Saturday, November 23, 2013

Impressions from the spectacle "Mohammad"

I just watched the spectacle called "Mohammed - the astonishing story of the prophet".

What a great presentation!

I read the Qur'an last year, so it wasn't as fresh in my memory as it would have been a year ago. But the spectacle did remind me of some of the things I read: the prophet fleeing from the disbelievers, then fighting back.

I found it interesting that they didn't mention that he had 4 wives, despite that being in the Qur'an (if my memory doesn't fail me). They also emphasized the egalitarian teachings of Mohammed regarding women and race. I was very happy to learn about this division of Islam because it seems very modern and liberal.

Most moving moments:

When they very first started, they said "in the name of Allah, most gracious, ever merciful". I had read this sentence in the Qur'an so many times! But this was the first time I actually heard someone say it. I felt a small sense of belonging :)

Then they had some children singing verses from the Qur'an. I realised at that moment how lucky I am to be in a country where I have the opportunity to hear such a thing. Canada is such a wonderfully diverse country! This kind of presentation is exactly what I expected to find here. I'm so happy :)

I loved that they sang and spoke in Arabic (accompanied by the translations). I did recognize a few words (the very few ones that I know). It was nice to hear the (what I believe is) proper pronunciation of some words. It was also interesting to notice the different accents.

About the organization:

The minute I walked in the door, I was greeted with smiles. I could feel the kindness emanating from those people. Everyone was extremely helpful. I was surprised when they told me that I could simply get some books from them for free.

It was also a bit surprising that so many men talked to me. I was expecting a much more sexist environment, where only women would address me. I was already aware of the existence of more liberal branches of Islam, but I think deep inside I still held a preconceived idea that they were all very conservative. It was great to replace that stereotype with a more accurate personal experience.

One thing that bothered me were the people coming in and out of the theatre at the start and throughout the presentation. In my opinion, it was distracting and broke the momentum of sacredness. Maybe it would have been better if they had kept people at the door and waited for a transitional moment at the presentation to let them in. But overall, I got a very good impression of the organization.

The kindness continued after the spectacle. They offered food, more books, and even a subscription to an interfaith magazine. All for free. What a wonderful way to reach out and promote understanding!

My message to the good people of the AMJ: keep doing what you are doing! I firmly believe that peace comes with understanding of the other and focusing on what we have in common.

My message to potential spectators: if you haven't seen this, keep an eye on their schedule on their website. I'm sure they will have other presentations here in Toronto soon. I also remember seeing on their website that they are going to other cities in Canada.

Thank you God, for this opportunity to broaden my view of Islam and better understand that religion.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The power of affirmative sentences

I read a book a long time ago about neuro-linguistic programming.
It basically explained that you believe what you say to yourself. So if you say positive and encouraging things to yourself, you start believing them (of course there has to be some sort of truth behind it).
 This kind of relates to the law of attraction, that I much later heard on the movie The Secret.

So way back when I was studying to get into university, I wrote on a piece of paper "On XX date I am passing the admission test". I taped it on my cabinet next to my desk. I saw it every day while I studied for the test. I passed the test with flying colours.

Maybe I passed because I studied hard, or maybe because I programmed my brain to pass it. Either way, putting up a piece of paper doesn't hurt anybody and isn't that hard to do. Even if you don't believe in this sort of thing, you can put it up just for encouragement.

You can read more about this idea on the links I posted, but in a nutshell:
  • The sentence has to be in the present.
  • You have to already (at least partially) believe it to be true.
  • It can include a date or not.
  • You need to put it on a place where you will see it every day.
I've done that many times in my life, and it has helped me greatly. Today I re-wrote some sentences, and added others to my papers (right now I have one on my magnet board at my desk, and one on the TV stand).

I am currently recovering from a health-related problem.
At the beginning of the recovery (about 3 weeks ago), I wrote "I am getting better". And so far I have gotten much better. Several times I have looked at the paper and it has reminded that I am getting better (even if it feels like there's a long way to go). It has also encouraged me when I felt like the road to recovery was too rough.
Part of my health problem came because I worked too much and forgot to add fun in my life. So 2 other sentences I just put up are "I am taking care of myself" and "I am listening to my feelings".

What are your sentences? What do you need to believe in? What do you want to be doing?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Hello, I'm glad you found me.
I created this blog to share a little bit about my spiritual journey, and hopefully help other people who are on the same path.

I don't follow any specific religion, but am interested in learning about all of them. I am against extremism of any kind.
I plan to write about what I learn and hopefully some of it will help you too.

Comments are welcome and answered when the time is right.

Copyright (aka boring legal stuff)

The content of this blog is intellectual property of the author, protected under copyright laws. You may reproduce short extracts under the fair use policy, provided you cite me and/or the blog as the source. By short extracts I mean: from a sentence up to a full paragraph. You may cite more than one paragraph, provided they are separated by your own words between them. Any images posted will have their own intellectual property terms next to them. Any cited text is the intellectual property of its respective author.