Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Learning to Listen: Homayra Ziad on HuffPost Religion

I came across this interesting sharing by Homayra Ziad who is Assistant Professor of Religion, Trinity College, and this is an highlight from her blog:

... deep listening is only possible when we are working on wholeness within ourselves. Peace begins with the self, for the fractured self is the root cause of much of the trouble in our lives. Even as we heal the wounds of others, we must cultivate the ability to communicate with our own selves. Using the language of journey to speak of the deepest grounding, the Naqshbandi Sufi teachers teach the spiritual practice of safar dar vatan -- travel in the "homeland" -- the realm of our own selves. This is the journey of self-knowledge: acknowledging our brokenness, replacing our negative attributes with godly virtues and learning to love ourselves as mirrors of the divine. This journey is what grounds us so deeply within ourselves that we may begin to reach out to others in true relationship.

In the contemporary language of place, Edward Relph suggests that "an empathetic and compassionate understanding of the worlds beyond our own places may be best grounded in a love of a particular place to which I myself belong." So spend some time getting to know yourself. A valuable traditional practice for self-knowledge ismuhasabah, or taking account, inspired by the Quranic verse: "You who believe! Be God-conscious, and let every soul consider carefully what it sends ahead for tomorrow; be mindful of God, for God is well aware of everything you do" (Quran al-Hashr, verse 18).

Every night, take some time to sit quietly, alone, facing the qibla. Go over your day, hour by hour, and reflect on those parts of the day that you regret, where you slipped up, where you wronged someone, and where your behavior was far from just and exemplary. Don't dwell on the negative, but focus on the future: imagine how you could have changed your behavior in that moment, and then resolve to do it the next time you are faced with a challenging situation. If a wrong can be righted, plan to do it. And finally, do as the prophet Sulayman did: ask for God's inspiration, support and mercy in your journey.

[+] Read in full.

> Also a lovely slideshow titled: Religious Pilgrimages: 14 Of The World's Most Spiritual Destinations
Is Technology good for Religion? via Washington Post Pin It Now!