In this year's month of Ramadan, which is only a few days away, Muslims in the northern hemisphere will have very long days of fasting. In London it is expected to be around 19 hours of voluntary 'starvation' from food, drink and physical intimacy. This annual month-long fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam aimed to create 'God-consciousness' (taqwa in Arabic) amongst believers.
The other day I was asked if I wanted to go on a day trip to Brighton. This is normally the sort of offer that I shun as I like to stay well within my comfort zone, and this felt, well...outside of it. However, born out of the sudden frustration with monotony and lack of real human experiences, I instinctively agreed, and what a decision that turned out to be.
First up I need to be clear. I am a tarot lover, I have been reading the cards since I was 13. At first for friends, but now I do so professionally. I love and praise the genuine guidance tarot can offer, they are like an objective best friend. From my perspective tarot can help you figure out what you already, deep down, know. A good genuine reading should compliment your intuition about your own life. A healthy reading does not offer answers or prediction so much as it offers clarity and perspective.
The longer I live and explore a spiritual life the easier it gets. When I started off my adventures I visited a dozen or so different faiths and I got down and dirty with the meditation, the praying, the mantras. I had the patter and the pose, but none of it felt right. Some of it felt convoluted or ridiculous. Most of it didn't quite fit, it was someone else's story, someone else's journey.
This spring I went to Bali for the second time in the last few months. Last time I left with a heavy sense of unaccomplishment; I didn't quite connect to the place. So I needed to make up for it this time round. Delving into what Bali is all about - all things health & spirituality - felt like the right thing to do. Luckily, there are plenty of places on the island of Gods to do that.
Saudi Arabia gets a lot of stick from Muslims in general. Whether religious, social, or economic, one is never hard pressed to find criticisms from believers facing the Meccan direction. And although many criticisms have justified grounds, on the following issue, I would like to stand in Saudi's defence.