A New Approach to Daily Life
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Ostad Elahi's benevolent and altruistic philosophy, Natural Spirituality, is the extent to which it is adapted to the true nature of all human beings. Living at a time when the practice of spirituality was devoted exclusively to ascetic regimens, rigorous disciplines, and secluded contemplation, Ostad Elahi immersed himself in this form of classical spirituality until he became by all accounts the "Mystic of Mystics." Yet, when he finally reached the pinnacle of classical spirituality, something strange happened, something that would form the underpinnings of a major shift in the very way he conceived of spirituality. Having personally lived and mastered the mystic lifestyle, Ostad came to the realization that the time for ascetic seclusion had since passed, and was no longer suited to the lives of human beings in the contemporary world. Instead, he concluded, spirituality should be practiced in the midst of society, where the innumerable challenges and obstacles of daily life provided the perfect milieu to achieve optimal growth and development. Well aware that this new mindset would be incomprehensible to those who had been steeped in a mystical tradition for generations, Ostad thus parted from an age-old form of spirituality and set out to personally experience and test his new hypothesis, entering mainstream society and engaging in a career as a judge for the next 23 years.
Drawing upon the personal experiences and philosophy of Ostad Elahi, this seminar will continue the journey within the depths of the "self." Now in its 4th year, we will explore how to effectively transform the challenging and dynamic experiences of daily life into a natural and productive means of fulfilling our potentials and optimizing our intellectual and spiritual growth. Throughout this course, we will learn how to establish the proper balance between our physical and metaphysical dimensions and how to empower ourselves through positive thinking. In short, we will actively and naturally learn how to develop our aptitudes and strengths, and overcome our shortcomings and weaknesses. As we reflect upon and assimilate the principles of natural spirituality, we will realize that with just a small effort on our part, we can not only achieve tremendous success in our basic objectives, but we can also make great strides in our inner journey towards our ultimate goal.
1st Trimester: September 2006
2nd Trimester: January 2007
3rd Trimester: April 2007
Location: New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West
New York, NY 10023