Today is Eid, the end of the fasting month for Muslims. Here are some reflections by Imam Khalid Latif in NYC during Ramadan…here are some excerpts that spoke to me:
Ramadan teaches me how to fill that hunger in a different way. I don’t need to always consume to feel satisfied, and when I do consume, it doesn’t really have to be as much as I am used to. I can gain a deeper contentment by understanding really what my heart is in need of in order for it to feel at peace. The company of good people from all backgrounds, the moments to break away from the day to day monotony of my working life, the ability, want and desire to give of myself and resources to those who are in need, they all feed me in a different way.
In Singapore, I think many of us turn to shopping, the internet or our mobile phones to fill this deeper soul hunger. I use books, silence and reflection, and conversations with people in which I try to connect to our deeper truths to fill my soul hunger. What do you use?
Moments of solitude are important depending on how we use them. It’s very different seeking solitude in order to remove yourself from frustration, anxiety, and irritation of people versus seeking solitude to grow and develop as you reflect upon and contemplate the world around you and how you fit into it. Setting aside time on a regular basis, whether it’s daily, even few days, or once a week, is important for all of us.
This aloneness is worth more than a thousand lives.
This freedom is worth more than all the lands on earth.
To be one with the truth for just a moment,
Is worth more than the world and life itself.
Solitude helps me see myself fully, appreiate the beauty, be kind to what’s not so perfect and forgive, understand people and where their actions are coming from and make better decisions.
If finding time for solitude is hard, you could start with the toilet! Extend time there; make it work for you more so you can return to the world, not just more relieved but also a little more nourished!
In my favourite poem, The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, there’s a line:
I want to know
if you can be alone
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.
In this way, solitude is about truth-seeking…
What are your ways of finding solitude?
PS: This blog is not tied to any specific religion. Where possible, I try to promote inter-faith understanding and harmony.