Thinking you've got a monopoly on truth is the biggest mistake of all. This applies not just in the religious sphere but also to political and economic thinking and it applies regardless of the belief system: a Southern Baptist who believes they are in total possession of the truth is just as far from the mark as an atheist who thinks the same thing, or a Muslim.
I measure the arrival and progress of Autumn by one simple thing. Not the changing colours of the leaves. Not the darkening evenings. Not the increasing wind and nip in the air. Not even the shops stuffed with Halloween costumes. No. I measure the arrival and progress of Autumn by how many times I have to leave the room in a cold sweat because of a spider.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is based on the lunar system. Muslims fast for 29/30 days by abstaining from food, drink, nourishment and sexual relations from dawn to sunset. Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam and it is an obligation upon all Muslims, who have reached puberty. However, certain people such as the ill or frail; pregnant and menstruating women; breast feeding mothers, children and travellers are exempt from fasting. They are allowed to defer their fasts until a later date, or if they are unable to fast they are required to give a determined sum to charity. Muslims begin their fast at dawn with a meal known as Suhoor and break their fast at sunset with a meal known as Iftar.
Spirituality means different things to different people. Although spirituality is often associated with religious life, many believe it can be developed outside of religion where it focuses on: humanistic ideas, qualities such as love, compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, responsibility, harmony, and a concern for others, without necessarily accepting belief in a supernatural reality or divine being.
Yes, only in New York do long-haired hipsters balance fat volumes of Borges on boxes of Raisin Bran. Only in New York might you see a woman on the underground with a copy of William Burroughs' Naked Lunch in front of a public health poster promoting breastfeeding.
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.
Meditation is one of my favourite things. For a long time I felt I were doing a necessary service. But now it has me in it's gentle grip and I cannot get enough! Meditation can be taken as a small soulful snack or if you love it, then it can be an everyday pursuit. Meditation is about striving to find a still tranquil point inside your own mind and soul.