My favorite middle-eastern restaurant is family run: the people are friendly and the food is fantastic: home-made hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel.
A few days ago, I headed in for lunch. Near the counter, a worker appeared to be fixing something on the floor.
He wasn’t a worker.
And he wasn’t repairing anything.
He was the restaurant owner, a man in his late 50s, kneeling on a prayer rug behind one of the dining tables.
He was doing his spiritual practice as is consistent with his Muslim faith: answering the call to prayer. For 1400 years, the devout face east and pray five times each day:
• At dawn, before sunrise
• At midday, after the sun passes its highest
• In the late part of the afternoon
• Just after sunset
• Between sunset and midnight
It was midday. Thus he was praying.
He allowed nothing to stop him. Not the customers in his restaurant watching him, not the demands of a busy workday.
He was praying in public.
And most interesting to me was that even though he was in the midst of his devotions, at the same time, he was fully of this world.
Thus, when I entered the restaurant, he stood up, smiled and welcomed me, mid prayer. When I sat down, he stopped mid prayer and filled my water glass. When he was done with his devotion, he rolled up his prayer rug, smiled again, and came back and took my order.
His devotion was fully integrated. His spiritual life was enfolded into his regular day.
To witness this: a person praying in public, a person who did not separate the Divine from everyday… this was a beautiful thing.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it hard to find a consistent time to meditate or pray. I get busy, or have appointments or life gets in the way.
Or does it?
Witnessing this man praying in public, reminded me that nothing is more important than connection to the Divine.
Each in our own way. Each with our own beliefs and traditions.
Spirituality not as a separate practice, but as our way of being.
P.S. Our March course of the month is Learn the Practice of Channeled Writing.
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