Sunday, September 9, 2012

What is Lost and what is Found and the Nature of Time

When you lose something, it always makes you feel bad.  You can never be happy to lose anything, otherwise it wouldn't be lost.  Losing something signifies a loss of value.  This may mean a lost watch, or a lost wallet or it could be smaller items like a lost phone, lost keys or a lost pen.  Whatever it is, you will always feel bad for losing it.  You are bereft by the loss and may go back to search for the lost item that could be found but may look to no avail.  The lost object may have sentimental value.  What does it mean to lose something forever?  Does it mean that we will feel the loss for the rest of our lifetime, or will the feeling wear off after a significant amount of time has passed.  Likely, we will overcome the loss through time.  We will forget but remember that lost thing that was never found but we are now able to cope with the loss.  Why is it so?  Whence the object that was lost at one time was more precious than ourselves or meant more to us than anything.  The lost earring that was passed down for generations that we could never think of being without it or those lost memories.  Are we diminished when we lose something or does the loss affect our lives indefinitely.  Loss can make us depressed and feel worthless.  We seek refuge or consolation in the other things we own.  It may be a trivial loss but the impact can be measured in many ways.  Like losing the ticket on the way to the train to visit a friend may be frustrating but a redeemable loss.  There will be other dates when we can visit our friend but the loss is immediate and sudden.  Thus, we may feel redeemed to visit the friend at some future time, and the previous loss is a trifling matter.  It seems that time ultimately restores our loss and we are able to overcome its privation.  Thus, we can regain our sense of entitlement and ownership.  The lost objects are returned to us not by chance or by an immediate disclosure or recovery but preserving or resisting the loss to feel redeemed.  A lost and found may return our losses to us but does not adequately challenge us to accept time as master.  For something that relies on chance  does not reinstate our free will to overcome a predestined outcome.  For time is a healing agent, a matter of substance and quality that gives us back our dignity and self-worth.  We are vindicated by the passage of time to recover that which was lost by virtue of our free will, that supernatural quality that makes us unique to God.  For the loss applied to material objects such as a loved one, a spouse, a mother, a child, a pet or grandparent is just as hard-felt as any such immaterial object of great importance or value.  But we cope with the loss and are healed by the passage of time and in the spirit of time passing, that makes our material existence possible.  Losing something forever does not mean we cannot regain that which is lost by the virtue divine providence.  Thus we may grieve for a time only that which is lost at the present moment but not indefinitely.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Value of Fasting


The fast or the period of cleanliness and piety and abstinence from food, begins at the outset of the day when we open our fast.   We realize that there is a certain order to the day of fasting and it starts with the morning worship.  We can discern how much to consume in the morning when we open our fast since our bodies tell us when to stop eating and to avoid eating too much to overcome the fast.   Thus, when we open our fast, it is important to realize that the fast is commensurate to our physical and bodily requirements.  We should resist the urge to overeat since the body speaks to us to let us know that we are exceeding our prescribed amount.

Throughout the day, it is absolutely important to avoid cursing, fighting, arguing, bickering and if necessary avoiding people who may irritate you or annoy you for your fast to be holy and pure.  Worship and prayer is an important part of the day and excessive TV, Internet or entertainment should be avoided for the simple reason that these are uncensored and may desecrate our fast unwittingly.

Try to find your center and the fast can be very enlightening.   You will feel very close to God and immediately, feel a renewed sense of commitment to priorities in your life – the people you care about, dispel vanities and vices and bring us back to the basic principles of life and humble ourselves before God. 

Besides that, one also learns greater responsibility – that the fast requires us to pay attention to our daily needs, that include eating and breaking our fast on time, spending our day in a constructive way,  being clean and practicing good hygiene and reflecting on God to make our time on earth more meaningful.  We should also pay attention to how we conduct ourselves on a social, economic and political level that the fast permeates with its clarity and righteousness.

When we break our fast, we should observe humbleness and piety and consume either a date or drink water that helps know the value of fasting and the expiation of hunger.   It’s akin to a three-course meal – we can open the fast with an appetizer and after completing prayer, we can proceed to a second course and finally a sensible main course that our bodies can adjust to the lengthy period of fasting and abstinence.  Thus, we exorcise the ravenous wolf that speaks to our souls. 

These are some observations that I think can help people who are fasting and that extends to the rest of their lives beyond the period of Ramadan.    I hope your fast is blessed and brings you closer to God.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Student Assignment - Cafe Menu

Design your own Cafe menu - with gourmet teas and cafe, cakes and confections to attract your customers.  Be creative and add your own special touch and flavor.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Knowledge

How can you know me, when I don't even understand myself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Interstate Faith Walks

I propose conducting interstate faith walks.  An organized movement to unite the growing number of mega-churches and places of worship throughout the country.  These collective migrations can bring masses of people together from all walks of life, to share their faith across state lines.  In the spirit of the million man march of the 60's but on a smaller scale, such movements can organize worshipers from all faiths to peacefully assemble, gather and march across the country to deliver a faith promise and act of religious praise.  These peaceful migrations can lead to a greater understanding among peoples of all faiths and unite communities of interest.  Church leaders can assemble these peaceful migrations, and bring thousands of people to unite, share their common faith experience, undergo a historic rebirth, unite families and lineages, enhance dialogue between peoples of all faiths, cultures, state affiliation or background, and bring a greater appreciation for faith, God and scripture throughout the country and beyond.  This can be a highly inspirational experience for people to go outside of their comfort zone and reach out to other cities and towns to sew seeds of understanding, knowing, and trust between diverse cultures and create long-standing ties with citizen's of other states who may share common history, faith , language and origin with their stateside counterparts.  These special walks can take place between major cities across safe and designated routes, such as between Chicago and New York, New York and Detroit, Atlanta and DC, and other inner cities and towns that are most vulnerable to the deterioration of religious and family values.  On these trips, people can choose to march the entire way or travel by charter buses for longer distances and convene at state parks, national lawns or local churches to spread and deliver their interfaith message.  By connecting with neighboring cities and towns, churches and mosques, temples and monasteries can begin a process of healing, and self-discovery, and form lasting bonds with citizens' and long-lasting faith friendships as receivers and deliverers.  Such events can be uplifting both spiritually and physically, removing citizens from the mundane, everyday work and city life, to connect with diverse communities and spread a message of enlightenment and goodwill.  These wonderful and restorative walks can expand horizons, increase church productivity, raise needed capital and religious endowment, advertise and promote and enable people to strengthen bonds, trace historic roots, and find spiritual peace and comfort and greater purpose in their spiritual work and daily life, forming bonds that can last over a lifetime and generations.  Such events can lead to a greater appreciation for the value of pilgrimage such as the Muslim's Hajj or Holy Land tours.  Why not conceive a nation that can connect its religious followers beyond state lines in a creative, spiritual, uplifting and supernatural way and revive brotherly and spiritual love beyond state borders with the greatest impact.  I propose Interstate Faith Walks to reawaken a sense of religious freedom throughout the land.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pyar Khi Yaad (Love's Memory)

Itnah pyar kartah hu meh tumseh,
Keh jeh nah bareh, pyar karteh weh tumseh,
Itnah pyar kartah hu meh tumseh,
Key zindaagi bhi hai ek fanah,
keh kaabi nah pyar kar saku meh tumseh.

Trans.  Love's Memory

So much love I have for you.
That it can never be enough, no matter how much I love you,

So much love I have for you,
That even life is like a bitter death,
to consider never being able to love you again.

Kalah Pyar (Black Love)

Kalah pyar,
Kar is dil ko sansaar,
Kaabi ho nah inkaar,
Nah mah neh woh haar,
Yeh merah kalah pyar.

Trans.  Black Love


Black love,
That rends the heart asunder,
Let it never detract,
Nor accept defeat,
That is my black love.