riyada in arabic means "training" or "discipline". It was used by the arabs in relation to horse taming. Sufis refer to their discipline as "riyadat an-nafs": disciplining the soul / training the ego. Today, the word riyada has come to mean "sports". There is an Arabic proverb that says: "The purpose of sports (riyada) is not to win cups, but to discipline the soul". This blog is here to help me discipline my soul and train my body.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jordan, Nutrition

well, i'm here, alhamdulillah,

The trip was nice and short, and I read from The Hundred Letters of Sharafuddin Maneri, a great Sufi master and founder of the Firdausi order in India. The Firdausi order is a relatively small order in India, eclisped by the more famous orders like the Chishti and Qadiri, Naqshbandi, etc.. Yet this book, and this shaykh who wrote this book, have left disproportionately large effect, subhanallah, it won great fame and respect, and this shaykh is possibly the one sufi shaykh in India who is respected the most by Muslims and Hindus combined (well there's also Kabir).

I know i had said i would be reading Prayer Fashions Man, a collection of writings by Frithjof Schuon, but I put it back in the shelf when a small book that I had ordered arrived, called Thrive. It's a tiny book written by a Brendan Brazier, a vegan professional athlete, talking about how to thrive on a vegan diet. It didnt try to convince anyone to be vegan, it assumes you're already vegan. While i'm not vegan, i learned some very important principles from that book that I will try to adhere to as much as possible. In the same way, discussion with Lucky convinced me to read "Fit For Life" which I found lying around in my father's library. Again, I dont plan to follow it as it is, but I'm sure I will benefit a lot from reading it and incorporate some of its ideas into my nutrition plan.

I'm not sure how often I'll be writing in this blog, cause now that I'm here I might start filling up my Notes blog with quotes and pieces of info that I think i might make use of later, from some of the books I have here in Jordan.

And finally, I want to share something with you... something very special to my heart. It's an experience that I had when I arrived yesterday from the airport, an experience I have everytime I come to Jordan... It's something I call the Elixir of Joy, the Coolness of the Eyes, the Scent of Layla, the Balsam of the Body, the Red Sulphur of the Soul, and the Incontestable Proof of God!


Blogger Elizabeth said...

I'll try it sometime!

btw--it occurs to me that taming of the ego is what I do...

June 2, 2006 at 5:14 AM

Blogger Silencer said...

can u explain to me what you mean about the taming of the ego thing?

June 2, 2006 at 9:20 AM

Blogger Elizabeth said...

Actually maybe I should have said "reconstructing the ego." I was referring to my work as a psychotherapist.

June 5, 2006 at 12:57 AM

Blogger Silencer said...

have you heard of the use of the enneagram for ego reconstruction and stuff like that?

I'm very interested in reading some of the books of sufi psychologist Laleh Bakhtiar. One of the ones I'm interested in is "al-Ghazzali: His Psychology of the Greater Struggle" [i.e the struggle against the ego]

but mostly, i'm interested in one of the volumes in her "God's Will Be Done" series, the one called "Moral Healer's Handbook: The Psychology of Spiritual Chivalry"

i dont know all the details about this enneagram thing, but it does sound interesting. i dont think its limited to sufi psychologists either.

anyway i'll let you know if i ever get around to reading one of them.

June 5, 2006 at 8:21 AM


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