Of the Seven Leading Names, the first is al-Hayy, The Living.

We know that the degree of the Living (al-Hayy) is the most tremendous degree among the names, since it is the precondition for the existence of the names.
– Ibn al-'Arabi

Imagine your body suspended in space, your limbs floating limply, your five senses closed. What knowledge would you have of yourself? Simply this: that you live.

The soul is life; it never touches death.
– Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

Every fiber of the cosmos pulsates with the lifeblood of the Eternal Being. Where there is circulation, there is life.

Although we think that it is nourishment, or food, or outward things which keep us alive, it is really the life of God, which we take in at every moment with each breath.
Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan


Pas-i anfas

Experience the breath in its five dimensions: depth, reach, volume, center, and rhythm. Locate the heartbeat and feel its pulsation throughout the body. Attune to the magnetic field and its matrix, the electromagnetism of the planet.

Pas-i anfas

Sit facing a plant. Exhaling, extend your magnetic field to encompass the plant. Inhaling, retract it. Repeat. What do you sense about the plant?


Inhale fully, then exhale, reciting "ya Hayy" ten times rapidly. Repeat twice. Inhale fully, then exhale, reciting only one single extended "ya Hayy" slowly. Feel your cells tingling.


Kneel. Turn the head skyward and recite, "Hu." Turn the head toward the ground and again recite, "Hu." Turn the head forward, turn the consciousness within toward the heart and recite, "Hayy," causing the name to resonate throughout the whole of the body. Feel your cells tingling.

Walking Zikr

Stepping forward with the right foot, recite silently, "Ya Hayy." With the left foot, "Ya Qayyum" (O Self-Subsisting!). Repeat as you walk rhythmically.

Muraqaba (visualization practice)

"Imagine a flower as a bud. As you become more aware of the light which is emitted from your heart center, try to imagine that the petals of that bud are unfurling and becoming a beautiful flower. Through the awakening of light in your heart you cause the petals of the flower to unfold." – Pir Vilayat


Imagine all things and creatures as the cells of a single living being.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.

Alexander Pope

Muhasaba (self-analysis)

Examine each thought and action in your daily life. Which habits give expression to your sense of livingness? Which suppress it?


Marvel at the human being. Give thanks for the cosmic dignity with which God has endowed you. In interacting with others, approach each person as a living effigy of the Eternal Life.

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