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Ramadan Unplugged 23 September 2007

Posted by EDITOR in BARAKA, GUESTS, Psychology, Spirituality.
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Our guest contributor this week is Baraka, a San Francisco-based writer and human rights activist. She has just returned to blogging after a hiatus, now at Rickshaw Diaries.

Taking the N-Judah train through town Monday morning, every coffee shop we rumbled past had lines out the door; people waiting groggily for a cup of our second biggest import (after oil) to jump-start their day.

It is freeing not to think about sustenance. Don’t get me wrong – I love food: as soon as one meal finishes I start thinking about the next; if I step out the door for an errand I bring along Medjool dates, just in case; and I always eat slowly, savoring aroma and flavors.

But, I like this feeling of being unplugged – I don’t need a latte to function. I feel somewhat removed and remote from my body, the mind and soul suddenly coming into sharp focus.

Even during the times that we can eat, I find the focus is less on the food and more on strengthening myself for the days and nights of increased contemplation.

Suhoor is straight-forward: a whole wheat bagel lightly schmeared with cream cheese, fresh watermelon and water. Iftar is similarly simple: a cup of hot milk with dates to break the fast and then a cup of homemade, multi-bean soup after Maghrib (the evening prayer).

And, then, on the fifth day of fasting, I am struck with a realization: He so clearly is all that I need to survive, the One I am utterly dependent upon. Take away all else, and still the Giver of sustenance and mercy remains.

All the space inside that I used to fill up to the brim with food, is now finally God’s to move into.

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