Monthly Archives: September 2010

The gift of Forgiveness….

Had some stunning paradigm shifts about forgiveness lately. They are life changing concepts. Hope you will find them inspiring too……

While he was in the mosque with his followers, prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once remarked- “The next man coming in, has attained paradise”. All the followers waited with bated breath and were quite surprised when a very low profile man from the town came in and sat down. Their surprise grew into intense curiosity, when the same incident happened a couple of times as well. They all had one question in their minds- “What in the name of god was making this man so special ?”.

One of the followers formed a plan. He went to the house of the one who was promised paradise and requested permission to stay with him for a few days. In line with the famous Muslim hospitality, the man welcomed him in with open hands. The spy stayed with his host, intently observing and analyzing. He was however increasingly puzzled because his host wasn’t doing anything extraordinary. He was merely following the obligatory rites prescribed for the believers. Finally, after his curiosity overtook his caution, the guest opened up and explained the true reasons for his actions. He also enquired- “Please tell me: what on earth you do differently to be promised a coveted place in paradise ? ”. The host was equally puzzled. He racked his brains and came up with his answer. “Before I go to sleep each night, I tell god that I have forgiven all those who have hurt me. Then I remember him as the ultimate forgiver and beseech him to forgive my sins. This is all that I do differently”

Now this is an amazing anecdote. Quite logical as well. If we don’t forgive those who have hurt us and don’t wash away the animosities that we have, how can we even dare to ask god for forgiveness ? . How can we expect to have our records cleaned, when we carry along with us even the smallest slights that we have been inflicted with?

So let this become a habit. Let us include statements of forgiveness in our prayers. And let us wait for the tides of blessings to wash us over…..

Another good way to cleanse our hearts off the resentments built up, would be to sincerely pray for the well being of all those who are estranged. Let us pray for their good health , prosperity and success. I tried it last night and trust me, it has a very soothing effect. Hope our positive thoughts about them will also travel across the universe and influence their minds , drawing them closer to us till all broken ties are mended for good.

In the meantime, let us also remind ourselves that forgiving doesn’t always have to be accompanied by forgetting. The prophet says that we have to repeatedly assume that the ones who hurt us had only the best intentions. He recommended that we do that even up to 70 times. This will surely help us to defeat our biases and prejudices. But he also says that a believer will not be bitten by a snake from the same hole twice.

So let us go ahead and forgive the snake. Let us also repeatedly tell ourselves that the world truly has good intentions, but let us also be alert to the possibility of being bitten again…

It’s a tough balancing act…. All the very best.

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If there is space in your heart, there is space everywhere…..

As usual, I was late for the Friday prayer. The Imam was half way into the first phase as I reached the spot, sweating and panting. The rows of congregation had flowed on to the streets and I had to be satisfied with a humble spot in the last row. As I was about to spread the prayer mat, I saw two strangers waiting in anticipation. I took my position on the mat and invited one of them to join me. He gratefully followed. I was immediately joined on my left side by another stranger who spread his mat and did what I did. So all four of us stood together on two mats and started praying.

Though it was an exercise in agility and flexibility, we narrowed and timed ourselves rhythmically to prevent two believers from getting their feet burnt under the scorching sun.

I am wondering. Would these four strangers have been so accommodative if our meeting place was a cash counter in a grocery store? Or a parking lot? Would we have competed with one another to give and share and feel extremely good and honoured about it?

Why do we becomes champions of WIN-WIN policies at places of worship and enforcers of WIN-LOSE policies everywhere else, even when we know for sure that the good lord is seeing us everywhere and rewarding us for good deeds irrespective of place and time?.

Why do we deny ourselves of that wonderful feeling of contentment and peace that is so easily attainable?

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The Wheel of Life

I learnt an interesting concept during my “Life Coach” Training session last night. Let me share it with you all.

Take a piece of paper and draw a circle (Let it be big and bold…)

Come on do it now !!!!!!!!

Divide it into 6 equal zones (If you haven’t done it already, read the previous line again… till you do it)

Write the below words in each of the 6 zones (1 per zone)

• Professional
• Relationships
• Emotional
• Health
• Financial
• Spiritual

Now rate yourself from 1 to 10 in each of these zones (10 being perfect and 1 being pathetic…Ha Ha). Make sure that you write the numbers in a way that their positions represent their values. If it’s 2, write it closer to the centre. If its 8 write it closer to the curve and so on….

Once this is done, draw curved lines in each zone just under the number. It should be part of a circle spanning the zone.

Now you have the wheel of life

If it’s a smooth wheel, you are lucky… life will roll on smoothly. If its Jagged and uneven, you will have many bumps and tremors… and you will not end up much farther from your starting point.

Your objective is to make your wheel as big as the circle itself… by scoring perfect 10’s in each zone. To do that, you need to set goals, address road blocks, do the right things and stay motivated…. More on these later. Keep watching this space.

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