Written by Kaighla Um Dayo
There is a rather common misunderstanding among the Muslim community that meditation is haraam (a sin). The word itself is taboo.
One thinks of gongs, Tibetan prayer flags, maybe a smiling Buddha statue, and Sanskrit chants. But these things are a commercialized picture of a very healthy, very widespread practice that millions of people from all walks of faith—and lack thereof—have enjoyed from the beginning of humankind.
In this day and age when we are almost never alone, truly alone, without a device to keep us company and distract us from our innermost thoughts, it’s almost impossible to shut our brains down, creating an epidemic of sleep deprivation, stress, and anxiety.
I have always had a very busy, very distracted mind, and my emotions take hold of me easily. But one day in 2015, shortly after my divorce and iddah (waiting period) had begun, I suddenly saw the ways in which my new meditation practice was helping me.
In the midst of an emotional meltdown after yet another argument, I felt the same inner drive to do something about the pain and rage I felt. Suddenly, and totally unexpectedly, I felt a calm come over me and I felt myself tell myself, “Actually, Kaighla, you don’t have to do anything. You could sit and let this pain pass over you.”
And I was hooked.
What is Meditation?
What do I mean when I say “meditation”? For starters, it doesn’t (always) include chants, Sanskrit, or otherwise. The National Institute of Health says that meditation involves a combination of four things:
1.) a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; Read more