Ruslan Vladimirovich Zhukovets (born on September 19, 1968) is a Sufi Master and the founder of the School Ascending Flow. He is the author of 20 books on contemporary Sufism, where he extensively delineated consecutive stages of the spiritual Path, including the final highest stages of Unity with God. The narrative is grounded in first-hand experience and presents a comprehensive, up-to-date interpretation of spiritual development stages. The Master developed a set of practices that then consolidated into a learning system actively applied by seekers in their spiritual work on themselves.
Beginning of the Quest (early years to 1994)
Ruslan Zhukovets was born in the Tver region and spent his childhood in Kuvshinovo. As a child, he got intrigued by the mystical side of reality. Later, in his teenage years, he took up martial arts. Further, he got into the Tver State Medical School; whereafter he was drafted for military service in the Soviet Air Defense Forces.
While in the military, Ruslan went through extreme experiences and realized that the ordinary life of people in his social network would never be an option for him as he was not willing to live his life similarly to everyone else. He started searching for an alternative and turned to spiritual and mystical texts, Tao Te Ching, The Holy Bible, The Rose of the World (by D. Andreev), to name a few. At around the same time (1988-1992), he had his first mystical experiences, tried experimenting with arts, and studied philosophy to find an answer to the question: Is there a way human life can have meaning than spinning in a home-work-home cycle? In early 1992, he enrolled in healing courses where he learned about the Path, which shaped the main goal of his life. The Master-to-be got engaged with his first spiritual practices and soon appreciated his first transcendental experiences.
In 1993, Ruslan Zhukovets read books by Osho which facilitated his progression to the inspired nafs. Later the same year, upon reading the book In Search of the Miraculous by Peter Ouspensky, he added daily self-awareness to the pool of his practices, which included attention concentration, breathing exercises, visualizations, and Osho practices. Later the same year, Ruslan graduated from Medical School, landed a general practitioner internship job, and started practicing massage therapy.
The Uwaisi Transmission (1994)
On the night of June 23, Ruslan Zhukovets received a Uwaisi transmission from the spiritual presence of G. I. Gurdjieff within the Naqshbandi chain of spiritual descent. That event was a response to his need to find a Teacher to guide him on the Path. It resulted in a complete reassessment of his prior experience and a breakthrough in his theoretical and practical understanding of the Path. Additionally, it laid a foundation for the line of Work initiated by Ruslan later and is up and running today.
From mid-1994 to 2000, Ruslan worked as a doctor at the intensive care unit in the Cardiology Department of Tver City Hospital No. 4.
Further Advancement (1995-1998)
Ruslan consistent effort in mindfulness expedited the growth of his self-awareness and exposed him to a wide range of spiritual and mystical experiences. As such, in April 1995, he reached a pivotal state of self-awareness marked by the complete and permanent presence of his attention within the physical body. Concurrently, he worked through his repressed emotions, desires, and traumas on a new, more profound level.
Spiritual knowledge transferred during the Uwaisi transmission would unfold gradually, and the Master described it using the following example:
"About the same time, I started reading books by Idries Shah. I read Sufis first, then Thinkers of the East. I was baffled by a strange phenomenon: I struggled to wrap my head around most of what was happening to me, yet many things that Shah wrote about somehow made perfect sense. ... My level of knowledge no longer aligned with the level of my being: that was a direct effect of the Uwaisi transmission. Portions of knowledge would come in on their own in response to a question at hand, as if activated by my inquiry, regardless of whether it was related to a parable or a Zen koan. The transmitted knowledge required a favorable environment to be activated, and reading Shah's parables perfectly created such an environment in my mind. That was a mechanism for a gradual “unzipping of the package" received from G.I. Gurdjieff.”
In September 1996, Ruslan began teaching his first student and received his first insights into the mission to which he later would devote his whole life. In 1997-1998, he developed the method of body-oriented psychotherapy based on addressing deep-seated blockages in the body and continued to treat patients. In 2010, a method patent RU2395308C2 was granted.
From the Dark Night of the Soul to Surrender to the Will (1999-2006)
In the first half of 1999, Ruslan Zhukovets transitioned to the Dark Night of the Soul stage, which lasted till March 2001. Then, on October 15, 2002, he experienced the opening of the Heart, the milestone described by the mystics in the past yet almost forgotten by contemporary Sufism and other spiritual and mystical schools. The true meaning of this important event and its role in the evolution of human nafs would have been revealed to Ruslan much later.
In inner life, the years 2002-2004 were a period of mystical revelations, further practicing mindfulness and growth of the free volume of attention. In the outer world, Ruslan continued seeing patients and using body-oriented therapy and other energy-therapeutic means.
On January 3, 2004, Ruslan Zhukovets surrendered to the Will—a mystical act of giving in one's own will and accepting the Will of God instead, which is a pivotal sign of simultaneous progression to the fifth nafs. Shortly after, a part of his future mission became revealed to him; it was associated with teaching people and serving God.
At the end of October 2004, he formed a trial "no. zero" group of students in Tver; and on July 12, 2005, the first full-fledged group of students was formed and began its work, which included sitting meditations and daily self-awareness practices. In January 2006, the second group was created, where students practiced mindfulness and psychotherapy techniques. In the summer of 2007, initiated by the Will, the practice of dhikr and direct energy transmissions were integrated into the group work.
Work with the Groups. The First Books (2007-2011)
In January 2007, after partial dismissal and reorganization of the groups, the first steps were made toward giving some structure to the teaching and the set of practices, which later became a platform program for the work system in the School Ascending Flow. Throughout 2007, Ruslan Zhukovets gives a series of public lectures on working with fears and desires. The groups at School began working with the parables by Idries Shah. The "Commandments for Seekers" were written in August 2007, followed by a commentary in the fall of the same year. In 2008, he continues working with the groups and hosted the kick-off workshop on emotions and desires.
On August 10, 2008, Ruslan Zhukovets began writing a series of articles on the fundamentals of the teaching and the aspects of working on the self, for his students. These articles were assembled into the first book and published a year later under the title The Book on Spiritual Work (finalized on May 31, 2009).
In 2009-2010, the Master continues writing and produces his second book The Book on the Obvious and the Non-obvious (September 2009 - April 2010) in which he elaborated further on the subject of working with emotions, desires, feelings, and the ego as well as covers some additional aspects of the teaching. This book was the first to introduce a pioneering explanation of the connection between emotions and desires. In the same time period, he wrote a handful of opinion pieces for several online theme websites.
The installment The Dark Side of the Quest was written in May-June 2010. It outlined the main misconceptions of seekers around the goals on the Path and the consequences thereof. The Keys to Self-awareness was put together in June-August of the same year and captured the details and specifics of practicing daily self-awareness. The two texts were issued under one book cover in November 2010. As Path kept unfolding for the Master, he continued conceptualization of the theoretical foundations of the teaching and the practical work with the groups. Also, new practices and methods for energy manipulation emerged and were put to use.
In the early summer of 2011, the book The Science of Spiritual Growth was finalized, completing a series of the first four books. In this book, the concept of Descending Flow and Ascending Flow of the Creation was introduced for the first time. On October 15, 2011, Ruslan Zhukovets conducted the first one-on-one meetings with the seekers in Moscow. Following a few more such meetings, students enrolled in the first Moscow group in the fall of the same year. Development of the system of practices continued; for example, several new exercises aimed at managing repressed emotions were added to the program. In September 2011, Master began writing his next book, The Path of Transformation.
Continuation of the Work
In May 2012, Ruslan Zhukovets underwent the first stage of enlightenment, namely, the attainment of full awareness, or a full manifestation of the individual Consciousness in the lower bodies of man. Preceding it, was the opening of the seventh energy center, or chakra.
On December 1, 2013, the stage of following the Will of God came to an end and was succeeded by the stage of disappearing into God, in which the mind is subjected to a deep transformation and which marks the end of the station of the fifth nafs and the onset of one’s transition into the sixth nafs. The stage of disappearance in God continued throughout the end of 2015, and the signs of the sixth nafs manifestation appeared in the Master in early 2016. In the spring and summer of that same year, Ruslan conducted a series of lectures open to all interested in attending. Already enlightened, he continues his movement along the Path, and so does his work with his disciples.
In 2017, the Master conducted several open drop-in workshops where neophytes could try guided mindfulness and Sufi dhikr practices.
In the summer of 2018, Master's transition into the perfect nafs began. In 2019, this transition is joined by the beginning of achieving unity with God, which is the ultimate destination of the entire Sufi Path.
In the summer of 2021, the Master deactivated his social media accounts and withdrew from all external activity in favor of working with his students, as he sees no point in wasting his time and effort on those who are "just curious or browsing”.
- The Book on Spiritual Work (2010)
- The Book on the Obvious and the Non-obvious (2010)
- The Dark Side of the Quest. The Keys to Self-awareness (2010)
- The Science of Spiritual Growth (2011).
- The Path of Transformation. Sex and spiritual growth (2012)
- The Path of Transformation: A Mystical Experience (2013)
- Beyond the Veils of Light (2014)
- Something for God (2014)
- The Fundamentals of the Mystical Path (2014)
- How to Tame Emotions (2015)
- In the Presence of God (2015)
- Mystical Work with Dreams (2015)
- The Great Mystics as They Really Are (2016)
- The Practice of Self-Awareness(2017)
- The Fire of Aspiration (2017)
- True Miracles (2018)
- Transformation of the Mind (2019)
- Circles on the Water (2020)
- Sufi Proverbs (2020)
- The Great Tao (2021)