Needed capabilities for self-development

In our contemporary world, the environment becomes ever more intricate, inundated with distractions and alluring temptations that pose a risk to our ability to stay focused and connected with nature and universe.

Although the external environment of our lives has profoundly changed across the centuries, the human condition, experience and purpose remain unaltered. Therefore, for a thorough change, we should work towards progress from within ourselves, not from the external environment. Explore and experience your inner reaches, that’s where the key is.

You must explore yourself, sincerely and fearlessly. Evolution and grow are not a passive engagement, but an active and sincere determination to clean the heart and clear the mind. It is not enough that we read, sit and talk, we must not accept anything unless we ourselves have validated and experienced it. Truths unexperienced quickly degenerate into dogmatism.

“If you cast yourself into a sea, without any guidance, this is full of danger, because man mistakes things which arise within himself for things arising elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you travel on a sea in a ship, this is perilous, because there is danger of attachment to the vehicle. In the one case, the end is not known, and there is no guidance. In the other case, the means becomes an end, and there is no arriving” – Al-Niffari, Sufi mystic.

To be able to evolve ourselves, it is required that we develop the following abilities.


Observation is attention without judgement and tension. The ability to witness and recall in detail what you have observed is the basic ability for exploring yourself, your thoughts, emotions and behaviour.

A great way to practice observation is by taking regular walks in your neighbourhood and focusing on a particular object, for example a tree. After each walk, recall the tree’s details. During subsequent walks, check the accuracy of your observations and notice even more details. Notice any changes or evolution in the tree’s appearance.


Concentration is attention with the ability to completely focus on the subject of contemplation, emotion, thought or idea, while ignoring distractions. Our concentration should focus and become absorbed and unmoved by the forces of the external environment, with the result of suspending our present-day self.

To exercise concentration, select an item like a small ornament, candle flame, or spot on the wall. Focus solely on this object for approximately 10 minutes. Observe its shape, color, texture, and details. When distractions arise, calmly return your attention to the object without judgment.


Exercises and mediations require the ability to visualise, to consciously form and create objects and situations. Visualisation is one of the key abilities.

There is nothing more powerful than thought. Visualisation is the process of harnessing thought in a constructive manner for the cleaning of our heart and mind, and for the expansion of consciousness.

Be aware, visualisation is not imagination. Visualisation is the construction of images through conscious steps towards a defined goal. Imagination is a spontaneous process, not guided by a conscious thought, we imagine what we already have in our subconscious. By visualisation we actively rewrite our subconscious.

To exercise your visualisation abilities, envision a serene landscape and observe the gradual growth of a seed into a fully formed tree. Visualise the intricate process of transformation, from the initial sprout to the majestic canopy stretching towards the sky. Through this exercise, you also cultivate your observation and concentration skills.


Introspection is the inner exploration of ourselves, to trace the sources of our emotional and rational behaviour. With the goal of understanding why we do the things we do, why we react the way we react. We study the thoughts and emotion forms we harbour in our subconscious and we express daily.

With introspection we determine which subject we should work on during meditation. Introspection is usually done daily, at the end of the day.


Meditation consists of mainly two parts. First part consists of calming the thoughts and emotions as a preparation phase. The second part involves a series of successive reflections towards developing the conditions for an intimate exposure to the sacred energies. 

With the subject determined by the observation during introspection, and using both concentration and visualisation, we move beyond the subjective experience of our daily misguided thoughts and actions. We align ourselves with the universal and eternal in this transformation.


In the practice of meditation, progress occurs gradually and at different levels. Whether it is grand or small, every step you take holds significance. Rushing ahead is not feasible. Rather, you must proceed steadily, mastering each step of the journey before advancing further. It is the unwavering faith and will-power that fuels the courage to persevere despite difficulty or delay.

We all must begin somewhere. There is work for those just beginning, there is work for those on the way. Patience and moderation are the rule. Excessive exercise can lead to over-meditation, which has no positive outcome. Practice for about fifteen minutes at least once or twice daily.