Shehzadi Arwa Bensab led an Online Workshop on “Tasbih Based Mindful Breathing Exercise.” Below is a description of the workshop.  For more details email [email protected]

The Qur’an says: Ala bezikrillahe tatma’innul quloob - In Allah’s remembrance, hearts find serenity. The purpose of “Tasbih Based Mindful Breathing Exercise” (TMBE) is to help cultivate itminaan - peace of heart and mind - by doing zikr of Allah, and to grow in taqwa (consciousness of Allah) by deepening self-awareness. Rasulullah SA has said: Man arafa nafsahu arafa rabbahu; Those who are aware of themselves are aware of their Lord.

Rasulullah has also said: “One hour of deep thought—tafakkur—is better than a full year of worship.” TMBE is a form of tafakkur. Through its practice, we train our brain to harness its ability to control intention, attention and attitude. We set a sincere and noble intention (niyyat) to feel peace of heart and mind by doing zikr of Allah. With an attitude of equanimity and kindness, we learn to gently steer the focus of our attention toward breath and Tasbih, zikr of Allah, the giver of life and breath. When the mind wanders (which it inevitably will), we simply notice the content of our thoughts and gently bring attention back to breath and Tasbih. We continue to do this over and over again (for about 5-10 minutes to begin with).

As the mind deepens its concentration, it begins to settle and calm down. From this space of stillness, anchored in breath, we are able to see ourselves more clearly, and become more self-aware. Self-awareness is the pathway to awareness of Allah. As we become more aware and discerning of our patterns of thought and feeling, we learn to gradually release unhealthy patterns and nurture healthy ones that help us become the best we can be. Through consistent practice, we learn to deepen our peace, stillness and awareness. TMBE is a simple practice that requires consistent effort. Even 5-10 minutes of practice each day, for a period of a few weeks, can result in long term benefits such as being able meet change and uncertainty—which is a hallmark of life in this world—with some degree of calmness, acceptance and trust.