The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

        (How to create a bookmark)



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

We say that the hand is in control, when it can grasp something and hold it in its grasp. The fingers we say are in control, when they move up and down the piano, when they strike B when B is wanted - not striking E. Control is both in repose and in activity. Sometimes we find that we have become angry, we have become impatient, we have lost control over our mind, but before losing control of the mind we had lost control of the breath.

Since I have been in the West, people have said to me more than a thousand times, "We cannot control our mind, we cannot keep our mind fixed on one point." The first step is to lessen the activity of the mind; then thoughts come more slowly. One should first control the breath, and make it slow and regular. By this the health of the body is improved as well as the health of the mind.

People have invented a fan to purify the air by fanning it very rapidly. By the practices of qasab and shaghal breath also is fanned, and this rapid fanning changes it from one element into another and purifies it.

In the Quran it is said, "Surely, We revealed it on the night of power."

What was the night of power to the Prophet whose whole life was revelation? It was the sending of the breath within. It is natural that we always look outward. The breath is directed outward. We see what is outward, we hear what is outward, we taste what is outward, we are touched by what is outward. When the breath is sent within, then a person sees what is within, he hears what is within, he tastes within, he is touched by what is within. When this is done and the breath is purified, the mystics see forms and colors in it which reveal past, present and future to them. They know the past, present and future of every person whom they see. But if the control of breath tells them past, present and future, it is too little, it is not worthwhile. It must tell them more: from this limited being it must bring them to that unlimited existence, from this mortal being to that immortality.

In the account of the rniraj it is said that a buraq was brought for Muhammed to ride, an animal like a horse with a human face. This buraq was the breath: the horse whose rein is in the rider's hand.

If a person exercises the breath and practices concentration with a scientific idea only, he soon becomes tired. He thinks, "Why take so much trouble? For what result?" If it is done with the thought of God, with the repetition of the names of God, then- by the thought of the idealized God in whom is all perfection, all beauty, who is the Friend to whom we can tell our sorrows, all our sorrows, all our troubles - a happiness comes, a bliss. Saadi says, "In the thought of God is the blessing that it draws us every moment nearer to Him.