Ramadan, A Spiritual Approach – By Doreene Hamilton
Ramadan is regarded as the holiest month of the year for Muslims as it was the month in which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be unto Him). Ramadan is a time of year when Muslims all over the world unify for a 30-day spiritual practice of fasting and conscious praying. Muslims in general is the only religious sector in which its members are encouraged to stop and pray 5 times a day and saying your grace before eating doesn’t count as one of the prayers.
This 30-day period is a time of forgiveness, protecting your consciousness and realigning with the Divine. It is an opportunity to release many of the deep seeded pains that we carry towards ourselves and others. It is truly a time of renewal that everyone can embrace. The fasting aspect of Ramadan for some can be a little harsh. During the period of sunrise to sunset participants are not eating or drinking anything including water. Before and after, you can have whatever you choose except drugs and alcohol. Additional restraints include refraining from gossip and “sinful speech” and if you are single you are to refrain from having sex. The purification of the mind, soul and body is key during this time. You are fasting from distractions, so some Muslims read the Quran from cover to cover during this time as a form of devotion.
As a non-Muslim, I have done Ramadan many times and I must admit it is not always easy, but the effects are powerful. I realize there are ways that regardless of our religious beliefs that we can partake in this tradition of fasting and devotion and receive a benefit in our life.
You may choose to do the traditional practice as I mentioned above during the period of Ramadan which in the United States, begins the evening of May 15 and ends June 14th. The dates are in alignment with lunar calendar that they use in Islam therefore they tend to change every year. You may also choose to create your own version of a sacred practice that will speak to you. Your version may include fasting from food, but not liquids during the day, or becoming a Vegan for 30 days. You may have a prayer partner that you connect with for 30 days 3-5 times a day. You may also select a book that inspires you to use during this time as a devotional tool. It is your commitment to the process that is key.
If you are not comfortable fasting or praying I would like to share an exercise with you that you can consider using during this sacred time.
Write down a desire that you would like to manifest for yourself. Write down a desire that you would like to see manifest for a friend or family member. Write down a good desire that you would like to see manifest for someone that you are not fond of. Review this list 5 times a day from Sunrise to Sunset.In the morning write down 10 things or people that you are grateful for in your life.
Each day you can write down the same or something different from your eyes to your co-workers.
In the evening write down 10 people or situations that you need to forgive big and small. Each day you can write down the same or something different from your former boss to a quality about yourself that you would like to release.
This process can be done in addition to fasting or as your form of devotion. When we focus on the good that is in our lives and forgive those who we believe need forgiving we open ourselves up for healing and countless blessings. In wanting good for others especially those we dislike is similar to what the Bible says when it states that we should pray for those who persecute us.
In looking over your list of desires you are connecting with your subconscious mind and letting it know your requests. If you want to take it a step further, you can add in your senses. When your desire is manifested what does that feel like? What does it look like?
One of the charms of Ramadan is that if you miss a day due to travel, health or other reasons, you can add it on to the end of the Ramadan season, so you will always complete a full 30 days. Additionally, if you are sick, pregnant, elderly or an underage child, you don’t have to participate. They suggest you feed someone each day.
Fasting and Devotion are the pillars of spiritual work. I encourage you to use this time and energy field to transform an area of your life that could use rejuvenation.
Allah u Akbar= God is Greater!