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This is a fascinating topic. And the more people ask me about how I live my life, the more I want to write about it. It helps me ruminate on the life I’m living as a spiritual practitioner.
To sum it all up in a single line, the life of a spiritual teacher is mostly about a spiritual journey.
It’s a fascinating journey but it’s also full of other difficulties — difficulties that one would otherwise easily shun in life. When you enter the realm of spirituality and choose to become a spiritual practitioner, you essentially dedicate your whole life to the service of humanity. It’s a promise that requires some real sacrifices. And I don’t mean sacrifices of sporadic nature, but consistent and unbreakable in nature. For example, I can hardly remember the last time I spent a whole week being oblivious to my spiritual responsibilities. The rituals, amalyat, and sacred readings have become so ingrained in my life that I have to perform them like I perform salat five times a day. Or to put it another way, just as food and sleep are the necessary conditions of life, these spiritual practices are the necessary conditions of the spiritual lives of practitioners.
Sometimes, in retrospect, I feel that my life has been quite focused and one-directional. As a human being, I haven’t got to experience much outside the realm of spirituality. I get swamped by a sudden rush of strong feelings as if I’m missing out on something. But then things settle down and, by and by, I start to look at things from the vantage point of a human being who has a mission in life. It doesn’t take my rational mind long to conclude that the route I have chosen for me is the only route I’m truly passionate about. There are many personal reasons, but what really drives me is the belief that my work has a broader application than it appears. The focal point of my life’s work isn’t some material greed or any objective that centers around my own being. The focal point of my life’s work is the happiness, good health, and problem-free lives of the people who I have served and will keep on serving as a spiritual healer, InshAllah.
It’s the realization of this mission that keeps me going and pulls me through hard times. Yes, it’s hard to confine yourself within four walls for many days in a row; reading, chanting, reciting, performing amalyat, and going through all kinds of spiritual drills. Yes, it’s difficult to condition your mind and body around a very strict routine and follow the course year in and year out, ensuring that everything is being done as they are meant to. Yet, there’s a satisfaction to be had — a satisfaction that can only be experienced by those who are willing to undergo these spiritual fortifications. Our modern-day psychologist may well associate such a state of being with self-actualization or transcendentalism. But, in reality, it’s only a form of spiritual upliftment one experiences when one is courageous and dedicated enough to endure the burden of spiritual discipline.