Sufis—when they have no recourse to communicating mystical knowledge across time and space—prefer direct, concrete work with people wishing to change themselves or discover Truth. Training at a distance is practically impossible for a number of reasons. The first is that you cannot substitute the direct influence of a Master’s energy for any books, even the best ones. The Master conducts grace and several other forms of energy which no one has even thought up names for, and because of this they are usually heaped together in a bundle that is also called barakah or grace. Grace is nourishment for the “soul”. It works on the whole body, and thus is sensed by all three of the lower bodies, bringing them peace, calm and a feeling of fulfilment. Grace pacifies and supports, and partly nourishes. It is a universal energy that can bring healing to the physical body, can create a breakthrough in your perception and give you various insights... that is essentially what grace is. It really does bestow grace upon people, and as such, at an obvious material level, quite often the wellbeing of those who have touched on the Work and in some way facilitated it grows almost immediately. Generally speaking, this is not true for those directly involved in the Work, because this is not what they come for.
The way grace works is mysterious and hard to explain. On the physical plane, the way grace works may be compared with how a flower responds to that which feeds and waters it. The flower grows and begins to blossom in response to being cared for. Something like this reaction happens on the physical plane: the people in the place where work is produced—for example, where the group gathers for exercises—mysteriously gain material grace, which appears to them in various different forms. I have observed such things for as many years as I have been working with people. It happens quite often that when they are “on a roll” people get carried away by their good fortune and become self-important and conceited. In such cases, the flow of grace is broken and they return to their former, though not worse, material state. And I have also seen this many times. Grace can come both through a specific person who then becomes a conductor of it, and through the combined spiritual or mystical work of a group of people. As grace has nothing to do with the working of the energy centers, it is impossible to emit it according to one’s own desires. It comes as an answer, as a reward for one’s efforts. A group that works well will necessarily disperse a certain quality of grace around the area where they have gathered.
It is important to bear in mind that one of the limitations of grace, which brings good fortune in the material world, is that this almost never comes to the group participants themselves. The Sufi Path is founded on ascetic principles, and although there are exceptions to the rules, on the whole everything remains the same even now. If Protestants believe that God grants material wealth to those whom He grants His blessing, on the Sufi Path a person must internally (and sometimes also externally) reject everything apart from God. Therefore grace affects people on the Path differently in helping to realize their lofty aspirations.
Grace is an answer from God (or the Higher planes of Reality, which for us is the same thing) to Work performed well. It almost never given in advance, although I have come across cases where grace comes, for example, at the point where decisions have been taken that are connected to performing Work. In these moments it becomes a sign of approval, and often its arrival alone allows me to eliminate any doubts concerning the choice.
And then in terms of vibrating energy, grace also comes as an answer to the energy that people give off in the process of Work. In this context, grace serves as both a reward, and as an incentive, and as a resource that helps to improve the quality and increase the quantity of the energy emitted by those involved in Work. The effect of grace on the external world is miraculous and almost divine, the changes in those who feel it within them is sometimes not so obvious, but of course they are there.
When a person becomes a conductor of grace, it comes through the Heart, specifically through this channel of connection. That said, grace may accumulate over time in the heart center until the point that someone who really needs it comes along. This is how blessings are produced—as the heart center is directly connected to the palms, one of the communicative channels of the physical body, energy from grace can be transferred through them.
Furthermore, the Heart has its own vibration, which can also be transferred and ignites the Heart of those around if they are ready to receive what is being given to them. It is usually wasted on people off the street, but this kind of communication within a group substantially accelerates ignition of the heart center in all involved and gives new possibilities for Work with them.
The sixth center also has the ability to work not just inwardly but outwardly, exerting its influence not only through the mental plane but directly, emitting and transferring energy of a set frequency and with it affecting the senses and the states of those around. The second center can do the same thing at its own level, but this is not directly relevant to our theme. There are two more energies that are transferred by a Master to his pupils—energy from the field of Consciousness and the energy of the seventh center, which is objectively superior to the rest. The field of Consciousness is the field of Presence in which pupils’ awareness may be fostered much faster. I have written about this before, and for this reason I will only add that this field is permanent, and pupils may enter it when they deem it necessary, if they possess a strong connection with the Master. In the field of Consciousness, the ability to maintain concentration increases, and generally all practices concerning the development of awareness are performed more easily and effectively. The permanence of this field distinguishes it both from the phenomenon of grace, which is present impermanently, and from transfers, which happen via the energy centers.
The heaviest emissions are possessed by the seventh center or sahasrara chakra. Energy from the Heart is far gentler and more pleasant to the senses. But it is the energy of the seventh center that possesses the strongest awakening influence, and for this reason transfers via the seventh center are the strongest in terms of aiding the growth of awareness, and give a jolt to those are working toward this awareness. The field of Consciousness in this sense has a slow yet profound yin effect, while transfer via the seventh center is completely yang and is just like the lash of a whip. An open seventh center grants new possibilities for connection and interaction, it’s true. But the fundamental work of Sufis is still connected with the Heart, owing to its special importance and the necessity of it in carrying out Work. An open seventh center without an open Heart (or in place of it) makes for individual mystics that are incapable of either conveying messages or of helping anyone to get to the same position and inner state. The Heart in this sense is far higher and more useful for people on the whole, because a mystic who works through the heart center will never lose their connection with people and is capable of bringing them good fortune at least in the form of grace. Those who make it to the seventh center eventually lose that connection and cease to be interested in people, preferring to remain within their own ineffable inner existence.