Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/05/2013

Ramadhan 2013

Ramadhan begins for most Muslims in the US this Monday and marks a month of fasting and prayer. Although I don’t consider myself an observant Muslim, many years ago when my wife and I had wanted to marry, I was required (by family tradition) to convert. As such, every year since I have (tried my best to) undertaken the fast with my in-laws.

My first Ramadhan was one of the most physically difficult things I have ever endured but I found it rewarding in many ways. Perhaps most obvious is the way that shared suffering creates and strengthens communal bonds but, for me, the true draw has been perfecting the parami of nekkhama and simultaneously watching the mind flop about like a fish out of water when deprived of its usual playthings. And although bi don’t believe in a creator god like Allah I have certainly experienced what could be described as a deepened awareness of the sacred and a heightened concern about the quality of my actions, words and thoughts. It is more or less the same feeling I get late in the day during uposatha days and is something I have come to treasure about Ramadhan.

I wish to dedicate this year’s observance to all beings and wish that they may all find freedom from suffering. Furthermore, I will make a renewed determination to be of service to everyone in my life and will seek out every opportunity to give charity every day of the month of fasting.

Sabbe satta sabba dukkha pamuccantu!

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