We were from different backgrounds and different places and
many of us were meeting for the first time ever. Yet, in just a few days’ time, we all became like one big family, sharing our joys and sorrows, our life-stories and our challenges together. That was the magic
created by the 6th Discover Yourself Train the Trainers
Workshop held in Bangalore recently!
The pleasant December winter in Bangalore welcomed 40 participants to the School of Ancient Wisdom for the 6th Discover Yourself Train the Trainers Workshop, anchored and organised by Dr. Sadathullah Khan, editor of ‘Islamic Voice’.
Coffee, tea and tasty biscuits awaited the participants as they arrived from different places in India and abroad. Shabbir Ahmed from Mumbai had meticulously co-ordinated the logistics, making everyone feel very well cared for. Some sisters from Kolkata generously brought along original Bengali rosogollas. Not to be forgotten were the delicious melting-in-the-mouth biscuits brought by a participant from Hyderabad. And Yasmin Mehtab from Kolkata arrived a few days after the workshop started, carrying with her a yummy cake!
The introductory session was, to put it simply, mind-blowing. Participants were given name tags and had to add a positive adjective to their name, starting with the first letter of the name. This was a wonderful exercise in self-reflection. Some of us had to search google to get their adjectives!
The days of coaching and guidance by Sadathullah Khan opened up our hearts, helping us reflect on our own lives. It stirred the conscience, tugged at the heart strings as each of us related to our ‘issues’….incompletions, grudges, past baggage, and so on. We realised, through Sadath Bhai’s coaching, that life is actually empty and meaningless. It is simply a series of happenings, which we attribute meaning to. By giving negative meanings and interpretations to things, small or big, that happen in our lives, we end up making life difficult for ourselves and others. So the next time, you wish or greet someone and he or she does not respond, so what should you do? Just accept it as a happening, a part of things as they are, without attributing any negative meaning to it! The same tool needs to be applied to different situations that we may encounter in our daily lives. That’s a great recipe to be at peace.
How most of us overwork our minds and don’t really give it a proper rest! Sadath Bhai underlined the need to shift our focus from the mind and connection to our beautiful hearts instead. Connecting to Almighty Allah through our hearts can help us grow spiritually. It can also help us understand Islam as a way of life rather than a set of rituals done mechanically.
Understanding ourselves and our lives in the humorous and light-hearted way suggested by Sadath Bhai took off many blinkers from our eyes. We need to keep shutting off the negative prompters that threaten to pop into our minds every now and then. So, the next time some anxiety, fear, apprehension, doubt, negative feelings grip you, just say ‘Shut Up’ to these fellows!
One of the highlights of the workshop was our visit to a beautiful plot of land in the wilderness that Sadath Bhai hopes to develop as a sort of spiritual retreat centre. We had great fun, ‘grown-ups’ behaving somewhat like children once again! We had a delicious lunch and trekked up the rocks, feeling the fresh breeze, a truly rejuvenating experience.
Sharing meals and praying together, bonding through fun-filled moments as well as listening to participants share their troubles and challenges these are some of the memories many of us will treasure. Parting from the big family of more than 40 was a heart-wrenching experience. But, hopefully, we returned to our destinations energetically enthused with positive intentions of creating our futures and handling our lives by connecting to the heart!
A very big thank you to Sadath Bhai and to each one of the participants!