Us (on our knees).
The meditations in that manual were designed for oral transmission
in an encounter called sina-ba-sina in Persian, which
depending on the translation, is either from “breast to breast” or
“heart to heart.” The teacher and his student—the lover and his
beloved—are on the floor, seated as if in prayer on their knees.
But rather than facing Mecca, the arched mihrabs in their
shared prayer rug (if there was one) point to each other. In
addition to the dance, the manual offers instructions for those
‘seekers’ who are ‘simpleminded and inexperienced,’ which will
Sitting knee to knee
The seeker lowers his chin
Draws his abdomen inward
Holds his chest out full, closes his eyes.
The Other begins feeling the Seeker's breath
As the Seeker exhales, the Other inhales for him.
(The force of the scream should result in blood oozing from the
nose and ears).
A variation on this meditation can be performed knee to knee
following the model of the twelfth-century poet Ahmad, who would
extend his hand towards his favorite pupil while holding a flower,
superimposing its petals over the youth’s face ‘…contemplating now
the rose, now the beloved…’
who as his mirror image was ‘more he than he.’