How do you define self-awareness?
We are living our lives in a very unsubtle and swift manner. Each day passes us by- like a strong wind that makes its way out of high skyscrapers. We humans never tend to stop at any point. When we achieve something, we are off again to pursue another. We are driven by passion. We are driven by hunger. We tend to paint everything in black and white-
Success and failure. Good and Bad. Right and Wrong.
Whereas we nearly never assess ourselves on the scales we weigh others on. The beauty of self-reflection and self-discovery is limited and known only to the very few who tread on that path. Spirituality is distinctively on a farther pedestal for most of us.
However, people who do try to study themselves as beyond mere sensory beings, are those who at the end of the road, discover their true selves. It is said that ‘knowledge is a virtue’. But the kind of knowledge each of us chooses to gain is highly subjective.
Personally, I am not much of a believer nor am I inclined toward the concept of spirituality. But nonetheless, it is strange that I find beauty in spiritual beings. I find beauty in their writings, in their poetry. The likes of Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi have taken over a strangely large part of my heart.
The beauty of Sufi Poetry, the raw knowledge of life that Sufism represents, one can never explain!
In the second season of The Brand Called You, we featured a very distinct personality. An Art/Creative director-turned-Sufi,
Hasnain Waris is an unusually balanced individual. His story is inspirational, spiritual and extremely positive.
Hasnain started working as a visualist, after finishing his education. After reaching a fulfilling point in his professional career, he took a U-turn and set on a very uncommon journey. He quit his job to work in people development and started helping people find their true selves.
In an articulate conversation with our host, Hasnain has taken us on his beautiful journey of self-discovery, self-alignment, and spiritualization. His extraordinary knowledge has not only helped him but also the many people that he helps!
What is Sufism and Who is a Sufi?
To understand Hasnain’s journey, it is vital that we correctly understand Sufism.
Sufism also known as Tasawwuf is an 18th-century mystical movement of Islam. It is the practice that helps one attain nearness to their spiritual self as well as to Allah. It is a process of making a divine connection with God through personal experience.
Sufism provides for the joy of life. Practitioners of Sufism believe that they can get closer to God through purification of the soul.
At the peak of sufism, one becomes a complete man.
In Hasnain’s words, a sufi is a person whose intent, thoughts, words and actions are perfectly aligned. A sufi is a person complete in themselves. They are self actualised human beings. A sufi’s journey always ends in experience.
On the true meaning of self discovery, Hasnain says
It is nothing but the realization of your own unique gift. It is feeling comfortable and satisfied with one’s own zone. It is like flying for a bird and swimming for a fish”
On a journey towards finding God who is the ultimate truth/reality of the universe, Sufis discover the clarity of their path. They embrace Islamic values of love, peace and kindness and spread these virtues around the world. Sufi music, chants, poetry and writings are celebrated throughout the world. Eminent Sufi poets like Rumi and Hafiz have redefined and glorified sufism in history.
Sufis find empowerment in surrendering to virtues like love. They surrender to the ultimate truth of life- God.
“If you are ‘I’ conscious or egocentric, you live very limitedly. But the moment you are aligned with the life force itself (God), you are a different man. And you can feel it the moment you drop your baggage and your petty belief systems.Belief is something that limits. you.”
He goes on to quote a famous Sufi saying to explain this divine connection in a better way,
“Tum sawari bhi ho, Tum sawar bhi ho”
(Man is not just the horse but also the horse rider)
About Hasnain’s work:
Hasnain conducts powerful workshops and activities with mainly millennials. He carries out a bunch of activities including music, role play, basic rituals which help people connect with themselves and realise their truths.
Along with these incredible workshops, Hasnain is also a life coach. He believes that this profession is also closely aligned with what he loves to do most- helping people. His work is distinct from mentoring and counselling. He works towards helping people realise their potential and abilities. In a way it can be said that he helps people help themselves!
He has done some incredible work in the field. Moreover, this unique Sufi Coach is also all set to release his own book. Hasnain has a unique light to himself. He teaches, inspires and spreads that light everywhere he goes.
In the humdrum of our materialistic lives, understanding spirituality and sufism is our chance to discover our true selves.
It is a path to understand the realities of a mysterious world.
A way of life that ignites us to understand love. Not as a transactional process but as a raw and living emotion. A love state.
Sufism is not a religion, a method or a belief. It is a way of life. It is a path to sheer happiness and self awareness.
To conclude, the words of Rumi fit almost perfectly:
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
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