The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date




Physical Condition

Physical Culture

Control of the Body


Balance in Solitude

Balance in Greatness

Life's Mechanism





A Question about Fasting


Physical Control

Questions about Vaccination and Inoculation


The Mystery of Breath

The Science of Breath

The Philosophy of Breath

The Control of the Breath

The Control of the Breath

The Power of Silence

A Question about Feelings

The Control of the Mind

The Mystery of Sleep

Five Stages of Consciousness


Dreams are of Three Kinds

Spiritual Healing



Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

The Control of the Breath

Reading books cannot give anyone control of the breath: practice is needed. Reading the theory of music cannot make anyone a composer, a singer, a piano player. Ask composers, singers, violinists how much they have to practice. The practice of breath is very difficult and arduous. We see Yogis sitting or standing for hours in the same position, practicing for hours in the night or before dawn. Through control of the breath all things are gained. If a man is a great writer, it is because his breath holds the thoughts that are in his mind. Sandow, through control of the breath, developed ideal muscles. Before control of breath is learned, control of the body must be gained by the practice of postures and positions. For instance, if a small child is trained once a day to sit still for four or five minutes, not to run about, if it is trained not to begin to eat at dinner until everybody eats that will give it control.

The ways of control of the breath are many. It must be done by realization of the self. But as long as we think that this body is our self, we cannot realize our self. And often we not only think that our body is our self, but we think that our overcoat is our self! If it is miserable we think that we are miserable; if it is very grand we think that we are very grand. It is natural to think that what is before our view is our self.

We always remember the words of our great poetess Zeb-un-Nisa, "If thou thinkest of the rose thou wilst become the rose; if thou thinkest of the nightingale thou wilst become the nightingale. Thou art a drop, and the divine Being is the whole. Whilst thou art alive, hold the thought of the whole before thee, and thou wilst be the whole."

The mystic always consults his breath in the evening and in the morning in order to know whether it is harmonious with the sun, with the moon and with the planets. He is always conscious of the breath. This is achieved through concentration; the Sufi gives a lesson to teach it, which is caller fikr.

My spiritual teacher, my Murshid, once said, "People say that there are many sins and virtues, but I think there is only one sin." I asked him what it was, and he said, "To let one breath go without being conscious of it."