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A Vision of Eden

Sincerity and Truth

 


FROM SHUMEI MAGAZINE, VOL. 254

Sincerity and Truth
Mohammad Bashar Al–hneidi (London)

Mohammad Bashar Al-hneidi is a member of Shumei's London Center. The following is a transcription of an address he delivered at Shumei Europe's anniversary celebration.

I would like to share with you what has led me to become a Shumei member. I am not going to try to sound evangelical although that is what might happen when one talks about the invisible. I hope to express the spirit of Meishusama's introductory teaching, “Sincerity and Truth.”

Although I am known to many of you as Zak, my name is Mohammad Bashar Al–hneidi. I came from Damascus, Syria, and migrated to England at the beginning of 1991. I was 21 years of age and spoke very little English. I battled through the hardships of the host culture, trying to fit in. It was very hard, mainly due to the language barrier and lack of family and friends.

Although I disliked every minute of that period, I now fully understand its purpose. It taught me how to be what I am, through being what I am not. It pushed my comfort zone to limits that, at times, distorted my personality. I struggled in my job. I struggled in my relationships, and I struggled with myself.

Atheism was then a safe place for me, following my emergence from my home culture where religion dictates every thought and action. I had seen people manipulate their religion to advance their material aims and their political, economic and social endeavors. I hope what I am saying here does not imply that I, myself, was a saint. I put forth my fair share of lying, cheating, hatred, fear, anger, and jealousy. However, at the back of my mind I always knew that I wanted to live differently. I wanted to live with love.

In reaction to the religionists in my past, I began labeling everybody who said they believed in God as fearful, immature, and a cheat to themselves and others. On the other hand, I found atheism to be mentally safe but emotionally and spiritually painful.

Only recently was I able to open up and allow the invisible to take part in my life. With hindsight, I believe it started many years ago as I did metaphysical research, reading many books on religion, philosophy, and self–help. I gained a firm belief that there is a place where every being can be happy and fulfilled. This is what I now know as “Heaven on Earth”; hence I was able to digest Meishusama's teachings as if he wrote them for me.

I was introduced to Jyorei on May 31, 2004 after attending a Mind, Body, and Spirit Expo. To put it mildly, Jyorei blew my mind. Subsequently, I have experienced happiness that I've never felt before. I suppose all the thanks go to Seiji Tagima, my spiritual brother. For two weeks after attending the workshop, I had Jyorei every day, sometimes twice a day.

I then received my ohikari on July 24, 2004 and gave Jyorei immediately after by attending what is called a “Jyorei gathering.” We went to people's homes and gave Jyorei to the sick as well as the so–called healthy.

Our spiritual work in London was taking on a fast pace in terms of giving Jyorei, but we were lacking the other two important aspects of Shumei's philosophy, Natural Agriculture and art. This is where I came in. After finishing Meishusama's teachings, I kept asking Yoshinori (Joe) Amanai, our Sensei, to start a Natural Agriculture project in England.

Yoshinori, together with Katsunori Tatsuta who is now in Japan, put me in touch with Shumei's Frankfurt Center in Germany. Shortly after, I visited them and was introduced to their farm, where I spent four days. I can truly say that experience changed my life by changing my psyche.

While harvesting potatoes, aubergine, and tomatoes in Germany, I was asking myself, would I be able to do this? Would I be able to start farming? Would I be able to leave my city life for a rural one? For a while I was immersed in sheer anger and resentment for letting myself go down the rabbit hole by choosing to do farming. My personality was kicking back at me even though whatever I was getting into was very logical.

During my time in Germany I ate all Natural Agricultural produce and I cannot tell you how tasty and filling it was. I remember one day I ate nothing but three tomatoes and did not feel at all hungry. I felt energetic and happy. In fact I wanted to stay on the farm forever. The prospect of returning to London was daunting.

I returned to London very late. I had something to eat and then went to bed. During the night I wakened throwing up and feeling very unbalanced. My stomach was doing all kinds of somersaults. After calming down I went to sleep.

The following morning I thought about it and realized that what happened the previous night was the answer to my questions. I decided to start farming in London following Natural Agricultural methods. So, together with my fellow members at the Shumei London Center, I began searching for lands to rent and farmers who were interested in Natural Agriculture. We found neither. However, we came up with the idea of starting small–renting small holds of land and then moving to bigger and bigger plots as we gathered experience. We have done exactly that. Joe Amanai, Shinya Yamamoto, Tatsuya Sugimoto, Hiroyuki Saratani, Kiyoe Ikeda and I now have small holds in London and we are all working on them. We are still at the beginning but this is exactly what we want to have in London, “A new beginning.” We would welcome and encourage any kind of help that you think necessary to ensure a happy and successful future.

Since I started my spiritual path by receiving or giving Jyorei, reading books related to the subject, meditating regularly, and participating in Natural Agriculture, I have noticed that I am becoming more and more sensitive to the subtle energy that surrounds me. My Jyorei is becoming magnified; my personality is becoming more aligned with my soul.

One last thing I would like to share with you is, being a member of Shumei places responsibility on me as well as my fellow members. Hierarchy is all around us but it is only beneficial when it is implemented with love and compassion. So, I would say to all of you that I had no hesitation at all in joining Shumei because it has helped me to give me back to myself. I have worked in many institutions and realized that the major problem is when members become so enmeshed in their egos that they forget the authenticity of their institution.

A tree can only function holistically when its branches and leaves work in conjunction with its roots. So, I ask everyone to always remember the roots because without them there will be no tree. A clear example of that is the London Center where our tree is flourishing

The responsibility we have is not to put too much emphasis on ritual or cultural habits and, in the process, forget our aims. Our responsibility is to help people in finding their magnificent potential.

So, let us work together and give people back to themselves by reminding them of the abundance of energy that surrounds them, showing them that heaven on earth is not a concept but a reality.

Everyone being members of the same family means that the light will travel to many countries and cultures. I hope that one day God will give me the strength to take the light to my home country.