A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Latifa Akay, director of education at Maslaha.
A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Latifa Akay, director of education at Maslaha
Good morning. You don’t need me to tell you that being present and mindful is in vogue these days. In our world of constant stimulation, notifications and smart phone scrolling, we are presented with a range of ways to switch off from the hum of everyday life. Meditation, mindfulness packaged up in many forms, good sleep patterns, the adult coloring book, to name a few examples.
Everyone finds different ways to switch off. For me a bit of nature, bird song and time spent in the small hours – whether that is late at night, or early in the morning – is always welcome. But truly being able to quieten the mind and be present in the moment without flitting into worries, daydreams or projections is incredibly difficult. A lot of the time when we’re talking to people, we aren’t listening. Usually our minds are working at full speed – thinking about responses, judgments or maybe about something else entirely.
The idea of meditation is inherent in most religious traditions, including Islam, with the teaching that a quiet and focused mind can foster a greater connection with the divine.
For me fasting in Ramadan, rather than being a time of ‘running on empty’, is in fact very conducive to focus. With limited energy reserves it feels naturally easier to focus on tasks one by one – without the mind flitting off left, right and centre. At times it almost feels like you have been slowed down and suddenly find yourself watching the hustle and bustle and interactions of your surroundings with the renewed perspective of finding yourself positioned a few steps away from it all.
May we all find ways to step back from the rush and stresses of everyday life and have the clarity to make decisions that are good for us. Ameen.