|Justified by the Koran|
Have you ever wondered how a religion as violent, barbaric and intolerant as Islam could have given rise to a meditative spirituality like Sufism?
Well perhaps the answer is that it didn't. According to this article from the Astana Times, the Sufis may have got their meditation techniques from the Buddhists. In fact, it may be that the Sufis were actually undercover Buddhists who were forced to disguise their true beliefs by paying lip-service to Islam to avoid being beheaded or burned alive when their land was invaded by jihadists.
"Elsewhere in Almaty oblast, the Kora River bursts through the mountains near the town of Tekeli. In the nearby river valley is a large, pyramid-shaped rock with Buddhist images carved into it. Surrounded by a well-beaten path, the rock’s images are complex and reflect many aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. There is a stupa, a snow lion holding a stupa (the snow lion often represents cheerfulness, clear-mindedness and fearlessness in Tibetan Buddhist traditions), and symbols representing a Buddhist concept of cycles of time.
The path around the stone may indicate that passing Buddhists have practised walking meditation around it, venerating the object. This practice may also be an example of cultural borrowing between Buddhism and Islam in Kazakhstan: Kazakh sufis also walk around shrines and graves. They may meditate using mantras and breath cycles, often practice in small communities centred around a master and believe in rebirth and some other concepts associated with Buddhism.
One visitor, the mountain climber and tour leader Andrey Gundarev, pointed out that the word “kora” – also the name of the river – means “circumnabulation” or “revolution” in Tibetan and refers to a walking meditation practice."