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Spirituality, Sufism & Starbucks: Modern Day Tale of Siddhartha

Sitting in the back room of the Psychic Eye Bookshop, waiting for the “Psychic 101” class to start, made me feel uneasy. Oddly enough, I was not feeling hesitant to pursue this in the last few days leading up the class, but once I sat down and waited for the others to fill up the empty seats around me, I started to panic. Was I making the right decision, being here? I’ve been taught to believe this realm was haram (forbidden) so, was I now engaging in sin? But I needed answers and I did not know where else to turn to.

Laura walked in, as confident as I remembered her to be. Her fiery red hair was a stark contrast against her white porcelain skin and sharp green eyes. Contrary to what I imagined Psychics to dress like, she did not wear bell-bottom jeans, a flower head band or opulent rings on each finger. She was minimal in her attire but had a commanding presence.

We exchanged formalities and she instructed I sit next to her for the 6-week course. “You’re going to need to stay grounded because you are so open. So sit next to me,” she said.

She opened the class with a simple meditation. Within minutes of silence and deep breathing, I fell out of my chair. I felt as if someone stood in front of me and pushed me over. Laura’s reflexes were off, as she was clearly distracted. No one else in the class even flinched. As if it were customary for someone to randomly crumble during meditation. Laura must have sensed my bewilderment because without even looking at me, she outstretched her hand to help me up. Like a kid who was scolded, I felt embarrassed and frustrated.

After class she informed me that I was in desperate need of a daily meditation practice. Since I was on the brink of a my spiritual awakening, my energy was not grounded and I was hyper sensitive. Hence, why I fell over as soon as I started to meditate. I was overly sensitive to the energy in the room. I considered the Islamic prayer as meditation. When I told her that, she laughed and patted my arm, “Oh honey. You have so much to learn.”

I considered the Islamic prayer as meditation.

Days later, I found myself at a Buddhist Temple. I had called local Mosque’s inquiring about classes on meditation and I was hung up on, repeatedly. I was putting in every effort to keep my spiritual thirst quenched within Islam. But with every attempt I made, I was shut down. The first few weeks of meditation at the Temple, were miserable. Torture. I left every class angrier than how I came in! The teacher noticed my internal meltdowns and advised me, “Spend more time in meditation. You’re just scratching the surface.”

Now how the hell did that make sense? Spend more time being in a situation that was causing so much distress? That’s like telling a kid to keep their hand on a hot stove.

On the third month of self inflicted misery, with meditation, I cracked. It was as if the floodgates busted open. Images from childhood clouded my mind and emotions that I never realized I harbored, surfaced. I had always felt like a stranger in life. Alone. I never felt like I fit in. I did not mingle well among the children my age but I clicked really well with the adults. My mother noticed my withdrawal from children my age, thus smothered me out of protection. Often times my siblings believed my mother “favored” me over them but in reality, she intuitively knew something was different about me. I share a special bond with my mother as we are both seer’s and devotedly spiritual. Truly, my mother and I were created from the same fabric.

At a young age, I was even giving advice to the women in my elementary school regarding their marriages. One time, my 4th grade science teacher was sobbing in the hallway before class. I walked up to her, looked her straight in the eyes and said, “He is kissing another woman. And you’re pregnant. It’s a girl,” I placed my hands on her belly and continued, “She will have your eyes but his blonde hair.” She asked me who I had been talking to in order to know this and I just shrugged and replied, “I don’t know. I just know.

At that age, it was easier to accept clairvoyant visions because I was not influenced by societal or religious expectations. Yet.

Kids would gather on the playground to play hopscotch and braid each other’s hair. I would stand and chat with the teacher on recess supervision. I thought the children were strange. They liked Ace of Base and I liked reading about Ancient Egypt. The neighborhood schoolgirls had boyfriends that were the equivalent of them holding hands to the bus stop, and I had my imaginary friend, Hatshepsut. Some days, we had a party! Hathor would join in our fun. For those who are not into Ancient Egyptian history, Hatshepsut was a badass Pharaoh and Hathor was a Goddess. But when I tried to include all the cool kids in my circle of play, with Hatshepsut and Hathor, they just called me “strange” and laughed till they couldn’t breathe.

I never put myself in the same category as my peers. My reputation among the teachers grew and I was known as their “Little Gypsy.” Now, if my gift could have given me the ability to be a straight-A student then I could say, I was winning at life at this point! But that’s not how clairvoyance works. Unfortunately.

Psychic class gave me the stepping-stone to explore the metaphysical world. Coupled with Buddhist meditation, I was peeling away at the layers to my higher self. Like an onion that needs shedding, I was getting to the core of my being. I am the type of person that needs instant gratification.

For example, when I work out, I expect to wake up having lost 10 pounds. Therefore, after weeks of mediation, you can imagine I was ready for my Buddha certificate. I proudly walked into Wednesday night’s class; ready to fly high for the hour especially because I thought this would by my last class. I thought I graduated from meditation. When the Master saw me, he must have read my mind. He said, “You are still just at the beginning.” Exasperated I replied, “What do you mean? I feel great! I haven’t had visitors from the other side in weeks!”

He chuckled. That chuckle almost set me into another rage. “My dear, it’s not that you haven’t had visitors. You just haven’t accepted their visits. They are still there. They are always with you.”

I started to feel like I was in a chapter of Siddhartha.

“What does that even mean? I don’t want to see them. I’m not supposed to see them, right? I’m not a Sheikh or a Psychic Medium to be doing this. I don’t want this.”

“Come and sit. Sit with me. Let me show you what your gift is and how you are capable of more than you think,” he said a little too calmly for comfort.

“See that’s what gets me upset. Everybody keeps saying I have a gift. What could be so precious about communicating with the deceased?” I asked.

He led me to the garden and sat me down, in front of him. After the ceremonial deep breathing, my racing heart settled. He instructed me to close my eyes and keep my focus on my breath. Minutes later, he guided me through the most beautiful and tranquil movie — a projection of my life. Yes, my hair was fabulous and my outfit was on point. More importantly, I saw myself working alongside Angelic beings healing others. Not in a Jesus-y way. In my own way. Through my understanding of the Quran and my ancestral Egyptian lineage, I was a student of this life sent to be a healer. To merge the worlds together; Islam and Ancient Egyptian Mysticism. During the height of this visual, a bright golden light descended from Heaven and stood prominently in front of me. I could not make out the figure but when his face was revealed, in between the exquisitely copious wings, I knew. It was Archangel Gabriel.

Obviously, I screamed. And broke my trance.


Stay tuned for next week’s installment on my journey with my spirituality.

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