Monday, December 17, 2007

Effective Influencing and Leadership

From my module Coaching for senior managers:

Our families give us a lot of advice and beg us to do them and we don't do them. Our friends give us a lot of advice and we don't do them. Our colleagues and bosses provide us with a lot of training and advice and we still don't do them. What is the missing link? What is it that can make us do what we know? What is it that stops us from doing what we know?

The missing link is coaching which creates self awareness and makes the person become self responsible and self motivated .

When a manager knows how to coach, a manager helps the worker to want to do what is needed by making the worker self aware and remove the internal barriers that prevent the worker from performing . In so doing the worker becomes self empowered , self starting and self responsible which lightens the load of the manager and makes the unit excellent .


Changes in mindset make coaching the best approach for the XYZ generation.

Older generation are used to the authoritarian style. They are those born in 1950s . They are very good and capable leaders and run their organizations very well. They become even better when they learn how to become coach leaders.


Present generation workers born in 1980's to 1990s question authority and need to know why , want to use their own ablities. This will include the youngest staff members . They will be seen by older generation leaders as unmotivated and lacking discipline. In actual fact they are just as motivated and disciplined , only they need a leadership style that is more coaching and they need to know why .
Failing to leaverage on initiative of the workers is a loss to the organization and will cause a lot of resistence due to the nature of the XYZ generation who are no longer motivated only by earning a living .


Dr Suriyakhatun Osman
Holistic Leaders Sdn Bhd







Monday, December 03, 2007

Doc Su's skewed sense of humour


A true story embellished a little for the sake of drama.....


Sleeping in the afternoon may have its downside if you are are too tired because you wake up kind of groggy with an ill sense of humor . Woe is the one exposed to this humor.

One afternoon after Doc Su woke up from her nap , a hapless young man of twenty reported sick
Full of drama he exclaimed ," I woke up this morning to a gripping pain in my stomach which made me unable to get up and go to work.


Looking at his nonchalant face , lacking in expression except for the drama in his voice , Doc Su doubted the story and examination proved fruitless in exacting the cause of the gripping pain he claimed to have.

" Do you smoke?"

"Oh indeed I do , naturally!"

Doc Su thought irritably ..So young men today think smoking is natural?

"How many cigarettes per day?"

"Oh the usual , 12 per day , quite normal. I have been smoking a long time!

He must have started when in school !

"That is a lot of cigarettes how much do they cost?"

Doc Su probably thought making him realise the high cost may make him come to his senses.

"Only RM 2/-"

"That cheap ? "( Only yesterday another patient had mentioned RM 8 per pack of 14 )

"I smoke the Indonesian brand it is available in many stores"

"You mean the smuggled ones that are banned and may be dangerous because of its chemical contents ?"

"Yes , I believe so." The young man said , still in his confident man of the world tone of voice.

" That may cause some form of gastritis."

The young man looked incredulous. " Smoking can cause gastritis?"

Doc Su was not in the mood for long explanations,"Ok I have one thing to request from you ."

"Yes what is it?"

"Please do not get married."

"Why not?"

""You may leave behind a young widow, maybe with young children but then again maybe not since the cigarettes may lower your fertility to the point of no fertility." (Had she not been in a "short speech" mood she may have added that bit about the toxic secondary smoke affecting his wife and children if he got married.....)

Looking bit startled and puzzled the youth said to Doc Su.

"Aren' t you going to advice me on my smoking?"

Thinking that perhaps the cigarettes had addled his brain Doc Su replied

"I just did advice you. I advice you not to get married" Mind you, Doc Su had a very serious and earnest expression on her face as she was talking to the young man.

"Thank you", said the puzzled youth as he left the room......

--

post script


Several points to ponder


1.Smoking is a hazard to health even with the regular brands that are imported the legal way

2. Raising the price of cigarettes make those who cannot afford seek cheaper alternatives

3. Cheaper alternatives are more dangerous alternatives


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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tie a yellow ribbon


FOR JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS AND FREEDOM!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I see you see me

I almost did not open the email not recognising the sender and thinking it could be spam but the title seemed familiar. At first I was not sure if I wrote it since I did not save what I had written on an email and , I did lose a lot of what I composed via crashed discs etc....


...........................
K wrote to me on email:

Some time ago you posted the below poem in your email in a discussion. Do you know who wrote it? It has meant so much to me.
K

A Healer

I see you see me and I see me in you
I hear you hear me and I hear me
I see you and I see the Divine
I glow and I bask in the Light of Awareness
I feel the Love of your compassionate heart
The comfort of the safe haven you created
The Presence



my reply

I wrote it. I was describing what happens when a person is present to us. When we sit with someone who listens deeply and mirrors all that is beautiful within us and we see that beauty in us and become healed . Also the person is healing because he/she is centered in the heart , the seat of love and compassion and the feeling of this is comfort and love, like when we are in the arms of a loving mother but even more so. The source for this light is the God and the depth of the person is reflecting to us their connection with the Divine and being with this person makes us deeply aware of God.

I write such prose without much thought since it flows out and I do not even keep a copy of what I write sometimes , and that is why I was not sure at first but upon reflection and knowing how I see what it means to be a healing presence and the style seems to be mine.

PS
If you had seen Dr House , the latest ( download via Torrents) about a man who lost his memory and therefore had almost no opinion and no bias , he became a perfect mirror for whoever was with him and the person with him was able to see themselves in this patient ( Elliot). So the essential ingredient of being this perfect mirror, this healer and this coach that creates self awareness is stillness of the heart, and no judgement .

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

All mums and all mummy's children would appreiciate this!

The Prophet's sayings

"Meditation in God is my capital.

Contemplation of God is my
companion.

Reason is the root of my religion.

Love is the foundation of my existence.

Truth is my salvation.

Submission to the Divine Will is my pride.

Knowledge is my garb and virtue.

Worship is my habit. Grief is my friend.

Enthusiasm is the vehicle of my life.

And my utmost happiness lies in prayer."

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I AM A MUSLIM!

This video does a lot to dispell stereotypes. Perhaps Asian Muslims can do another one to show how diverse Muslims are

Monday, October 15, 2007

Do you still remember?

Ku Nur Hanim
Hubby, daughter Hana and Ku Bahadur
My mum and Mak Tuan


I visited a very old friend and her parents this Hari Raya. I had been thinking a lot about old friends and had longed to make contact with many of them. You might say it had something to do with my deep desire to communicate and to make contact in a deep way with people .
This lead me to reminenesce about my childhood and my childhood friends .

I used to live at 1242 Jalan Changkat off Jalan Gasing Petaling Jaya.

My earliest memories of PJ was when I was 3 years old , I remember mum bringing home a baby sister whom I immediately wanted to carry , I did carry her, my mum screamed which made me drop baby sister, luckily, on to the bed. This was before we moved to the government quarters at Jalan Changkat.

Bukit Gasing or Gasing Hill was one of our haunts, and so was the rubber treed area that became a jungle on Gasing Hill. I remember trekking in this 'jungle' and getting lost for a bit..what an adventure! I was with cousin Zamil and my sister Salina and a few others whose names elude me now. At other times I climbed Gasing Hill after school with friends . I remember Din, Hanim and Ayee.

Hanim, I remember going to your house just too often . My parents used to have to go fetch me because I did not want to go back. I constantly sought you out and knew all your sisters well. I enjoyed meeting you again after 20 years or more!

Do you remember? There was that slope in front of my house wherewe used to drag an old grass mat up the little slope and then we gleefully slid down the slope while on the mat. It was our version of a sled I suppose.

How about the times we wheeled our bicycles up the long sloping road that lead to my house and then rode the bicycle down this slope not needing to paddle ..what a joy ride!

Where are you Din? I remember the ubi kayu moden trees in your compound and playing police and thief in the tree tops! How lost you were when your Mum died in an accident. I was in std 3 and you were in std 4. My heart went out to you that day of the funeral . Your mum was the kindest lady I knew then. She did not have a bad word for anyone and all her friends loved her. Pakcik Rahim was devastated.

I was the youngest in our group and was often bullied , what with being a cry baby and so very gullible . I think it was out of a need for my friends that I continued to join my friends inspite of all the bullying. I was the eldest in my own family and had no older brothers and sisters , so my friends became my older brothers and sisters.

I also remember Abang, Intan's brother, Where are you Intan? Remember how we used to climb up the top shelves of the built in cupboard of the government quarter houses we used to stay in? Then we jumped joyfully onto our beds below! It was our version of the joyrides that are now in the theme parks I suppose. It is a wonder non of us got hurt! Abang, I almost forgot your name Azmil Mustafa until I saw you acting in the film Ali Setan. How could I forget your distinctive features? I never met you again but from time to time I hear about you . You no longer act I know, you are now a pendakwah!

Rehman Rashid, I still have a photo of you and Rafiq . I had my arms around both you and Rafiq , I was in the middle in this photo. I do not remember much about you and the last time I saw you , you were a handsome and witty young man from the debate team that came from MCKK to TKC , I was in form five then, and how I admired not only your good looks but your wit and style . I googled your name and found you even have a wikipedia entry. Auntie Rosnah your mum called me when my daughter Maryam was getting married , she congratulated me and sent her regrets that she could not come to the wedding. My mum had invited her.

When I remember my childhood, from long ago, I realise that people had time for each other back then. We enjoyed each other's company, we appreciated each other. My parents had deep friendships that have survived up till now for my mum keeps in touch with all her old friends, some of whom she had known from even before she was married. What has happened to us now , that we get so immeresed in our work that our only friends are our colleagues at work and those we meet in meetings, be they NGO meetings or business meetings?

Then there are those yearly Hari Raya gatherings where we meet for a short while our relatives , some we meet yearly only for Hari Raya . What superficial talk we engage in , hardly getting to know each other or engaging one another in a deep way. I feel sad that we do not really have the time nor do we even have a desire or interest in other people.

I was just lamenting to my daughter that when we go shopping in the supermarket , we are all busy and so focused on our shopping that the crown around us appear invisible and we do not interact with these strangers. It is as if people are invisible to us, we do not look at faces, we do not see their persons nor are we interested in them. I sometimes ask myself , so why do we need these new bags and new shoes for ? Is it to impress people? What people since nobody notices you most of the time....the words of an old Beatles song keep playing in my mind..
All the lonely People...........
Lonely people shopping


Again , it was out of a need to deeply engage with people that I joined My Space. I was utterly disappointed indeed when most of the people who made contact wanted to pick up ...aaargh, could they not see my age? Sheesh , my daughter said, Mum maybe they want a sugar mummy...! Only one person who read my Bio has engaged with me in a way that is meaningful and I hope I have added value to his life and I certainly feel he has added value to mine.

End of rant......sigh.....

Saturday, October 06, 2007

To be relevant

The three year old child was irritating me by her pushing a chair to sit next to me. She sat gawking at me and the computer screen in front of me. She tried to help her little sister open her mouth , of course that made her sister shut her mouth even tighter! Her mama without lifting a finger said innefectively ," Rina, no, don ' t do that . Rina will you please take that chair back to its place."
Rina did not budge, instead she moved the chair even closer.

I tried to put aside my irritation, I tried instead to understand .This child, like all human beings wanted attention. She wanted to be noticed , she wanted to be useful , she wanted to be relevent.
We all do!

I focused my attention on her, tousled her hair and smiled at her, giving her something of what she needed and wished that I did that more often, focus attention on a fellow human, recognise their need to be relevent and make them feel relevent .

I wish also that more people realised I too have a need to feel relevent , that I matter and I am worthy, worthy of your love and your attention and at the same time I know, the closer I draw to God, the less I need this assuarance for, I would have transcended this need and instead be an extension of the Universal consciousness that bears witness to all and is present to all that is in the MOMENT!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cat Stevens - If you want to sing out

There is hope yet, if you learn to understand that there really IS a million different ways to be and to do!

If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out

If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'Cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
'Cause there's a million ways to go
You know that there are

[Chorus:]
You can do what you want
The opportunity's on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
you see ah ah ah
its easy ah ah ah
You only need to know

Well if you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
'Cause there's a million ways to go
You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
'Cause there's a million things to do
You know that there are

[Chorus]

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'Cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are

Cat Stevens

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Balancing our energy centers

Can you help how you think and feel? Can you change your thoughts or do you never even try?
Have you ever wanted something so badly that you thought it is a need? Or , is that thing you wanted so badly showing you there is something you need to fill a vacuum within your being?

Being human is being able to observe youself and your thoughts as well as your emotions and being able to make adjustments to correct the energy imbalances.

Consider the following, some are my own observations, some have been expounded in scientific journals or health articles and , if you cannot agree with anything I write seemingly as facts, feel free to disagree.

When we crave for sugar , it is not sugar that we lack but proteins.

When we feel we need to eat more often than is healthy, it is not because our stomach is empty but because our life has an emptiness which we need to fill with the sensual pleasure of eating.

If you want to watch or read only happy endings and scenes of murder and mayhem disturb you beyond the ordinary , it is because you yourself are looking for that happy ending and view your life in the future tense and do not live in the present. It could also be you are an idealist who cannot understand why there needs to be such cruelty in human existence.

Obsessively thinking about someone or something or obsessively engaging in some activities at the expense of other activites create imbalances in your energy centers which in turn affects your effectiveness as a human being . I am referring to those who are in love or think they are, those who focus on sex , those who focus on food , those who glue themselves to the telly , those who spend all their free time on a computer game or a hobby to the exclusion of other areas of focus.

So how do we gain a balance? How do we complete ourselves being that we are such creatures of impulse emotion and thought, when we are such creatures of habit and reflexes? How do we change when all our indulgences make us lose our health and thus our energy which in turn makes us even more helpless to change?

There is this D word which I really am at war with. I constantly battle with the D losing it, and then regaining it , and then losing it again the next time a tempest of emotion affects me . My constant battle with the D makes me resent people who work like clockwork , have routines that create balance .It makes me look with horror when people indulge in eating orgies at buffet dinners and lunches and especiallyRamdhan buffets (you fast all day , your tummy has been without food or drink for more than 12 hours and suddenly you come face to face with drinks of all flavours and food of such myriad varieties and taste that you wish you were in heaven and can eat all you want without facing the consequences...alas for the limitations of this embodiment!) It makes me exclaim with amazement when they tell me they take mee maggie for sahur and never take their vegetables. It makes me feel sorry for those who do not have 5 daily prayers to reorientate and rebalance their energy centers.

The D word I mean is discipline. Discipline is when you go against your inclinations and fight your thoughts and emotions to do that which will move you towards a constant increase in capacity and realisations and performance as a human being. It is what will help you perfect your soul for nothing elses matters in the end . The sweet fruits of discipline will yield pleasure and satisfaction beyond your wildest dreams and fill you with bliss beyond that which you think possble.

Of course having Discipline is not enough. One must also have the knowledge to know what needs to be done . Like for example, the sugar craver needs to know that what is needed is to take more balanced meals with adequate proteins and complex carbohydrates.

The lovelorn love sick need to address their needs for the beloved by focusing on improvng themselves not merely to impress but to harness the energy of love to transform themselves.

And so on and so forth....I could go on explaining but I think you get the picture.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Alignment

When you read what someone writes , about their beliefs and their ideals , sometimes you fall in love with them for the pure sweet thoughts that flow from the depth of their soul. You read the words and they ring so true that it hits a chord in your own heart and you recognise the beauty of their soul as it mirrors all that is beautiful in your own. Then you get to know them from what other people say about them, and then you see how they behave, the words they use, and their actions and you get puzzled . You are puzzled because what they believe in , their ideals do not match how they really are in real life. Either you get dissillusioned or , you get disappointed, you lose your hero or heroine or like me you understand their humanity . You understand that they long to be that which is in their soul but life and its circumstance have made them what you see of them , You see that it does not tarnish the beauty of their being , but that all they need to learn , and they have their whole life ahead of them, be it short or long , to learn to align their inner convictions with their actions. If they do not manage to do so by the time they close their eyes , by the time their embodiment ends, then they would have lost the oppurtunity to be a fully realised human being , and that is the greatest loss a human can ever experience.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kok Soon


This is Kok Soon. He was my daughter Hana's classmate. He is now a fourth year medical student at Malayan U.

I have known him since he was a small child. He used to come to the clinic when he was ill to get treatment from me.

It was on one of these visits that I asked him what he would like to do after his SPM . I cannot remember his answer but I think he said he wanted to take a degree in science. It was then that I asked him , why don 't you take up medicine. The idea seemed too far fetched for him at that time .

I then said that all he needed was to go to the Matriculation College and work really hard to score the maximum of four flat and he would definitely get a place to do medicene.
Sometimes when we plant the seed of possibility , we never know the tree that will grow from it, the flowers thatwill bloom from it and the ripe succulent fruits that will be offered to others from the sturdy tree out of the seed of possibility.

He did go to Matrics and he did score four flat and he did get a place to do medicine
For the past few days he has been doing an attachment at my clinic.

It has been my pleasure to have him tag along seeing cases with me.

When I had visitors from overseas and brought them sightseeing around town , I realise I will start seeing my town through their eyes and begin to appreciate things that I had taken for granted.

When I had Kok Soon seeing cases with me , I began to appreciate the skills I had collected over the years of seeing cases. All the things I did that I had taken for granted took on a new perspective as I saw them through his fresh enthusiastic young eyes.

The shy awkward youth I knew when he was in secondary school had grown even taller , no longer awkward but gracefully charming .His shyness had transformed into a quiet confidence.

I will always remember how he used to come after Chinese New Year bringing me Mandarin oranges in his duffel bag which he took out one by one to place on my table saying to me
'"This is for you Dr."

May God bless and guide you to be the best doctor possible Kok Soon , you do me proud.

My children, it does not mean I love you or appreciate you any less . I know each of you is special and unique and all of you are sturdy trees that others can take the lovely fruits from.

The Nature of Harm







"Tis the nature of harm to scurry in trenches already dug, its rivulets deepening its draught and widening its bore in a scurrilous way; though inconsiderate and ostensibly inanimate, its effect denotes purpose, though that may through echo have belonged to another from long ago, an even forgotten owner."

Thus wrote a friend in a post on his blog here.

I wonder if he knows how aptly he has described how our internal wounds keep getting deeper and wider until we reach rock bottom? It is as if the wounds within keep up a chorus , repeating, repeating and playing back to us its message of gloom doom and depair. The original wounds need not even be our own as we inherit via scripting deep emotions from our parents and those who are within our environment when we are growing up. More so when the adults around us are wounding presences. When we are little we absorb and take on these burdens like sponges and make them our own wounds and burdens and then we carry it with us, weighing ourselves down with it in our life's journey , adding to it from time to time from our own personal experiences more hurts , more wounds to 'scurry in trenches already dug' as Simon wrote.


A not so poetic analogy I could think of is how an abscess developes and grows, eating its way at the margins and pushing its way until it makes for itself a path to the outside skin and bursts , or makes its way to blood vessels and cause untold damage pouring its poisons into the bloodstream.

Yet this the nature of things , this is how it happens and this is how we are.

Most of us scurry along in the corridors of life doing what we think needs to be done , adapting ways and devising mechanisms to lessen the pain .

Defense mechanisms:
Some encase themselves in shells, some develop thorns, some withdraw into a secret garden within, protecting their private thoughts from any intrusions , some turn to the pleasures of the flesh , to drink , to drugs . Yet others seek a healing and some find solace in religion, in hobbies, in work , yet all the time , the harm is making its course , cutting its way deeper and deeper into the depth our our being.

Unless we find a way to heal ourselves . But healing ourselves is not easy for we first have to throw the light of consciousness into the dark realms of our Being . It is in itself painful. Not the dull pain that we have gotten used to and adapted to but a pain so searing and intense that we would want to avoid this pain. The problem being avoiding and postponing the examination makes the problem worse...like discovering a cancer too late....

I had worked through this pain. It was like being in a dark long tunnel not seeing the light at the end wondering if there was any light at all or, was it pain all the way? I found out it was not pain all the way, there was light but try telling me there was light when I was in the dark tunnel. Try telling me then that it had an end. Only faith had kept me going , faith and knowing that there was no other way around the pain except through the pain.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Looking good and awakening passion

I have dropped one dress size and probably can drop a few more when I am done.


What has made it easier to shed my excess bagage was my daughter's detox meals she prepared for me and several of her clients for the fasting month. It is not easy to take because this first week it is a very low salt diet but she promises me it will get easier . I am however beginning to get used to it and there is an added bonus of tastebuds becoming more sensitive to the subtle flavours which the salt used to mask. There is an analogy here about the food. I think focusing on eating masked something that genuinely wanted to find expression within me , and removing food as a focus unmasked it. Now , removing salt is unmasking something that was always there in the food but could not be appreciated by me because of the salt. I wonder how much in our lives we have masked with something and therefore fail to benefit from the blessing that we could not recognise?

I had succeeded in getting myself to a size ten two years after my last child was born , then, after getting quite ill with endometrioisis , going on hormones , I regained the weight I had lost and more! From time to time I would get upset over it and then lose a few kilograms only to get it back whenever I had a training to do or to attend . We Malaysians eat so many times when we attend meetings at hotels. Once I had invited a lecturer from the UK to give our three day International workshop and she commented , you people eat as many times as I would take a walk! I had to accompany her for a walk down the dusty, smokey roads of old KL simply because she did not like being cooped up in the hotel even though I had protestd that her notion of getting some air was misguided in view of the pollution!

I have another reason for self sabotage, ie for not getting myself into normal weight , being content with a BMI just oustide of the normal range . When I succeeded in reducing my weight to normal, I found my physical energy increased. I had more strength, I could walk more, I could run up the stairs and shop without getting aching feet. And then , I also found my emotions began to create havoc. I was not the staid , serious , no nonsense , sensible person that I thought I was. Steadily plodding along doing what needed to be done out of duty and all. With the energy increase, I began to feel a need for action. I used up some of that energy doing aerobic workouts but this did not seem enough and I did not know what to do with emotions running high and causing me to laugh one minute and feel a depth of sadness the next. I think this is what finally developed into my endometriosis and the severe pain that came with every menses. I had to take hormones which brought my weight up again. I later stopped taking hormones , put myself to work studying endometriosis until I came up with a method to treat the disease using homeopathic remedies . The thesis I wrote can be found here.

As I mentioned earlier , I am quite a survivor . No matter how badly broken I am inside of me, I plod on , I try to find answers, I do not give up on myself , on God and on humanity, even though outwardly you would find me distant or flat or indifferent.Through it all I kept doing things to improve myself , read, take courses, attend workshops , bring up my children while all the time having so much pain within me in my physical and emotional bodies.

My breakthrough came when I decided I had enough and wanted to heal. I went to the US, after my husband gave a grudging permission, I studied sufism and spiritual healing, came back to practice what I learned and slowly began to heal from very old wounds buried deep in my soul.

After this , almost every year I travelled abroad to continue my spritual journeys, meet my teachers , meet others on the Path and every time I came back I found some area within my being had changed, I had learned something new , I had internalised some new realisations.

And it is only in the past month that I had found the strength to give up eating to fill a void within me . Perhaps it is not so much a void as a part of me that lay dormant for as long as I filled my belly with food. That part of me is my passion. I know it for what it is now , and perhaps as I am much older now and hopefully much wiser, I will find a way to harness this passion to serve me and to serve my fellow humans better.

With this passion comes a deep longing for a meaningful communication with people I find worthwhile . What is it that prevents this closeness ? Can people not have a meaningful platonic relationship without any need or want for a physical closeness? Perhaps blogging is one way for me to have this depth of communication , as I lay bare my soul for those who care to read. Sometimes after I write something and post it to my blog, I find my heart filled with a sweet joy , and I think to myself, someone somewhere is reading what I wrote and resonating with it and is sending me loving thoughts and I say a prayer of gratitude to my Lord for sending me the sweet love in my heart.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Manjalara Lessons Learnt from it




I never cease to get amazed what one can learn , even when one feels that television is shallow and only good for watching when one wants to go into a brainless stupor as a distraction from the pain of living a routine life.

The key ingredient in being able to learn something from just about anything is to be present to that which is before one.

I am not going to write a sinospis , you can find a sinopsis HERE

This is in point form and if you want to know what I am talking about , I guess you have to look for the series , mind you there are 75 episodes of 40 mins each minus the adverts!

Lessons
1. There is not truly good or bad people.
2. People do things for reasons they find valid for them, and whatever it is right or wrong in the eyes of others, it is the best choice the person has at that point in time...sounds like NLP , yes it is!
3.We are acting all the time, and I found I can act a part if I want to anytime, yes I have always known I can act , except my path did not take me down that line. Will the real Suriya please stand up? She only exists in the depth of her being what you see is a Performance .....
4. Revenge comes from an ego need that does not fulfill the self . It is only forgiveness that can heal the self/soul no matter how great the hurts
5. When the self esteem is low, one cannot believe a person can love one for one's self and is quick to believe that the other person has motives other than true love.
6. Going away to lick wounds is a cliche of this telenovella...I never have the chance to go away to lick wounds..I go away to seek guidance....journeying in a foreign land is the best way to get to know yourself...away from the routines of normal living...
7. Saving a lady from falling or drowning is a romantic moment to be exploited many times over.
8. Drama and comedy go well together
9. If Manja can do it, so can I. Come on kilograms , shed off! Yes indeed I was thinking of planning a Manjalara diet for my patients , inspire them with a passion to lose the excess baggage
10. Never get hooked on a telenovella that has clifhanger ends...it drives you crazy

On Zikr

I am copying a paragraph or two and you can read the rest


On Dhikr

From Miftah al-Falah (The Key to Success)

by Ibn 'Ata'llah al-Iskandari

Dhikr is a fire which does not stay or spread – so if it enters a house saying, "Me and nothing other than me," which is one of the meanings of "la ilaha illa'llah' (There is no god but Allah), and there is firewood in the house, it burns it up and it becomes fire. If there is darkness in the house, it becomes light. If there is light in the house, it becomes 'light upon light'.

Dhikr expels from the body impure substances produced by excess in eating or from the consumption of unlawful food. As for food which is lawful, it does not touch it. So the harmful components are burned up and the good components remain.

Dhikr is heard by every part as if it were blowing on a trumpet. When dhikr first occurs in the head, the sound of trumpets and cymbals is experienced there. Dhikr is a sultan – when it descends in a place, it descends with its trumpets and cymbals because dhikr is opposed to all that is other than the Truth. When it descends in a place, it occupies itself with negating what is contrary to the Truth, as we find in the union of water and fire. After these sounds, different sounds are heard: like the ripple of water, the sound of the wind, the sound of fire when it is kindled, the sounds of galloping of horses, and the sound of leaves of the trees rustling in the wind.

Ramadhan Thoughts

I am alive again. I think I was unconscious or very aneasthetised over the last few months or, maybe it was years! When I had the choking cough since January that last for months on end , I could not find a remedy , even though my health did not seem to be affected much , it was pretty embarassing to start coughing badly in front of my patients and what with stress incontinence , the condition was very troublesome. It lingered on , getting almost better and then coming back again.
I think I know the reaon for this cough. It was about communication. I had thoughts and ideas , I had things that I needed to say but it was not coming out. I was keeping my passions my dreams my hopes my fears and my creativitity all bottled up with no where to go , so it came out in the congestion of my lungs, and the spasm and as a choking cough. and I realise that my blogging is not a waste of time, it is answering a need within me, a need to be heard. Then again it surprises me that I still have this need to be heard because I am all the time giving these workshops and healing classes , I am seeing patients every day , doling out chunks of the way I think at people left right ad center . What I found is that it is not the same as writing them down. For me, writing is a need , it is not a frivolity , it is not a vanity , it is not even a charity to anyone but to myself.

I am finally able to fast today and it has been my disappointement that at the ripe old age of 50+ I am still having my menses which had prevented me from starting the fast at the beginning of Ramadhan. I suppose out of sheer protest , I also abandoned most of my zikrs and contemplations at this time so it was only last night when I was able to pray my Isha prayers that I finally sat in zikr and it was this morning waiting for my fajr prayers that I finally got down to reading the Quran. As I read, my mind was muling over some story and I was not fully focused on what I was reading. A part of me must have been attentive though for I suddenly found myself in tears. Deep tears of sadness, of gratitude and a humbleness that seemed to come from a depth of my soul I know exists but still cannot fathom. I know a little Arabic and Surah Al Baqarah is familiar because of frequent readings of it in the past . My tears and emotion made me read the translation. It was the part where God was having a dialogue with the Angels who questioned about God's intention of putting Adam on earth. It was about God teaching Adam the names of things and Adam knew while the Angels did not know.

I am from Adam, and I know the Names, or at least, I have the capacity to know the Names. I am from Adam and I have also within me the capacity for a greatness not given to the Angels. In all humbleness , in all my weaknesses , in all of my faults , it is within me. This is what has moved me to deep tears of sadness and I find it awakens in me my passion , which had lain asleep as I choked and choked it back in my Being resulting in my prolonged cough which seemed endless .

To understand the Names, one may want to read a chapter from Ibn Arabi's Fusus al Hikam


Yes my passion is awakened and it is sweet and painful at the same time. To be vulnerable , to be sensitive , to be able to love is also to be able to feel sadness. The deepest joy cannot be experienced except if you open yourself to the deepest hurts. The only alternative is to encrust your heart in sheets of ice and a shell...and not feel, neither joy nor hurts.

My heart was awakened by Beauty. Allah had chosen that Beauty would be seen and appreciated by me and knock on the closed door of my heart and open it . But alas for the human, when passion awakens , with it comes a bittersweet longing that sets the hapless soul on a journey of seeking the Beloved .

Friday, September 14, 2007

A higher perspective on time


"Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise."

-- Sophia Bedford-Pierce

"Chronos is clocks, deadlines, watches, calendars, agendas, planners, schedules, beepers. Chronos is time at her worst. Chronos keeps track. ...Chronos is the world's time. Kairos is transcendence, infinity, reverence, joy, passion, love, the Sacred. Kairos is intimacy with the Real. Kairos is time at her best. ...Kairos is Spirit's time. We exist in chronos. We long for kairos. That's our duality. Chronos requires speed so that it won't be wasted. Kairos requires space so that it might be savored. We do in chronos. In kairos we're allowed to be ... It takes only a moment to cross over from chronos into kairos, but it does take a moment. All that kairos asks is our willingness to stop running long enough to hear the music of the spheres."

-- Sarah Ban Breathnach

"He who postpones the hour of living rightly is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses."

-- Horace

Getting work done

If there is one redeeming feature about my performance as a human being it is perhaps my ability to go on autopilot and plod on doing what 'duty' needs of me while putting aside my aches my pains be they physical emotional or mental.
If there is another redeeming feature about me it is that I do not like to trouble people and like to bear my burdens alone.
What then happens is a sense of isolation because of all the stuff I bury in the depth of my being while putting on the mask of professionalism . And it results in a need to expression which comes out in writings and possibly finds expression if I allow myself to indulge in dance, which unfortunately I have abadoned , perhaps out of sheer laziness.
So when I do not express myself and take out the stuff I bury inside , I become blocked and my creative juices come to a halt...and out goes the book project I started and cannot seem to make any progress on , the cases I need to analyse and find remedies for , the zikr I am supposed to do with consistency but don't .
Perhaps by blogging these thoughts I will get the work done , and indeed I have made some progress as I started on some cases and did the planning for the November International Homeopathy seminar and will now proceed to plan the healing class this Sunday .
What is causing this procrastination this time? Or I think what I am seeing is a thawing of the ice with which I seemed to have encased myself in.
And I find the center of my being is in a liquid molten state of warmth and passion that seems to want me to do something about it but what?
It is energy like a coiled spring wanting to come forth in ways the sedate grandmother body I have cannot express...so this is why Rumi started his whirling dance of ecstasy...and this is why Hazrat Inayat Khan gave expression with his music...
Harness this energy Suriya...harness it and use it to Get Work Done.....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Freeing self from ego

Al Ghazali went on a very long leave of absence and then came back to do almost the same thing as he was doing before he left and the reason he left was because he felt he was not being real , but was living a lie and was not doing things out of the single intention of surrender.
When he came back , he had learned how to surrender and was able to do the same thing minus the ego part that wanted fame and a standing. What he said about debate: It will only be worthwhile when both parties put aside the ego.

That ache in the heart

Why does love become a priority in many people's lives? Why do people keep seeking that one true love and why do they go from one love to another like I go through handbags because they could not find in that person what they were seeking.
Have you felt it? That lovelorn feeling, that aching longing that nothing seems to assuage. an unquenchable thirst ? Sometimes for brief periods, that longing is fulfilled , only to come back twice as painful and leave you feeling twice as empty.
And the things people do to stop that ache, find a lover , indulge in food or sex , bury their heads in a book, get addicted to online games, or sports or dancing or drugs or constantly work or seek wealth . Perhaps they get totally absorbed in golf, or hunting or carouse the night away . Some seek to stave the pain via prayers or zikr or do charity work yet the pain goes away and still it returns unless one learns to numb the pain. Numbing that pain however has a price . One becomes flat , nothing is felt , life becomes flat , work is flat , family is flat and life becomes one grey blur of eating sleeping working and going through the motions. This flatness could in time become a callousness and a hardness and a harshness for one has in effect , developed a casing around the heart to protect it from the pain. In trying to be invulnerable , one loses one's humanity for that ache, that pain , that longing is not simply pain, it is a bitter sweet nectar , a passion and a prelude to a great joy that is also the human destiny.


That pain is Ishq, that pain is passion, that pain is the creative juice that pours out as poetry and art and ectsatic dancing. That pain is what moves people to greatness. There is only one great love that can remove the pain , no matter that you could not imagine it is so , and that love that will quench this thirst is what the sufis call FANA.....

Al Ghazali who wrote Alkimia Al Saadah went in search of this happiness and wrote it into his book the Alchemy of Happiness....

Al Ghazali The Alchemist of Happiness


The DVD I ordered a month ago is here. It cost me RM200. I think it is worth the price. It is a Documentary on the Life and Works of Imam Al Ghazali a film by Ovidio Salazar.
His Muslim name is Abdul Latif.

Overview

Genre:
Documentary

The story line:

Exploring the life and impact of the greatest spiritual and legal philosopher in Islamic history, this film examines Ghazali's existential crisis of faith that arose from his rejection of religious dogmatism, and reveals profound parallels with our own times. Ghazali became known as the Proof of Islam and his path of love and spiritual excellence overcame the pitfalls of the organised religion of his day. His path was largely abandoned by early 20th century Muslim reformers for the more strident and less tolerant school of Ibn Taymiyya. Combining drama with documentary, this film argues that Ghazali's Islam is the antidote for today's terror.



You can peep at some parts of it here

Actually I think somebody downloaded the whole DVD on u tube..that is a shame...it must have cost a lot of money to produce , and putting it up for free is infringement of copyright.....



Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Revision of my article on Healthy Fasting.....

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Published on 7 Ramadhan, 1424.

The Muslim Fast and our Body

By Dr. Suriyakhatun Osman
Medical Doctor, Sufi Healing teacher and Homeopath

Contents
  • Beginning the Fast
  • Gastritis
  • Detoxification
  • Supplements and Drugs while Fasting
  • A Scientific Experiment
  • Physical Activities and Sports
  • Ketosis
  • Bathing
  • Food Allergies
  • Inward Looking Time
  • Spices
  • Some Questions and Answers
I wrote this lecture years ago after reading a book on fasting written by an American, Dr Alan Cott, the book was titled Fasting, the Ultimate diet. What I wrote was in Bahasa and, it was in the form of a presentation. Now I m trying to rewrite it in English adding to it what I learned from my many years of experience fasting as well as treating fasting related problems in my clinic. This writer was talking not about the Muslim fast but the fasting that some people undertake, while not taking any solid food, they would take water, or some would take juices.

The Muslim fast on the other hand is a semi fast but also a complete fast. One goes without food and drink and, more that this, one goes without negative thoughts, if that is possible. The fasting one undertakes is to fast from all negative things, including negative thoughts. It is also a withdrawal from fulfilling some of our bodily needs that are related to our desires and urges. While these are not forbidden in themselves, they are to be abstained from while in the state of fasting. This includes all actions pertaining to the sex act. However it is only abstained from while observing the sun up to sundown fast and is permitted in the night-time while not fasting even in the fasting month of Ramadan.

It is not my intention to discuss the merits and demerits of fasting but it is my intention to address some of the benefits, problems and mechanics of fasting to help the individual who wants to undertake the fast. It is also not my intention to go into great technical details nor is it my intention to write a scholarly treatise with references since there is a time constraint to my writing. Having said that, most of what I am writing have been verified and data on it can be easily found on the internet and in books.

Beginning the Fast:

The fast begins with a pre fast preparation. The pre fast preparation for the average Muslim faster is to get up before dawn to eat a meal! Of course those who are afraid of going hungry will eat a big meal if they have the appetite to eat at this hour! But, in actual fact, the bigger the meal you eat, the faster you'll get hungry. It would therefore be wise to eat a small meal that is packed with the nutrients one needs for the day. A complex carbohydrate meal with a lot of essential fatty acids and a helping of vegetable protein would be good. If you take a cup of muesli with yoghurt and honey adding some flax seeds, it would make a good pre fast meal. A liquid meal made from a complete food powder may be a good choice for those who have no time to waste preparing a meal, a light wholesome meal may be another option. Milk with dates is also a good pre fast meal, adding a whole food vitamin and mineral preparation would not be a bad idea. If you are allergic to milk, substitute the milk with soya milk. Taking refined carbohydrates like white flour and white rice is not such a good idea because these foods digest pretty fast and you get very hungry very soon, as well as your blood sugar will rise very fast and then drop very fast. A complex carbohydrate on the other hand, will digest much more slowly keeping the blood sugar steady.

Examples of complex carbohydrates are brown rice, whole meal cereals including wheat and all vegetables and fruits except for the very starchy ones which have much less fibre and a lot of carbohydrates. Fruits are very good for breaking the fast because they have a lot of easily utilised sugars but they are not likely to cause the sudden rise and then fall of the blood sugar. It is eating simple sugars (white sugar) that sometimes make people dizzy after breaking the fast, because the blood sugar shoots up suddenly releasing insulin which then works to bring down the blood sugar again super fast as well. The fibre in the meal slows down digestion, hence the blood sugar rise is gradual when we eat complex carbohydrates.

Detoxification

For those who are usually constipated while not fasting, the bad news is that it is going to get worse when fasting and it is also going to negate any beneficial detox effect of the fast! For these people, I would suggest that a few days before beginning the fast, eat light foods, avoid animal proteins, drink lots of water and take a preparation that would cleanse the bowels. Depending on the type and manner of constipation, these are the suggestions : Take a fibre preparation before bedtime with a large glass of water, ones that can be bought at a pharmacy are psyllium seed preparations or asperghula husk. You can make your own preparation using local ingredients (getah anggur, kembang semangkok, selasih). Take a tablespoonful of Lactulose (available over the counter at the Pharmacy) or if this is too mild, add two senokot tablets or granules prepared according to instructions on the pack you bought. Senokot may cause some griping pain while being a good bowel cleanser and each person has got to find their own suitable dose! Start taking more fibre with your meals but, if you have been used to eating low fibre meals, you may find that suddenly increasing fibre intake will cause bloating! Adding a suitable amount of chlorella and spirulina may help with the detox but having said that, please make sure the brands you use are from pollution free sources and, also there are some people allergic to chlorella and spirulina so please start with a small quantity, way below the recommended dose! You may want to know why I suggest a detox to begin the fast. Most Muslims do not do any kind of detox and simply plunge into the fast. Many will have been fasting for a few days in the week the previous month and this will be a detox in itself. Those who plunge into the fast may have a tough time the first week of the fast if their bodies are having a lot of waste matter that has not found its way out of the body in the normal course of its metabolism. How is this possible you may ask?

A Scientific Experiment

This post is very long so I am sending you to my website to read the rest....

HERE


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Drama in my Life

So now I really know how erratic my method of working is, or rather how I really do not have a system in place.
I think doctors are not the most methodical of people, given the irregularity of the free time on their hands, and with me gallivanting here there and everywhere almost all weekends does not help at all.
But work is piling up, a book to write, procedures to read through a homeopathy case to analyse, a healing class to prepare for..When are all these assignments due? Now ! And what do I do about it? Almost nothing! At least I have marked the patho assigments and sent them back !

My children are amused ! I have been watching a Malay telenovella based on a Mexican one..you guessed it , Manjalara..it ends today and what a blessing! Remind me not to get hooked on another one. Admittedly a lot of cliches and some scenes like a female character tripping and is caught by the male character is just too common but..having said that, and being a sucker for romantic moments ..I let myself be moved by it...oh? so you thought grandmother types do not have any romance left in their hearts..guess again....
The beauty of a teledrama is that it leaves much to the imagination, like what is going on in the mind of the character that is unspoken ..that one has to guess from the expression , the subtle nuances of the voice etc...I have to admit that the quality of the acting and the actors and actresses have improved tremendously since the last time I spared the time to watch malay dramas ...which is a pretty long time!

So , how on earth does this relate to spirituallity? It does really , and I will relate this in another post , soon as I can get the shadowy ideas in my mind into print!

Yes I have a healing workshop for a very small group , kept small on purpose...
I find more people who are the type of people I am most able to help are coming to me ...perhaps because they are ready for me and I for them?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More on Surrender

We often say Lailahillalah. There is no ilah but Allah or , there is no object of worship/surrender except God.

What this entails in submitting to all that is coming to us from Allah. What we then need to understand is that everything manifest in this world is from Allah. The good and the bad.
Below , Dr Godlas quotes from an old sufi writing by Ruzbihan :
The surrender that is inherent in servanthood is linked, for Rūzbihān, with surrender that is a form of submission (inqiyād) to God, a submission that involves man's continuing his awareness of God (as the ultimate cause), particularly at times when man is facing traumatic events. Rūzbihān highlights three qualities of one who is not submitting in this sense at such times:

1) being unable to patiently endure

2) becoming deeply anxious

3) paying attention to other than God
(quoted from Dr Abdal Haq Godlas)



I had this as a draft for quite a long time...so this is after a deep pause.
Right now I have this ache in my heart . I have just been watching the Alchemist of Happiness about the life and work of Imam Ghazali..Hujjatul Islam....He wrote about knowledge, and the various ways of knowing via the senses, via the intellect ..and he wrote about this pain...the pain of wanting to know Truth , of wanting to surrender to God..it is Ishq and you will perhaps understand Ishq when you fall in love , or when you read about being in love and being separated from the Beloved and the heart is filled with longing and it aches with pain. This pain of longing is in all of us and we are constantly seeking ways and means to assuage this pain..none will remove it for very long except Surrender to Al Haq....



Tawba – surrender in contemplation of the Divine

Tawba – surrender in contemplation of the Divine

Allahuma maghfiratuka awsa’ min dhunubi wa rahmatika arja ‘indi min ‘amali
My Allah , your forgiveness is more than my wrong and your mercy comes from you from my deeds (I am not very good with translation, anybody can do a better job?)
God centering- Allahuma
Surrendering guilt in contemplation of Forgiveness – maghfiratuka awsa’ min dhunubi
Surrendering will in contemplation of Mercy – wa rahmatika arja ‘indi min ‘amali



Tawba means return: and the cycle goes like this above.
Tawba is return , and we return after we 'fall' into affliction at the bala stage and this cycle is true for those who are on a sufi path

This is another cycle when we are seeking for our religious truth as above . Our 'religion' can be just about anything that makes us feel fulfilled.


More on tawbah

Allah (ta’) said: wa qawlahu ta’ala:
illa man taba wa-amana wa- ‘amila ‘amalan salihan, fa-ula’ika yu’baddilu llahu sayyi’atihim hasanat
One who turns his back in repentence and places his security in God and who acts righteously, Allah will turn his negative qualities to beautiful virtues


Basically what I am saying is that when we have as objects of surrender other that Allah, we then make tawba and return to Allah.

Shirik khafi is taking other things as illahs and this is the meaning of Laillaha ila Allah
We are negating all that we take as illahs in place of Allah.

Our illah could be our job, our family, our car , golf, our garden , our wealth etc
or on another view, even our religion or, our tariqa whatever distracts us from Allah and does not bring us to Allah

Hence the Tawba, the return

Actually this has been explained over and over but I think Dr Alan has made it crystal clear and in an aspect that removes the taint of what Christians dislike ie the original sin which is what I suspect make many people dislike tawba when they think it is repentence because then the reaction is repent why , repent what ?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Workshop Spiritual Transformation in Daily Life by means of Rememberence Gratitude and Love

Thanks to all who supported my efforts and here is the result


Spiritual Transformation in Daily Life by means of Rememberence Gratitude and Love

2 Day Seminar with Dr Alan Abdal Haq Godlas

Venue : Shah Village Hotel Petaling Jaya

Date 11-12 August
Time 9 am-5.30 pm

Meals provided 2 tea breaks and lunch

Fees: RM 200 for the 2 days workshop and RM 250 after 31st July

General Overview

Saturday 11 August 2007

I. General overview of Islamic principles for spiritual transformation

A) The problem of untransformed man: egotism and egotistical society

B) Spiritual transformation (including psychological-emotional transformation) as the aim and
general solution to the problem.

C) The Core of the Islamic Spiritual method: The inner (Turning back [tawba], Gratitude, Surrender, Love, Dhikr) and
the outer (God-centered behavior/taqwa)

D) The Need for understanding of the spiritual path

E) A system for understanding the major concepts of the path

F) A system for understanding the process of spiritual transformation

Sunday 12 August 2007


II. The Qur'an, The Prophet (saws), and Islamic Spirituality
A) Qur'anic recitation, contemplation, and the world
B) Qur'anic roots of Islamic Spirituality
C)Spiritual understanding and interpretation of the Qur'an
D) Hadith as a basis of Islamic Spirituality
E) The Muhammadan Truth and Light

Each session will begin and end with periods of dhikr,both vocal and silent.

Dr Alan says:
"Each session will begin and end with periods of dhikr,both vocal and silent. On Sunday morning before breakfast, I would like to go for a fast walk for about an hour, during which time I will recite surahs Yasin,Fath, Nab'a, Waqi'a, Mulk, and Hadid. Attendees are welcome to come with me"

There will be one session lasting one hour conducted by Dr Suriya to introduce the subject of Islamic Spiritual Healing , one on 11 th and one on 12 th .

For more info

email Dr Suriya : suriya.osman@gmail.com hp no 012 6368121, or Maryam 016 6337574 or Hilmi 016 3050 717


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Spiritual Transformation in Daily Life by means of Rememberence Gratitude and Love

Update on this post here

http://gentleways.blogspot.com/2007/07/workshop-spiritual-transformation-in.html

When Dr Abdal Haq Godlas wrote to me that he was coming to Malaysia and wanted to meet the Muslim Spiritual Community here for a two day event I was very excited. I quickly contacted the moderator of the biggest tasauf online community and asked him if I could make an announcement and ask who would be interested in coming to the event.

I was in for some disappointment when the response I got was almost non existent except for one or two people.

As the day got closer and with no helpers in sight to organise the event, I decided to take it into my own hands and organise the event myself .

Perhaps in making the commitment to do it, the spiritual energies of the event are making themselves felt and somebody pledged some funds to help the program come to light and, a friend who has a newspaper column offered to advertise it in the newpapers two weeks from now.

The event will be a two day workshop in Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya , at a conference venue, with meals provided and the option of residence. Proceeds will go towards helping Dr Alan with his expenses on his trip here ..since his unversity paid only for his airfare to attend a conference here.

Dates are 11-12 August .

The theme is Spiritual Transformation by means of Rememberence , Zikr, Gratitude and Love.

I include below Dr Godlas's biography

Professional Biography of Dr. Alan A. Godlas

Dr. Godlas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia. He is the director of the UGA Virtual Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Islamic World (VCISIW) and is the Co-Director of the UGA-Morocco Maymester program. At UGA he teaches Islamic Studies and Arabic courses (and sometimes Persian and Ottoman Turkish) as well as a survey course on the world's religions. Dr. Godlas is on the steering committee for the UGA Center for Asian Studies, and he is also a member of the Linguistics faculty, the Medieval Studies Program (link fixed 20 August, 2005), and the African Studies Program.

A native-born Californian, Dr. Godlas received his M.A. (1983) and Ph.D. (1991) in Near Eastern Studies (specializing in Islamic Studies) from the University of California at Berkeley, under the supervision of Prof. Hamid Algar. Dr. Godlas, however, began his career in higher education by studying for and receiving his B.S. in Ecological Psychology from the University of California at Davis in 1972. He then trained in Gestalt Therapy at the Gestalt Institute of San Francisco from 1973-74 and studied at the SAT Institute under the direction of Dr. Claudio Naranjo in 1974. Subsequently, Dr. Godlas traveled to the Islamic world, studying Persian literature at the University of Tehran from 1974-1976, advanced Arabic as a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) in Cairo in 1983-84, and advanced Turkish as a fellow at Bosporus University in 1984. He has taught at the University of Georgia since 1991.

Dr. Godlas has conducted extensive research in manuscript libraries in Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey. His areas of research include Qur'anic commentary (tafsir), hadith, Islamic mysticism (also known as Sufism) and consciousness transformation, and the relationship between Islam, modernism, and postmodernism. The Islamic texts that he studies are primarily in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. A final area of his research is the development of a disciplinary framework for the study of religion.

His professional experience includes being on the editorial boards of both Fons Vitae press and the journal, Sufi Illuminations, and being a member of the steering committee of the Study of Mysticism and Study of Islam sections of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Godlas was granted a National Endowment to the Humanities fellowship for the study of mysticism with Professor Huston Smith in 1993. In the Summer of 1997, Dr. Godlas received a Fulbright-Hayes fellowship for study in Uzbekistan (link fixed 20 August, 2005). Dr. Godlas is most well-known for his Islamic Studies and Sufism websites, which are the foremost comprehensive academic websites for the study of Islam and Sufism on the entire worldwide web. His recently developed webpage Muslims, Islam, and the Iraq War is the only thorough treatment of the relationship between Muslims and the Iraq war. In April 2002 his Islamic Studies website was one of five nominees for a Webby award in the category of spirituality. (The Webbys are the equivalent of the Oscars for websites.) Among his competitors was the website of the Vatican!

Dr Godlas was among the five well-known figures chosen by Beliefnet, the leading commercial interfaith website, to be interviewed about the best picture nominations for the Oscars in 2002. See Dr. Godlas' comments about Moulin Rouge.

Most recently, in January 2003, Dr. Godlas was chosen by the US Department of State and the Emir of Kano to give two presentations on Islam for a bilateral conference in Kano (Northern Nigeria) on US and Northern Nigerian relations.

Dr. Godlas has delivered numerous lectures in the US on understanding Islam and related issues for organizations such as CNN, the UGA Institute for Continuing Judicial Education, College of Charleston, Georgia Southwestern State University, Athens Council for Continuing Education of the Elderly, and many churches of different denominations. Recently, he delivered three lectures as the 2004 DeLamotte Lecturer at Shorter College in Rome, GA. He has also lectured internationally, delivering papers and invited presentations in Turkey, Iran, Morocco, Uzbekistan, and Nigeria, and by digital video to Senegal. In UGA's Georgia Magazine (Decemember, 2003) Click here for an article that discusses Dr. Godlas' life and work. It was based on a lengthier biographical article on Dr. Godlas that traces the intellectual journey of his life titled "Surrendering to God" by Philip Lee Williams (UGA Franklin College Chronicle, Fall 2003). The most recent discussion of Dr. Godlas and his work is the article Improving Global Understanding, One Bias at a Time published in October 2006.

Recent Publications:

  • "Surrender: Its Significance for Today and in the Qur'an Commentary of Ruzbihan al-Baqli," in Beacon of Knowledge: Essays in Honor of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ed. by Mohammad Faghoory, 2003.
  • Editor of Remembrance: Proceedings of the First Annual International Milad an-Nabi Conference. Chicago: 1995. This can be ordered from Dr. A. Mirza at NFIE.
  • "Hadith and the Qudsiya of Khwajah Muhammad Parsa," in Remembrance. Chicago: 1995, 50-73.
  • "The Naqshbandi Lineage of Shaykh Ma'sum Naqshbandi (al-Kurdi)," in Remembrance. Chicago: 1995, 91-96.
  • "Psychology and Self-Transformation in the (Arabic) Sufi Qur'an Commentary of Ruzbihan al-Baqli('Ara'is al-bayan),"Sufi Illuminations, 1(1996) 31-62. This journal can be ordered from Dr. A. Mirza at NFIE.
  • "A Commentary on 'What is Tasawwuf?'-An Anonymous Persian Poem," Sufi Illuminations, 1(1996) 63-80.
  • "Rifa'iya," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, ed. by John Esposito (New York: Oxford, 1995) 437-439.
  • "Ni'matallahiya," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, ed. by John Esposito, (New York: Oxford, 1995) 252-53.
  • Currently Dr. Godlas is translating and editing Ruzbihan al-Baqli's encyclopedic esoteric Sufi Qur'anic commentary, 'Ara'is al-bayan (The Brides of the Qur'an). The translation is currently under contract and when finished will number roughly 3,000 pages.

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Why do these things happen?





    I just saw a girl who had a tummy ache. She is so sweet ,a pretty young girl. She was trying to tell me something and I just asked how can I help. And she told me she has just swallowed 10 paracetamol tablets a few days ago, not enough to kill her I thought but enough to cause her a bad tummy ache and also compromise her liver. I could give her the antidote but how to stop her from doing it again. I took out my card with my phone number, call me anytime and I aslo gave her the number of my EFT therapist attached to my center ..sent her for counselling...with Maryam...

    Her problem...her fiance was seeing another woman , they were getting married in a month and he said he will marry her and also keep this other woman...

    And I asked her and you want to go through with it...she said yes and I asked why and she was silent.

    I asked again is it because you need to save face or perhaps you love him even after all this?

    And she replies , both...

    I don t know what is the best thing for her...just want to be sure she gets sorted out ...and not attempt another suicide...

    I have seen so many try to kill themselves with paracetamol and one young girl succeeded , she went into live failure and died....

    all because she was a top student and had not been doing that well that semester....and did not know how to tell her parents she did not do as well....

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    My inner Dragon

    I have had strange visions of a white dragon....and did a random search , found a Dragon quiz and whether you believe it or not , it turns out , according to the quiz that I do have an inner WHITE dragon......

    Curioser and curioser said Alice in Wonderland
    WHITE

    My inner dragon is one of two harmonious dragons (the other is Black). On the inside I am the perfect example of balance, patience, power, and reclusive intelligence. Evil-doers beware; my breath weapon is a combination of fire and lightning. Even the nicest dragons can do some serious damage.


    If there ever was an apparition of balance, power and reclusive intelligence, my Inner Dragon is it.My antithesis is the evil Black Dragon. Together, they embody the Yin and Yang concept of eastern religions (especially Taoism).


    More on the White Dragon:

    Though you might find that neat in passing, it's not really what a White is all about. You like to think things out, plot against enemies, and look down upon the world from the highest mountain peaks. Your favorable attributes are the Day, the Sun, reaching for spirituality, truth, a positive attitude, and helpful magic. Humans only need fear you when they stray into your domain without proper payment for passage. Of course, that payment would probably be a cake the size of a Volkswagen, but hey, if they wanted to move through your turf they should have brought it, right? If someone ever threatens you, your Inner Dragon would likely tell you to hit and run, or just plain run. If they really wanted a fight you'd be an impressive opponent, considering you pack a breath weapon combination of Fire and Lightning. Even the nicest dragons can do some serious damage.



    Click the image to try the Inner Dragon Online Quiz for yourself.

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    Critical Thinking


    Critical Thinking

    From the book Leadership Skills for Muslims by Dr Suriyakhatun Osman

    Contents

    1. What is Critical Thinking

    2. Definition of Critical Thinking

    3. Characteristic of people with critical thinking

    4. Core critical thinking Skills

    5. Components of Critical Thinking

    6. The Critical Thinking Process

    7. Critical thinking in the Quran

    8. Summary

    In a Nutshell

    Critical Thinking is clear thinking that aligns our thinking with reality . It means being truly honest and clear headed as well as self aware of wrong assumptions and paradigms.


    Click here to read more

    Leadership Skills for Muslims Critical Thinking


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    Monday, May 14, 2007

    The Emotionally Intelligent Leader

    This is from my book Leadership Skills for Muslims

    Module 2 The Emotionally Intelligent Leader



    heart+mind+eq



    In a nutshell

    It has been found that emotional intelligence is a much better determining factor than IQ in determining the social succes of a person. An ablitiy of manage emotions , understanding emotional pain and learning to manage, not allowing emotional pain to rule ones actions , learning to balance and emotions are what this chapter is about.

    The topic emotional intelligence will be further expanded under different topics in the subsequent modules.


    1.What is emotional Intelligence?

    It is defined as the awareness of and ability to manage one's emotions in a healthy and productive manner.

    An emotionally intelligent person is a person who while experiencing his/her emotions is able to acknowledge them and at the same time is able to know that emotions need not be a basis of actions. He/she is able to harness positive emotions and use them for the benefit of himself as well as others. He/she is able to transform negative emotions without supressing them , making them again a source of energy to change for the better.


    "Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence."


    Dr. Robert K. Cooper Executive EQ: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and Organizations, 1996, page xiii

    You can read the rest of it here


    Module 2 The Emotionally Intelligent Leader



    You may download an evaluation copy of the Ebook here


    Evaluation copy Leadership Skills for Muslims



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