translation for Eastern spiritual practices, referred to as dhyāna in Hinduism and Buddhism and which comes from the Sanskrit root dhyai, meaning to contemplate or meditate. The term "meditation" in English may refer to practices from Islamic Sufism, or other traditions such as Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Hesychasm. In popular usage, the word "meditation" and the phrase "meditative practice" are used imprecisely to designate broadly similar practices, or sets of practices, that are found across many cultures and traditions. What is considered meditation can include any practice that trains the attention or teaches calm or compassion. Definitions in the Oxford and Cambridge living dictionaries and Merriam-Webster include both the original Latin meaning of "think about". Criteria for defining a practice as meditation "for use in a comprehensive systematic review of the therapeutic use of meditation" were identified by Bond et al. using "a 5-round Delphi study with a panel of 7 experts in meditation research" who were trained in diverse but empirically studied forms of meditation.
Other criteria deemed important involve a state of psychophysical relaxation, the use of a self-focus skill or anchor, the presence of a state of suspension of logical thought processes, a religious/spiritual/philosophical context, or a state of mental silence. It is plausible that meditation is best thought of as a natural category of techniques best captured by'family resemblances' or by the related'prototype' model of concepts." The table shows several other definitions of meditation that have been used by influential modern reviews of research on meditation across multiple traditions. In modern psychological research, meditation has been defined and characterized in a variety of ways. Scientific reviews have proposed that researchers attempt to more define the type of meditation being practiced in order that the results of their studies be made clearer. One review of the field provides a detailed set of questions as a starting point in reaching this goal; the practitioner of meditation attempts to get beyond the reflexive, "thinking" mind This may be to achieve a deeper, more devout, or more relaxed state.
In this article the terms "meditative practice" and "meditation" are used in this broad sense. However, in some contexts more specialized meanings of "meditation" may be intended; some of the difficulty in defining meditation has been the difficulty in recognizing the particularities of the many various traditions. There may be differences between the theories of one tradition of meditation as to what it means to practice meditation; the differences between the various traditions themselves, which have grown up a great distance apart from each other, may be starker. Taylor noted that to refer only to meditation from a particular faith...is not enough, since the cultural traditions from which a particular kind of meditation comes are quite different and within a single tradition differ in complex ways. The specific name of a school of thought or a teacher or the title of a specific text is quite important for identifying a particular type of meditation. Ornstein noted that "Most techniques of meditation do not exist as solitary practices but are only artificially separable from an entire system of practice and belief."
This means that, for instance, while monks engage in meditation as a part of their everyday lives, they engage the codified rules and live together in monasteries in specific cultural settings that go along with their meditative practices. These meditative practices sometimes have similarities, for instance concentration on the breath is practiced in Zen and Theravadan contexts, these similarities or "typologies" are noted here. In the West, meditation techniques have sometimes been thought of in two broad categories: focused (
Kelsang Gyatso is a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher and author. He is the founder and former spiritual director of the New Kadampa Tradition-International Kadampa Buddhist Union, an "entirely independent" Modern Buddhist order that presents itself to be a tradition based on the teachings of the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, which has grown to become a global Buddhist organisation and claims to have 1200 centers and branches in 40 countries around the world. Kelsang Gyatso is known among students of Buddhism for establishing the NKT and for his books which outline what he sees as key aspects of the Gelugpa tradition, he has become known for elevating the status of Dorje Shugden, by claiming Shugden's appearance is enlightened. Kelsang Gyatso was born in 1931 on the 4th day of the 6th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, in Yangcho Tang and named Lobsang Chuponpa. At the age of eight he joined Ngamring Jampa Ling Monastery where he was ordained as a novice monk and given the monastic name "Kelsang Gyatso" meaning "Ocean of Good Fortune".
Kelsang Gyatso continued his studies at Sera Monastery near Lhasa. After escaping to India via Nepal during the Tibetan exodus in 1959, Kelsang Gyatso stayed at the monastic study centre established at Buxa Fort. All he brought with him were two Buddhist scriptures — Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life and a text by Je Tsongkhapa. In 1971 the Indian Government donated large tracts of land in South India to the community in exile, separate monasteries were established in the south. At this time, Kelsang Gyatso left the monastery at Buxa for Mussoorie where he taught and engaged in intensive meditation retreat for several years. At that time Kelsang Gyatso was "by all accounts, a well respected scholar and meditator" within the Tibetan exile community. Kelsang Gyatso removed references to the 14th Dalai Lama and Ling Rinpoche in the second edition of Clear Light of Bliss, to create a close association between himself and Trijang Rinpoche. In 1976, at the suggestion of the Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso was invited by Lama Thubten Yeshe through their mutual spiritual guide to become the resident teacher at the main FPMT center, Manjushri Institute in Ulverston, Cumbria in England.
In 1991 Following a three-year retreat in Tharpaland, Dumfries, he founded the NKT-IKBU. He retired as General Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU in August 2009 but continues to write books and practice materials. Lama Yeshe's decision to invite his former classmate to be Resident Teacher at the FPMT's Manjushri Institute in England was advised by the Dalai Lama, he arrived in August 1977 and gave his first teaching on Lamrim on September 10. Under Kelsang Gyatso's spiritual direction, Manjushri Institute "became a thriving training and retreat center." Kelsang Gyatso taught the General Program at Manjushri from 1977 to 1987. At that time, the Geshe studies programme was taught by Jampa Tekchok and Konchog Tsewang. On October 13, 1983, Kelsang Gyatso became a naturalized British citizen. In 1979, Kelsang Gyatso opened a Buddhist teaching centre under his own spiritual direction and without FPMT approval. David Kay explained how many Geshes who happened to teach at FPMT Centers in the early years still considered themselves to be autonomous entities: "Not all of the geshes shared Lama Yeshe's vision of Gelug Buddhism in the West or understood themselves to be part of it."Robert Bluck explained that as a consequence of opening Madhayamaka Centre, Lama Yeshe asked for Kelsang Gyatso's resignation, "but his students petitioned him to remain, a struggle ensued for control of Manjushri Institute, which withdrew from the FPMT."
Although some FPMT students regarded Kelsang Gyatso as a "rogue geshe" as a result of his separation from the FPMT, Bluck suggests an alternative view: "FPMT teachers became remote, with Kelsang Gyatso's single-minded approach and personal example inspiring many students." In 1987, Kelsang Gyatso entered a 3-year retreat at Tharpaland International Retreat Centre in Dumfries, Scotland. During his retreat, he wrote five books and established the foundations of the NKT-IKBU. After completing his retreat in the early months of 1991, Kelsang Gyatso announced the creation of the NKT-IKBU, an event, celebrated by his students in the NKT-IKBU magazine Full Moon as "a wonderful development in the history of the Buddhadharma." Since that time, the NKT-IKBU has grown to comprise over 1100 Centres and groups throughout 40 countries. Kelsang Gyatso's teachings had a practical emphasis teachings based on Lamrim and Mahamudra; when he established the NKT-IKBU study programs he said: I wanted to encourage people to practice purely.
Just having a lot of Dharma knowledge, studying a lot intellectually but not practicing, is a serious problem. This was my experience in Tibet. Intellectual knowledge alone does not give peace. Waterhouse commented, he is an endearing character to look at. Spanswick observes that "many of those who hear him speak are struck by his wisdom and sincerity."At the heart of the NKT-IKBU are its three study programs: the General Program, the Foundation Program, the Teacher Training Program. In these programs students study Kelsang Gyatso's books with authorized NKT-IKBU Dharma teachers. According to the NKT-IKBU, it "seeks not to offer a wester
Devotion, a central practice in Buddhism, refers to commitment to religious observances or to an object or person, may be translated with Sanskrit or Pāli terms like saddhā, gārava or pūjā. Central to Buddhist devotion is the practice of buddhānussati, the recollection of the inspiring qualities of the Buddha. Although buddhānussati had been an important aspect of practice since the early period of Buddhism, its importance was amplified with the arising of Mahāyāna Buddhism. With Pure Land Buddhism, many forms of devotion were developed to recollect and connect with the celestial Buddhas Amitābha. Most Buddhists use ritual in pursuit of their spiritual aspirations. Common devotional practices are receiving a blessing, making merit, making a resolution, making offerings, chanting traditional texts and pilgrimage. Moreover, many types of visualizations and mantras are used in Buddhist meditation in different traditions to devote oneself to a Buddha or a teacher; the politically motivated practice of self-immolation is a less common aspect of devotion in some Buddhist communities.
Buddhist devotional practices can be performed at home or in a temple, in which images of Buddhas and enlightened disciples are located. Buddhist devotion is practiced more intensively on the uposatha observation days and on yearly festivals, which are different depending on region and tradition; the term devotion in the context of Buddhism is defined by Sri Lankan scholar Indumathie Karunaratna as "the fact or quality of being devoted to religious observances or a solemn dedication to an object or a person". It is covered in Pali language by terms such as saddhā, pasāda, bhatti and gārava. Pema is used in the initial attraction a student feels for his spiritual teacher. Saddhā and gārava might inspire a layperson to ordain as a monk, whereas saddhā and pema may help a devotee to attain a good afterlife destination. Bhatti in early Buddhism has the meaning of'faithful adherence to the religion', but in texts, the term develops the meaning of an advanced form of devotion. Apart from these terms, the term pūjā is used for expressions of "honor and devotional attention".
Pūjā is derived from the Vedic root pūj-, meaning'to revere, to honor'. According to the Pāli Studies scholar M. M. J Marasinghe, in the Theravāda Pāli Canon, it did not have the meaning of ritual offering yet, it did include honoring through physical and mental ways. The term pūjā originated with Dravidian culture, in which it may have been used for a ritual or an element of ritual procedure, these ritual connotations may have affected Buddhism at a period. According to anthropologist William Tuladhar-Douglas, the root pūj- had a ritual meaning from the early Buddhist period. Although in traditional texts devotional acts are sometimes not considered part of the path to enlightenment itself, they are considered a way to prepare oneself for the development of this path. Devotion is expressed through the three doors of action, it is regarded as a form of giving, done for both one's own benefit and that of the other. In many Buddhist societies, devotional practices are engaged in because of this-life benefits, because of karmic pursuits and because the devotee would like to attain Nirvana.
In early Buddhism, it was a common practice to recollect the qualities of the Buddha, known as buddhānussati. In the period of the arising of Mahāyāna Buddhism, there was a growing sense of loss in Buddhist communities with regard to the passing away of the Buddha, a growing desire to be able to meet him again; these developments led to the arising of faith-based forms of Buddhism such as Pure Land Buddhism, in which the practice of buddhānussati involved celestial Buddhas such as the Amitābha Buddha. Devotional practices became commonplace, as new techniques were developed to recollect the qualities and magnificence of the celestial Buddhas, such as visualization and chants. In Buddhist devotion the Triple Gem, the Buddha, his teaching, his community are honored. However, this does not mean that deities have no role in Buddhist devotion: they do, but are put on a subordinate level with the Buddha at the top of the spiritual hierarchy. In some Buddhist societies, the devotional life has been influenced by pre-Buddhist devotion to deities and spirits.
In modern times, Buddhist devotion has changed in many ways. Traditional days of observance can no longer be maintained in the same way due to the introduction of a seven-day workweek, chants and other practices have been abridged or standardized to adapt to modern society. Goods offered in devotion have been commercialized. Devotional practices still continue to exist and evolve. Today, most Buddhists use ritual in pursuit of their spiritual aspirations. Devotion to the Triple Gem is expressed toward the Buddha image. However, other symbols have been used throughout Buddhist history, including the lotus flower, the Wheel of the Dhamma, the Bodhi Tree and the stupa. Sometimes, devotees pay honor to foot prints believed to have been left behind by Gautama Buddha or a previous Buddha. Buddhism regards inner devotion as more important than outer ritual. However, devotion does have an important place in Buddhism. Devotion is developed through several practices, expressed through physical movement and mind.
Buddhist devotion is not only direct to the Buddha
Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in England. A smaller suburban linear settlement, near a farm and public grazing area green of medieval origins, dates to the early 19th century, its bulk forms a late 19th-century and early 20th-century suburb with a commercial crossroads. The rest is of build, it is centred 5.5 miles north west of Charing Cross on the intersection of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road. It was founded as a medieval hamlet in the large parish of Middlesex; the parish was superseded by Hendon Urban District in 1894 and by the Municipal Borough of Hendon in 1932, abolished in 1965. In the early 20th century it grew in response to the opening of a tube station of the London Underground, adjacent to the Golders Green Hippodrome, home to the BBC Concert Orchestra for many years; the area has a busy main shopping street, Golders Green Road. It is known for its large Jewish population as well as for being home to the largest Jewish kosher hub in the United Kingdom, which attracts many Jewish tourists.
The name Golders comes from a family named Godyere who lived in the area, Green alludes to the manorial common at a cross roads next to which the settlement was built. Golders Green has been a place in the manor of Hendon since around the 13th century; the earliest references to the name of the adjacent district of "Temple Fortune" is on a map. However this name reveals a much earlier history, it is that the name refers to the Knights of St John, who had land here. Fortune may be derived from a small settlement on the route from Hampstead to Hendon. Here a lane from Finchley, called Ducksetters Lane, intersected, it is that the settlement was the Bleccanham estate. By the end of the 18th century Temple Fortune Farm was established on the northern side of Farm Close; the building of Finchley Road replaced Ducksetters Lane as a route to Finchley, resulted in the development of a small hamlet. Hendon Park Row is of this period, consisted of around thirty small dwellings built by a George Stevens, which were, with two exceptions, demolished around 1956.
A small dame school and prayer house run by Anglican deaconesses existed in the 1890s and 1900s, developed to become St. Barnabas. Along Finchley Road were a number of villas, joined by the Royal Oak public house. By the end of the 19th century there were around 300 people living in the area, which included a laundry and a small hospital for children with skin diseases; the principal industry was brick making. In 1895 a Jewish cemetery was established adjacent to Hoop Lane, with the first burial in 1897. Golders Green Crematorium was opened in 1902. A significant moment in Temple Fortune's development into a suburban area occurred in 1907, when transport links were vastly improved by the opening of Golders Green Underground station. Although the area had been served by horse-drawn omnibuses and motor buses, the tram line of 1910, connecting Finchley Church End with Golders Green Station, led to the development of the area west of Finchley Road; the establishment of Hampstead Garden Suburb brought major changes to the area east of Finchley Road.
Temple Fortune Farm was demolished and along the front of the road the building of the Arcade and Gateway House established the Hampstead Garden Suburb's retail district. Both the Golders Green Hippodrome, former home of the BBC Concert Orchestra, the police station opened in 1913; the now-demolished Orpheum Theatre was intended to rival the Hippodrome in Golders Green. For local elections Golders Green ward covers the west of the area. Councillors are elected from across 21 wards. Nationally it votes for the MP for seat of Finchley and Golders Green, which encompasses the parts of the NW11 and NW2 postcode districts it contains; the same boundaries are used for the Golders Green, Childs Hill and Garden Suburb wards of the Metropolitan Police Service. The area is adjacent to the Heath Extensions part of Hampstead Heath. Golders Green is being referred to as a Jewish area, the Christian, Hindu and no-stated-religion populations represent the majority of Golders Green residents. Ethnically, the Golders Green ward was 64% white.
Indians, Other Asians and Black Africans made up 5% each. 6% claimed'Any other ethnic group' There has been a prominent Jewish community in Golders Green since the 20th century. The Jewish community took root after Hitler's rise to power, with the first German Jewish immigrants forming the Golders Green Beth Hamedrash. Soon after, Galician Jewish immigrants formed other synagogues. With it came the formation of Jewish schools such as Menorah before the onset of World War II. By the 1950s, the Jewish population tripled. There are close to 50 Kosher restaurants and eateries under rabbinical supervision in Golders Green, more than 40 synagogues dotted throughout the area continuing into neighbouring Hendon, as well as 30 schools, many of them private; the Jewish community of Hendon and Golders Green is viewed as one, sharing the schooling system as well as rabbinical guidance. Golders Green is home to a growing Japanese and East Asian community with many families living in the district being catered for a notable number of restaurants and shops specialising in Japanese and other East Asian food, such as the Seoul Plaza sup
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
The meaning of a spiritual retreat can be different for different religious communities. Spiritual retreats are an integral part of many Hindu, Buddhist and Sufi communities. In Hinduism and Buddhism, meditative retreats are seen by some as an intimate way of deepening powers of concentration and insight. Retreats are popular in Christian churches, were established in today's form by St. Ignatius of Loyola, in his Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius was to be made patron saint of spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. Many Protestants and Orthodox Christians partake in and organize spiritual retreats each year. Meditative retreats are an important practice in the mystical path of Islam; the Sufi teacher Ibn Arabi's book Journey to the Lord of Power is a guide to the inner journey, published over 700 years ago. A retreat can either be a time of a community experience; some retreats are held in silence, on others there may be a great deal of conversation, depending on the understanding and accepted practices of the host facility and/or the participant.
Retreats are conducted at rural or remote locations, either or at a retreat centre such as a monastery. Some retreats for advanced practitioners may be undertaken in darkness, a form of retreat, common as an advanced Dzogchen practice in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Spiritual retreats allow time for prayer, or meditation, they are considered essential in Buddhism, having been a common practice since the Vassa, or rainy season retreat, was established by the founder of Buddhism, Gotama Buddha. In Zen Buddhism retreats are known as sesshin; the Christian retreat can be defined in the most simplest of terms as a definite time spent away from one's normal life for the purpose of reconnecting in prayer, with God. Although the practice of leaving one's everyday life to connect on a deeper level with God, be that in the desert, or in a monastery, is as old as Christianity itself, the practice of spending a specific time away with God is a more modern phenomenon, dating from the 1520s and St. Ignatius of Loyola's composition of the Spiritual Exercises.
Jesus fasting in the desert for forty days is used as a biblical justification of retreats. Spiritual retreats may have various themes that reinforce Christian values and scriptural understanding, they may involve a group. Retreats for Christian youth groups are common, as are getaways for Sunday School classes, men's and women's Bible study groups, Christian school field trips. Common locations for Christian retreats include churches and retreat centers. Retreat centers offer overnight accommodations, activities, meeting rooms, chapel space. In the 20th Century, three-day retreats were popularised by the Cursillo movement, based on Ignatian spirituality; the retreat was popularised in Roman Catholicism by the Society of Jesus, whose founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, as a layman began, in the 1520s, directing others in making the exercises. Another form the Exercises came in, which became known as the nineteenth "Observation",'allowed continuing one's ordinary occupations with the proviso of setting aside a few hours a day for this special purpose.'
The spiritual exercises were intended for people wanting to live closer to God's will for their life. Following the growth of the Cursillo movement in Spain, similar retreats have become popular, either using licensed Cursillo material or independent material loosely based on its concepts, leading to the development of the three day movement; the translation of khalwa from Arabic is seclusion or separation, but it has a different connotation in Sufi terminology. In Sufi terminology, khalwa is the act of total self-abandonment in desire for the Divine Presence. In complete seclusion, the Sufi continuously repeats the name of God as a highest form of dhikr. In his book, Journey to the Lord of Power, Muhiyid-Did ibn Arabi discussed the stages through which the Sufi passes in his khalwa. Ibn Arabi suggested: "The Sufi should shut his door against the world for forty days and occupy himself with remembrance of Allah, to keep repeating, "Allah, Allah..." "Almighty God will spread before him the degrees of the kingdom as a test.
First, He will discover the secrets of the mineral world. If he occupies himself with dthikr, He will unveil to the secrets of the vegetable world the secrets of the animal world the infusion of the world of life-force into lives the "surface sign" the degrees of speculative sciences the world of formation and adornment and beauty the degrees of the qutb Then he will be given the divine wisdom and the power of symbols and authority over the veil and the unveiling; the degree of the Divine Presence is made clear to him, the garden and Hell are revealed to him the original forms of the son of Adam, the Throne of Mercy. If it is appropriate, he will know his destination, he will reveal to him the Pen, the First Intellect the Mover of the Pen, the right hand of the Truth. The practice of khalwah is followed by the Sufis, with the permission and the supervision of a Sufi authority; the Sufis base the assigning of forty days of khalwa period on the forty days Allah had appointed for
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion