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
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
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