بسم الله الرحمن الرحي
bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm
In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful!
My journey of going inwards began over a decade ago. This is when I began to question my existence and slowly began to unravel the mysteries behind my experiences.
As I delved deeper into the root of my suffering, I began to discover the various spectrums of light that connect me back to God.
This lifetime of enjoyment of the dunya (material world) slowly began to reveal itself for the façade it truly is. As I peeled the layers of my false being, I began to see behind the mask of the dunya.
While I once cherished “living life to the full,” the more connected I got to to my “ruh,” or spirit, the more I realised how disconnected the dunya is from the Divine Presence of God.
In my state of ignorance and unconsciousness I was unaware of how the dunya was actually turning me away from Allah. My heart was of the dunya, a hard veiled heart that was accustomed to a lifetime of unconscious thinking.
Unaware of my thoughts and how they were manifesting, I used to routinely fall prey to egoic traits of the lower self (e.g., jealousy, envy, greed, and anger).
The self lacked discipline, restraint and an innate moral compass; although, it would conform somewhat to popular social norms.
All of this took me away from feeling complete and often left me empty, seeking gratification in material forms as a means of compensation. I sought out my fixes through food and shopping, two of the most common addictions that plague our world today.
As Rumi is famously quoted as saying, “the pain is where the light enters you.”
It is only through a spiral of negative events that I began to awaken. As my consciousness began to rise, the light of truth emerged.
As I tried to understand the magnitude of light entering through consciousness, the famous verse in the Quran came to mind,
“Truth will come, and falsehood will perish” (Chapter (17) Sūrat ll-Isrā -The Night Journey).
It is through the journey of our knowing ourselves that we begin to understand the message of hope, peace and love that transmits through the light of truth.
Al-Noor is the light that begins to shine inside us– the deeper we delve into our own healing– so that we may move towards becoming wholesome and complete or, in a word, “Holy.”
Essentially, the core of holiness is wholeness. To be integrated and “at-one” with ourselves.
The inevitable effect of living in a world of great fragmentation is refraction; separation and the creation of division that takes us away from Al Noor, the transcendent, luminous, white light.
The consequence of this is the gravitational pull towards the dunya and the ego, which then pose the threat of us creating harm to one another.
As long as we are not thoroughly illuminated souls, as long as we have not transcended falsehood and are still experiencing this world from inside the matrix, we will still inflict trauma and/or have trauma inflicted upon us.
My own journey led me into personal development. This came through a variety of self help books and other forms of popular psychology, ranging from child psychology to positive psychology. Eventually spiritual psychology led me to Sufism, where I finally discovered the secret place, where psychology marries spirituality.
I finally came home, to truth!
This was the missing connection. This was what I was looking for all along–that missing link that was able to help me make sense of my purpose– that higher calling that would give meaning to my stories, without having to tie me to a victim’s role.
I began to slowly heal as I committed to my spiritual practises as a way of life in harmony with nature. Thus, I began to accept and transcend my past.
As I healed more, I felt more clearly. And so it was that the sickness in my heart began to resolve.
Not surprisingly, one of my teachers gave a lesson at around this same time, related to healing traumas. This came to me very serendipitously, just as another subconscious blockage over what it means to be “religious” was plaguing my heart. At just the right moment, brother Ihsan posed the question, “Who are holy people?”
The answer he later gave was, “They are the people who have returned to their spirit, and awakened.”
So what does returning to our spirit mean?
It means to move towards our soul, our ‘ruh.’ To return to our very essence; to what connects us to Al-Noor, The All knowing, The Sublime.
The spirit is untarnished and unblemished; always with us, and always accessible. We just have to connect with it and rekindle its divine light. This is our path to healing and recovery; to going beyond the dunya and reconnecting to God.
This is the trail. And, if we follow our breath, it will lead us back into the deeper states of being.
The path to going into these more profound states of surrender is through acknowledging the inevitable traumas that are to be experienced, along with the scars they create. And while these traumas will often lead to fear, we need not run or hide from the pain that naturally accompanies them.
It is not our job to avoid these scars or hope we can avoid hardships in life. Rather, we are to recognise the specific ways they have conditioned us, and learn to address them effectively. This way, we do not continue to live from a place of fear.
So, as long as fear of a particular trauma resides deep inside of us, it will continue to manifest in our lives. We then, will continue to create and manifest based on the accompanying thoughts and feelings. Through fear we micro-engineer what we do not want and bring it into our world.
Our path to healing is our path to awakening. Healing the heart is our spiritual path; the path back to the Divine Presence of God. In transcending fear, transcending trauma, transcending wounds we return to a state of wholeness, or holiness, which is our “fitra,” our original disposition.
Through my exploration of yoga I found meditation. Later, I discovered it is also known as “muraqaba” in Islam, which simply means to sit still, and observe. While observing one may also sit in contemplation, taking account of all that is experienced, and reflecting on it. It was through this path that I found the truth of how to restore my “Self” to reality.
In stilling the mind and looking at a thing, falsehood is naturally annihilated. It is a divine practise that turns the healing light and divine spirit towards that thing, moving our vision beyond fear and into Oneness.
In such soul-searching and desiring to heal one needs to ponder on questions like the following:
“What am I afraid of?”
“What is the fear that has been hiding in my heart for a long time?”
“What caused this fear in me?”
“What caused my ego, my nafs, or my soul to fragment?”
We need to go deep into facing our scars, wounds and traumas. Otherwise we will be facing it all our life. We must trust the power of God to face our pain. If we don’t it will continue to show up and sabotage our lives.
In learning to relax, to breathe, taking conscious breaths and affirming beyond our mind, beyond what is right or wrong, beyond what is fair.. in accepting the “what is,” we say:
“I surrender . . . I surrender.”
Affirm the Shahada:
أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
ashadu an la ilaha illa’llah
wa ashadu anna muhammadan abduhu wa rasululu
I testify that there is no god, but God!
I also testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
Affirm the Oneness of God:
la ilaha illa’llah
None has the right to be worshipped, except God!
Remain still. Relax.
Look into the source of the pain, the trauma, the scar and say:
“I am greater than this!”
“God is greater!”
“I am beyond this!”
“I am beyond my past, my story, my history.”
In your heart affirm:
La illaha illah!
Allah Hu Haqq.
Allah Hu Haqq.
Allah Hu Haqq.
— By Shanti