Rahma with Rose

Nurturing Our Mental Health from a Spiritual Perspective: A Conversation with Maryam Qadri

August 11, 2023 Dr. Rose Aslan Season 1 Episode 8
Nurturing Our Mental Health from a Spiritual Perspective: A Conversation with Maryam Qadri
Rahma with Rose
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Rahma with Rose
Nurturing Our Mental Health from a Spiritual Perspective: A Conversation with Maryam Qadri
Aug 11, 2023 Season 1 Episode 8
Dr. Rose Aslan

Discover how Maryam Qadri found unity and love through her multi-faceted, multi-religious spiritual journey, from her initiation into Sufism to her exploration of essential spirituality through her fluid religious identity and practice. Maryam comes from a Christian background and has explored various religious and spiritual wisdom traditions during her life journey. Her unique experiences underscore the importance of seeking the ultimate truth and following the heart's whispers.

Maryam Qadri is a sociologist by degree and a Sufi in training. She is a writer, content creator, and co-founder of Essential Spirituality. Her newest publication is The Mystical Garden: A Collection of Sufi Poetry and Prose.

Maryam unravels the power of healing modalities and their impact on her mental health journey, championing the benefits of bibliotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Discover how they can reshape distorted thoughts and negativity bias. Learn how journaling can empower us, especially when we make it a daily practice to write down things we appreciate.

We round off our discussion by addressing ways to cope with anxiety and depression. Explore the role of physical exercise, music, mirror work, faith, and bibliotherapy as vital tools. Maryam speaks to the power of self-acceptance, respect for pluralistic beliefs, and sincerity in our spiritual journey.

Find Maryam Qadri online: www.essentialspirituality.org and purchase her book, The Mystical Garden: A Collection of Sufi Poetry and Prose here: https://a.co/d/4fEgEjw

Support the Show.

Find out more about Rose's work here: https://lnk.bio/dr.rose.aslan
Website: https://compassionflow.com

Support Rahma with Rose so I can keep producing more episodes here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2197727/supporters/new

Music credits: Vocals: Zeynep Dilara Aslan; Ney/drum: Elif Önal; Tanbur: Katherine Hreib; Rebap: Hatice Gülbahar Hepsev

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover how Maryam Qadri found unity and love through her multi-faceted, multi-religious spiritual journey, from her initiation into Sufism to her exploration of essential spirituality through her fluid religious identity and practice. Maryam comes from a Christian background and has explored various religious and spiritual wisdom traditions during her life journey. Her unique experiences underscore the importance of seeking the ultimate truth and following the heart's whispers.

Maryam Qadri is a sociologist by degree and a Sufi in training. She is a writer, content creator, and co-founder of Essential Spirituality. Her newest publication is The Mystical Garden: A Collection of Sufi Poetry and Prose.

Maryam unravels the power of healing modalities and their impact on her mental health journey, championing the benefits of bibliotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Discover how they can reshape distorted thoughts and negativity bias. Learn how journaling can empower us, especially when we make it a daily practice to write down things we appreciate.

We round off our discussion by addressing ways to cope with anxiety and depression. Explore the role of physical exercise, music, mirror work, faith, and bibliotherapy as vital tools. Maryam speaks to the power of self-acceptance, respect for pluralistic beliefs, and sincerity in our spiritual journey.

Find Maryam Qadri online: www.essentialspirituality.org and purchase her book, The Mystical Garden: A Collection of Sufi Poetry and Prose here: https://a.co/d/4fEgEjw

Support the Show.

Find out more about Rose's work here: https://lnk.bio/dr.rose.aslan
Website: https://compassionflow.com

Support Rahma with Rose so I can keep producing more episodes here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2197727/supporters/new

Music credits: Vocals: Zeynep Dilara Aslan; Ney/drum: Elif Önal; Tanbur: Katherine Hreib; Rebap: Hatice Gülbahar Hepsev

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Dr. Rose Aslan: Salams peace. Hi! Today I'm joined by a dear friend in the Us. So, I've been connecting with the past year or even more, someone who I've had many lovely conversations with over Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, and we've come together in various coaching contexts as well. And I'm really pleased to introduce Miriam Codri.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: Miriam is a sociologist by training or by degree and a Sufi in training. She's a writer, content creator, and co-founder of essential spirituality.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: Her newest release is a book titled Mystical Garden, a collection of Sufi poetry and pros. It's such a delight to have you here today. Thank you, Rose. It's always a pleasure to be with you. Yes, thank you. So let's dive right in. The first question I ask all my guests, and I'm always curious to see the origin of people's paths.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: So, can you remember when you were, however, old, when you first started to gain interest in spirituality and or the healing path in your life. So this might be together or separate, depending on your own context, right? So mine would be. I would probably treat this separately. So.

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Maryam Qadri: I would say I had. I would. I wanted related spiritual experience. I had kind of like as a kid without understanding it, so like when I was maybe in high school.

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Maryam Qadri: I attended my sherry's wedding, and My grandmother was very close to every one of the family. She had passed on. and it was a beautiful outdoor wedding in Oregon. And

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Maryam Qadri: and there's this moment where it's like like I was in a trance.

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Maryam Qadri: I saw my grandmother, but she was holding the hand of a little girl, and I didn't recognize the little girl

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Maryam Qadri: and I, and then it, and then it ended, and I was back in the wedding, and I and I found it really weird, you know, because I never had any kind of such experiences and

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Maryam Qadri: and so I shared it that evening with my aunts and everyone, and my Aunt Lenny was keen on it because she? She said. She asked more and more about the little girl, and I said, I don't know. It's just like a little girl, like a sweet little girl, and my Aunt Lenny had had a miscarriage, and it was a little girl, and so for her that, like, if she felt like that her child was there with her mother, you know, and it was very beautiful. So that was like that. I so I had this kind of I had like. I would have this kind of experience, but religiously I had no spirit. I had no

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Maryam Qadri: I was like the black sheep and the outcast

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Maryam Qadri: because I just got it, but I got it so well that I couldn't accept it, and I was a bit of an oddity and an oddball. So So, I didn't really. I was such a rebel against it. I didn't feel called to spirituality or religion. And then in college, you know I, I met someone w,ho I thought was the love of my life, and I thought, That's what God wanted for me. And it was the first time I had this feeling like this is God's will, and oh, my God

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Maryam Qadri: And it didn't work out, and it was a blessing that it didn't work out, but when it didn't work out, it got me really thinking, and it got me thinking, Well, what is God's will? What is spirituality? And at the same time, I met the man who would end up being my husband and I, and so he and I also met at that same time, and

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Maryam Qadri: and he would talk about spirituality to me, and then he would talk about it in ways that, like some of it, I understood it. Some of it. I was like, I don't know, and so I would start in the Gita as I read it twice, and

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Maryam Qadri: As in the vague, vague to the hind. Yes, yes, yes, and I loved it. I just loved it. And in high school, I came across the Sidarth of Goatsam in his biography. And I love the idea that we're preoccupied with transcendentalist literature. So this was how I was starting to identify. Such a religion. Spirituality to me, was it? It's something transcendent. It's something related to nature. It's something higher, spiritual, and not necessarily in the

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Maryam Qadri: trappings that I was familiar with.

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Maryam Qadri: and then healing. I had my first healing, actually, without recognizing it. When I had the breakup because I met a philosophical counselor, I read Plate or Not, Prozac, and so back. Then, you know, we didn't have, like, you have to get calling cards back then. So I emailed the author. And I said, I said, this is what I'm going through. I'm stuck on the noble truth, and he was kind enough. He's like if you can get a calling card, I'll have an hour-long session with you. And so he worked me through the step I was stuck on.

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Maryam Qadri: and it was really helpful. It was really helpful because, you know, I was like the point where you like. You don't understand what's called what the call is suffering as a cause, I was like. So I stuck. There was like, I understand that I'm heartbroken. But why am I still suffering? And he's like? And then he started probing, and I realized I was still involved in an outdoor program where I was seeing the person

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Maryam Qadri: and interacting with the person who was the source of him, I guess the pain can come from me. But like that person and I, that wasn't there. So then I realized I had to step away from that to heal from that.

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Maryam Qadri: Yeah, thank you. It sounds really intriguing. And I'm curious to hear more about this. And what came after that.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: So I know. And from our past conversations, you've been on a very interesting eclectic spiritual journey with yourself and your family. Could you describe the spiritual path? You're on

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Maryam Qadri: right. So my spiritual path went from being born into a promising Christian family to Becoming a Quadri in the Quadri Order of Sufis.

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Maryam Qadri: and then a very staunch Sunni to the best of my ability.

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Maryam Qadri: And And then having a crisis at face with that, and then joining the it order, and and, you know, getting to explore 90 Sufism and then and then. Now going through essential spirituality, which is what I'm doing with the platform that my husband and I co-created. So I would say, it's fluid, it's fluid and inclusive, and it's always about growth and adaptation. I'm I feel that the only thing that is common, and all of it, is that I'm seeking the truth that I'm seeking

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Maryam Qadri: I'm seeking ultimate reality. And I, and I'm not hung up on

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Maryam Qadri: how that has to form. But I am hung up on, you know.

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Maryam Qadri: and following my heart and doing what I feel is correct in that.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: How do you know

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Dr. Rose Aslan: it's a great question. So when I met Pierz, I actually asked him a question, that you tell us more about who that is for listeners. Who? Yeah? So yeah, because the icon is the president of the An it order, and I got to meet him at the boat of their message.

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Maryam Qadri: And when I met him, I was so broken in. Yeah, I was so broken from

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Maryam Qadri: because my husband and I had kind of like a crisis of faith, and that partially dealt with some lots of living dynamics and the pressures of certain people and things like that. So

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Maryam Qadri: So I was. I was so Bobaji's guidance to me right before he died, was it?

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Maryam Qadri: It doesn't matter, and what doesn't matter, so it doesn't matter. Related to my husband. really, He was so mistreated on a level

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Maryam Qadri: like. He could not be Muslim enough for certain people, and they were so particular about what Islam ought to be or should be that he just kind of needed to shut it all down and

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Maryam Qadri: you know. And so that was really hard for me because I was aware of all the rules related to Sunni Islam and what that means for Muslims, and it was so I was. I was torn, and we. We have pictures of street Christians in our home, which may shock people, and some, like the listeners, may find that offensive or hard to accept, some not all and

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Maryam Qadri: And so I was. I was really distressed myself at that time because I was so much into my new identity that I had become and

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Maryam Qadri: And I remember I saw the picture of Krishna one night, and I and I was. I was. I think I might have been crying. But the voice I heard of voice, and it was a verse from the Quran, and it said, Where where you turn there is the face of your lord. And then, when we call Babuji about it? Because why would you always give us very sound advice? And Bob, would you say it doesn't matter.

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Maryam Qadri: And I was like, how can it not matter as you put me on this path like what you took and what I was speaking just a few days ago with my husband. What I concluded is it's about unity and love.

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Maryam Qadri: Those are the principles that matter. And we're Universalists. So when we believe in our law. But we see that they know, like the Quran says, that you're all law and all laws. One, it sounds really funny, and if you say it like that, but it's like your God and our God is one. God. Say that, but it's like, but it's, and there are 2, all laws. So we believe that ultimately everybody's this 1 one reality. And so, how do you know you're going astray or not?

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Maryam Qadri: Because it told me to stay with the practices? And I agree with that.

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Maryam Qadri: because I think the practices are grounding, and the practices can be a source more than any other teaching. The practices keep you grounded. And then I would add to that, is that what I learned from Babo G is that it's about unity and love. So when things start to feel really uncomfortable, hard, unnatural when they feel like that's you just can't like. I thought it was so. It was like an edifice I couldn't hold up, and it was crushing me.

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and it was crushing what I loved and everything I loved. And I was like, this can't be what God! This can't be right. So it and that's hard to let these things go. It's hard to let the identities go

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Maryam Qadri: that that.

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Maryam Qadri: You know that people. It's hard to destroy yourself. It's like shattering yourself, which is how other Nightcon said. Shatter yourself on the rock of truth. And so I think that's how. But I don't recommend it. I don't recommend it by choice, but I think life will provide you the opportunity.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: Shatter yourself on the rock of truth. Can you elaborate on that more? I'm so curious about what your teacher meant and how you interpreted that.

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Maryam Qadri: Yeah. So when, like, since he's an icon, said, it's like a quote from him, so I always understood it, as like we often say we, we often erect false identities, false gods, and so, and we can get so wrapped up in that that we that we

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Maryam Qadri: that and we don't, and it's actually our ego. And so, instead of

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Maryam Qadri: instead of shattering our ego and coming to the fullness of this reality, which is, which is ultimate, which is God. we protect something so narrow and small, which is a little conception of God or ourselves, and it's so limiting. So I think the shattering means

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Maryam Qadri: every time you see yourself becoming hard and becoming fixated on. This is me. This is whatever.

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Maryam Qadri: See the qualities it produces. See what happens, and if it hurts, I find it hurt, and so it will shatter. It will implode itself, or it will, or something will implode it. And so, and that that something is truth, and that truth is the truth like it's a controversial word people say now, but I think the truth is, it doesn't have to be controversial. I think it is. It becomes self-evident, and when it's self-evident, you don't really need to argue with it. It's just something intuitive

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Dr. Rose Aslan: to help. Yeah, no, thank you. I'm always interested to hear how people interpret and understand spirituality and how they understand this kind of larger concepts in similar and also different ways. And I think that's really important, that's the point of this podcast, so the most a place of interpretations, of understanding what it means to be a believer and worshipper of the divine. You sharing that

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Dr. Rose Aslan: so I know, apart from your spiritual path. You've also been on this healing journey, as many of us are, and that's how we connected. Which healing modalities have you tried, and which ones resonated with you the most.

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Maryam Qadri: Well, I like a shotgun approach. I've tried many, and I do prefer it because when I had an I had like a mental health crisis back in 2,017, and I was very depressed, and I was

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Maryam Qadri: It's highly, very fearful. I'm still fearful, but I'm but I was super fearful, like Super feel full insecure, and very depressed and

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Maryam Qadri: and so

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Maryam Qadri: I just started. First, I stuff for so so everyone around me because I'm hyper. Spiritual family. Everyone's like, do more. So do more spiritual practice do more. So I'm like, I don't think this is spiritual. But I took everyone's advice like everyone had told me to do this or that practice. I did this, or that practice like what I practice as they were suggesting, like some were like was Ef Some were like, for people who don't know, that is, can you? That's like a chant like a chant.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: one of the divine names, or it could be a chronic verse, or a divine name, or something. Or usually, it's something like that, like, it's usually for soupy members. Yeah, right? And then and then others would suggest, maybe like an auto-suggestion, where you give a positive affirmation.

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Maryam Qadri: And then things like that, Certain things like that. charity, charity, charity people I am given

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Maryam Qadri: but like, but like it. So I knew that it was something else. It was in my head and in my head. I had just really gotten so caught up there. So I started. I went to an act therapist, which is acceptance. Was that acceptance commitment therapy? But I wanted since I was my insurance didn't cover it, so it was hard to pay out of pocket. But it was nice meeting her because I thought I was going crazy legitimately. I was so much up in my head, and she said she said no.

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Maryam Qadri: it was a really nice and nice moment. So it was like, Okay, so so I I read, you are not your brain. I read like 5 different books, like The End of Fear.

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Maryam Qadri: Oh, I read them cover to go feeling good, like extensive notes. And, when I read, I apply so bibliotherapy is a modality of healing that I love. And I use. And yeah, and I love it. And I find, like now, today. But that's because of the earlier work with all these others like positive psychology and especially cognitive behavioral therapy. So I'm a huge advocate of calling myself a behavioral therapist because

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Maryam Qadri: even if you don't have any like serious this, we all typically have distorted thoughts and a negativity bias, and most of us are.

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Maryam Qadri: can be prone to. And so learning a little bit of cognitive behavioral theory, really, I find, is so beneficial because you might wait not to should statement, or you know, or like this, I'm catastrophizing. you know, it's just helpful. I think it's really helpful. And And so

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Maryam Qadri: journaling, I started journaling. In 2,017, I sat with my daughter, and I shoulder all my journals as we went through all my turns. I can't go, all of them, because I love that my as it from childhood do you mean? Or, oh, no! Just from 2,017 as an adult. Yeah, yeah, I can't do journals as a kid, but not like I didn't. I didn't keep them. I had one. And I thought thought against it, but like

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Maryam Qadri: but like in 2,017 on, I've been journaling almost every day. I journal almost every day, and I write down. I write down 3 things about my husband. In particular, I focus on him so 3 things about him that I specifically am appreciative for playing

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Maryam Qadri: value. And then I write down like 6 most important things, Mary Kay, ash. Okay, for people who don't know America. She's more than a make-up person she was. She was an extremely powerful, positive businesswoman, so I read her biography, and it was so positive. So she had her 6 most important things. So I make a list of that, and then I write down any thoughts. So if I'm having an automatic thought, that's distressing me.

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Maryam Qadri: what is it? What's the cognitive distortion? What's the rational response? So how? What it? What am I labeling? Here am I jumping to a conclusion? Okay, what's through like, let's be factual.

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Maryam Qadri: So, but all that's helped. I don't know. There's I went to a deep trauma master class, and that was very helpful. I went. I've tried, Louise, hey? I would recommend her writing and work. I used her mirror work and her affirmations. I still have, like I have right here, I have you in the process of healing. She had these little cards.

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Maryam Qadri: yeah, yeah, and so So I. So I adopted as much as I could, and everything that worked, and again I did. After I left the soup. The order I was in, I was. I went through therapy again for a month, and I worked one on one with a person. I met her every week, and we talked about a lot of things, and it was very helpful.

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Maryam Qadri: so so I'm I'm very good with what recommended therapy, and that, and I have a very good friend named Chrissy that I love, and she's she and I. We can talk about anything. So she and I would exchange emails and talk and talk, and like we both have an interest in this. So we did A. P. My chattering class online together through you, Demi, and we have discussions about it. And it's just very nice. So a lot of things.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: Yeah, clearly, you seek out solutions when you're having challenges in your life? clearly. And actually, I was, gonna ask that that kind of transitions nicely into the next question, we've all had challenges. And you know we're some of us are willing to share them. Some of us are more private, and whatever you're willing to share with us in terms of challenges. You've shared a couple already with your family. which challenges have you encountered along the way? And how have you worked through them?

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Dr. Rose Aslan: Right? And that has a lot of, you know, a lot of people out there who are on the spiritual healing path. Sometimes they hit a wall, they get blocked, and I think it's useful for them to hear what other people do.

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Maryam Qadri: Okay, So I'm on. I guess I'm gonna impact that in lots of stages. So one is with some contact. I still live in a joint family, very close to a joint family, but like so when you live in a joint family. It's a little different dynamic.

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Maryam Qadri: And then a nuclear family, because all the relatives have a have, a position and a say, you could say, and I was the youngest person in the family. So and if it's it's a South Asian family, you must understand that there's like a hierarchy, and then a good South Asian family, like people don't lord that over you, but there are. There can be members who maybe do not have

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Maryam Qadri: They have their own

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Maryam Qadri: like. I read a quote, Louis said, say, hey, he said, that we're all victims of victims. So somebody could actually have their own healing issues they need to work on in the family, but they're not doing the inner work, and they're not acknowledging that. And that one person can actually like

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Maryam Qadri: it really disturbed the whole ship and upset other people. And then usually that person has an enabler who helps that individual And then so, so what I would say, is to help me with the dynamic. So my, I love my husband's family, so I'm going to make that very clear. I just adore them. They're all wonderful. And I'm like that clear. So my, I just love them. Okay. And so one of the people who's helped me throughout has been his older sister. His older sister is white.

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Maryam Qadri: just an amazing person. And then

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Maryam Qadri: But I read, what is it? 7 Habits of highly successful families, or something like that. And then I read how to win friends and influence people. I read books on toxic in-laws.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: I read, I read all these books and started to apply whatever they were teaching to try to like. Understand the situation. And that helped me through that challenge. And then the other challenge was, that is, that can be. Pause there for a moment. I'm just so curious. So you use bibliotherapy, which is such an awesome term. I've not heard that trip. I'm going to start using that because I think I do bibliotherapy to some degree as well.

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Dr. Rose Aslan: You use bibliotherapy to work through very intense family dynamics strength. And how did that?

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Dr. Rose Aslan: How did you actually do that?

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Maryam Qadri: Well, I would. I would read the book, and then, if it had a principal or an idea. I would apply it so like in, like, I think it's Stefan or Steven Steven Kelly's books. He talks a lot about it. You have to kind of learn to listen

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Maryam Qadri: and see, like, see it from the other person's in an emotional bank account, so like when he talked on the emotional bank out of it. Okay, am I making posits or withdrawals? And then I have. You have to understand from the other person's perspective what is the thought deposit or withdrawal to this person. Right? And if you have someone with very high, exacting standards and you, it's like it's a real balance. But once you. And so I. So an idea like that, then I would learn, okay, this is

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what this person values. This is what. So they really appreciate it. If you cook them really good food, or they really appreciate it. If you sit with them for a long time, or they really like whatever it is that they value. You learn to.

00:20:18.250 --> 00:20:40.660
Maryam Qadri: You learn to try to make those deposits and whatever it is that you there are offended by or sensitive to. You don't want to make those debts. Now, with most people, like most good nature people, this is, I consider, fairly easy and natural. But when you're dealing with a challenging individual, it can be more, it's more demanding. And so, even if you're doing your best, it will never be good enough for some people.

00:20:40.660 --> 00:20:48.590
Maryam Qadri: and then that's another challenge which I'll get to further. So so then, so then there's the dynamic of everybody wants you to be

00:20:48.590 --> 00:21:00.729
Maryam Qadri: a particular way, or maybe they, some people want you to be a particular way. So you kind of have these pressures, and you have to find for yourself what is authentic for you. So one thing I did with Islam is, I had to learn to separate

00:21:00.890 --> 00:21:08.729
Maryam Qadri: their Islam. That's their Islam. That is not my Islam, and I reject it. If that's Islam, I reject that, and I won't follow that.

00:21:09.010 --> 00:21:19.840
Maryam Qadri: because I do not think that's authentic, and I think it's harmful. And then I found what was authentic to me. What I felt was a true expression of Islam and an authentic to me, so I had to actually reclaim my faith at 1 point.

00:21:19.900 --> 00:21:27.500
Dr. Rose Aslan: Can you expand upon what you saw in their Islam that just didn't work with you?

00:21:27.700 --> 00:21:36.849
Maryam Qadri: in. And I think you see this sometimes, and people who get into Sufism. But also, I think you can get it with the mainstream is that when people, when people feel that like

00:21:38.580 --> 00:22:05.399
Maryam Qadri: like, they really hung up on Halon Haram to the point of being rude to other people about it. Or they think that only their understanding of it is correct, whereas there's a there's a vast in of opinion about ho like in the Arab world, typically the like. It's it's much more like a liberal or easy about that, like food from people of the book, is considered lawful in America by most Arab, but not all, but they're Len Number Airbus calls in South Asia. They often take a stricter view, and they're like, no, no, no.

00:22:05.400 --> 00:22:30.400
Maryam Qadri: don't eat it. My peer was beautiful like. He just said he just said the void alcohol and pork, that's all he gave me. But we didn't follow that because we were living in a system that other people didn't want. They had like this, this ultra stick standard. So so, we thought, okay, well, we so, and that made it harder even for my family. So you get that. You get this idea of manners. So where you see people.

00:22:30.400 --> 00:22:47.530
Maryam Qadri: I've seen this where people want to teach other people manners, but they actually don't have them themselves, and their idea of teaching people manners is to be mean and unkind to them. So until they behave. And the way they want that's not manners. That's just that's just that's just wrong.

00:22:47.790 --> 00:22:49.370
Maryam Qadri: so

00:22:49.560 --> 00:23:02.440
Maryam Qadri: so, like, there's a lot of things that can go on like that. just like, you know, just harassing people about what they read, or what they or what they can and can't read what they you know.

00:23:02.820 --> 00:23:04.420
Maryam Qadri: other examples

00:23:06.130 --> 00:23:30.850
Maryam Qadri: being, you see that they're overly interested when they're so outward focus. If they're completely interested in another person's like they're pre like the men. Especially do this pre-occupied with how the women are dressing, what the women are doing, but they're not like they're talking freely with any woman they want, but they're not. But they're upset, literally obsessed is the word with what women, how women, when they sit, how they talk, who they talk. That is just it's just really obnoxious.

00:23:31.920 --> 00:23:42.559
Dr. Rose Aslan: So, like But but the biggest thing was that I saw I saw an Islam that was just very controlling, and I felt it was very

00:23:42.790 --> 00:23:54.039
Maryam Qadri: and not for the right reason. Th,ey didn't feel it was for the right reasons, even though I'm sure, from that person's point of view, they, from maybe their point of view, really sincerely meant thought that they were doing the right thing, which is, I understand, like we all come from.

00:23:54.040 --> 00:24:16.949
Maryam Qadri: So there's no judgment in that. But what happens is it's, and actually, God bless the person, one of the 2 people. Anyways, they sincerely apologize, and they really were because it, like, I said, like, when a person has a growth mindset when they're caring, when they, when their ultimate principle is love, and they don't mean like if they're making a mistake at some point, they'll realize it, and they will really admit it, and they'll apologize

00:24:16.950 --> 00:24:32.720
Maryam Qadri: and they'll, and they'll make it right with you. They'll do everything they can to make it right with you, and so I've experienced that a lot with some very good people. And then I've met people who don't have that when people who don't have those qualities are few, but when you meet them, I suggest leaving

00:24:32.720 --> 00:24:47.339
Maryam Qadri: because you cannot salvage that so. And again, I've only met a few people like that, but I have had to create with a few people in my life. I had to create a complete separation because They never acknowledged me. They're wrong.

00:24:47.430 --> 00:24:,54.370
Maryam Qadri: They will, They can behave in any way they want with you. But you better not put one toe out of line.

00:24:54.380 --> 00:25:02.690
Maryam Qadri: you know, and then their ability to perceive reality is often quite distorted. So they will distort

00:25:02.720 --> 00:25:16.280
Maryam Qadri: your interactions, your everything, and not just with you, with lots of people, because they are living in this in A, and they are in a like below. The veil of consciousness is something. Lisa, a Ramona likes to say, to break through life coach. I highly recommend her Parking, which is a Youtube channel you together.

00:25:16.400 --> 00:25:33.389
Maryam Qadri: but like so so so so one of the challenges I I went through is we went through this, and none of us had dealt with the person with these qualities, because it's so, it's kind of it. I don't think people are saying it's becoming more common, but I do find it kind of rare in my experience. So, when you have a challenge like that.

00:25:33.620 --> 00:25:58.619
Maryam Qadri: I think you have to educate yourself, like find out about it. So one thing I had to learn about like in 2,019. I had to learn about narcissism and narcissistic abuse, and I spent like, and then it it just like opened up all these doors to understanding, and then it literally is, if you meet someone who is who falls into that, they will behave in a textbook in a textbook manner, and then then then then the different different coaches therapist will give you different strategies

00:25:58.620 --> 00:26:05.550
Maryam Qadri: because it depends on the level of your relationship because not everybody can just leave a situation. So

00:26:06.550 --> 00:26:16.560
Maryam Qadri: so it's just. But you have it; in whatever way you can protect yourself and create that space. You should. because, like I, just, we found that you just flourish afterward.

00:26:17.120 --> 00:26:28.690
Dr. Rose Aslan: I like what you're talking about really is important to the main enforcing and maintaining boundaries as well as the convergence of mental health, spirituality, and religion, which often isn't talked about, right? Because we often think about

00:26:28.690 --> 00:26:49.000
Dr. Rose Aslan: there are Muslims or open-minded Liberals conserved lots of. We're threatened on lots of labels. But really what we have is the people who are good are good, no matter, you know how practicing or open-minded. They are good people are good people, and people who are able to balance and regulate their nervous system, who have good at it or good character. Right? There is universal.

00:26:49.000 --> 00:27:06.129
Dr. Rose Aslan: It doesn't matter like the level of their practice. And so what you're really talking about is the need for more mental health support in the Muslim and other spiritual communities, right, which unfortunately goes unspoken about in many contexts. Apart from the past few years, it's started to become more of an issue. But it's very recent

00:27:06.270 --> 00:27:23.059
Dr. Rose Aslan: right. And people use religion when really what they need is a therapist, right? And they use religion. They've used others in the name of religion. When, again, a therapist, some kind of healing modality will be a lot more practical, useful, absolutely. Absolutely.

00:27:23.430 --> 00:27:41.769
Dr. Rose Aslan: Yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think it's useful to hear you know how so unlike you, who has encountered these in these individuals who have abused you, and kind of shown or dismissed you because of your different religiosity. in the name of religion, how you've dealt with that. So I think that's good for people to hear.

00:27:42.120 --> 00:27:55.020
Dr. Rose Aslan: what's in your toolbox, Maryam? So we spoke. You gave it a little bit. But let's say you know you experience some anxiety. If you if any depression pops up, if you're just stress, what do you do?

00:27:55.190 --> 00:28:00.409
Maryam Qadri: So yeah, my tool. So one of my number one tools would be to journal

00:28:00.450 --> 00:28:09.630
Maryam Qadri: when I'm feeling like that, another tool. And this has been a recent one since I took up an interest in the Quran. So since 2,019, I took up an interest in the Quran., But what I find is

00:28:09.810 --> 00:28:14.289
Maryam Qadri: What I find is when I read the Quran. It makes me happy.

00:28:14.510 --> 00:28:39.439
Maryam Qadri: It does see. Yeah, it's a nice feeling. It's so. So even when I'm sad or like, I was really quite sat for 2 days with my foot. It was like my folks were injured, and so I was. It made me like I couldn't move, and I was feeling like, Oh, my God! So like So then I would read the Quran, and immediately it just does something to me that makes me feel good. And then, usually, the way I'm experiencing the Koran is that wherever I'm at, it is where I'm at in my life.

00:28:39.440 --> 00:29:05.810
Maryam Qadri: This is very nice, and then and then I will,l. My husband is my unofficial therapist, and he keeps teaching me that he should, I should, you know, charge him, but he's really. He's really quiet. He's quiet. He's like he's taken, of course, it on like mediation, and he's like he he he studied himself a lot of psychologists for like enjoyment, and he helped like his mother had had some struggles, and so he was always saying he always took care of her and helped her. So I talked to him, and he

00:29:05.810 --> 00:29:21.960
Maryam Qadri: he's just a really good sounding board for me. And then his sister. That's when they're not there. I would walk. I run physical exercises. Why, I'm injured. Physical exercise I cannot stress like for me. Anyways, it's like

00:29:22.180 --> 00:29:35.969
Maryam Qadri: You can't have too much of a good thing, but it's it's like it takes me to another place. So running is my therapy. I run for the pleasure of it, and because it's clear it does something to my head, and I listen to music, so when I do it. I love to listen to music, and I love pop music

00:29:36.230 --> 00:29:56.409
Maryam Qadri: and I, and it just makes me really happy. And it's It gets the happy hormones flowing. It gets the energy up. You feel good. Your body feels good. you know the image it makes me. It made me realize that I'm a lot stronger because I think when you're depressed and when you're down, you're when you're negative, you just you're feeling really bad about yourself.

00:29:56.550 --> 00:30:24.640
Maryam Qadri: And so so it helps to to do things that can build you up and or just take you to shift your perspective. And I often do these things. I can do them outdoors, which I love. And then the mirror work I'd I spent a lot of time, almost a year doing them. Your work that Louise, hey? So you look into your eyes, and I say I love and accept you exactly as you are. And then

00:30:25.030 --> 00:30:48.260
Maryam Qadri: and then. Now, as I'm older, because I'm, I'm in my forties. So I was like my fine lines. You know my way. I have white hair like I love. I love all of it like it's like it's it's it's like it's part of who I am, and then I learned the Hadi we? We were supposed to say, Ham, Dilah, just your name's outward appearance. Beautiful, please. Beautiful, my character, and it's like, and you do that when you look in a mirror. So it was like.

00:30:48.410 --> 00:30:58.429
Maryam Qadri: so so these, these are mostly the things I do now. or I will go back to my book like any of those books like The End of Fear, or

00:30:58.500 --> 00:31:20.310
Maryam Qadri: there's one about. What's that one called? It's really intrusive thoughts. I have to remember the title correctly. But there's one on intrusive thoughts that's really powerful because it reminds you that your thoughts are not you. Your thoughts are just thoughts that you have. And we have a physiological reaction that's real. And that's why we get so fused with them. And so when you have the thought.

00:31:20.810 --> 00:31:32.760
Maryam Qadri: Your heart starts racing like it sends an adrenal like, you really feel like it's gonna happen. But what happens is that's like the first. And so you learn to call him like I'll put my hand in my heart. I'll learn to call myself like thank you for alerting me.

00:31:35.890 --> 00:31:43.009
Maryam Qadri: and I'm saved right now and then, and then I and then I, and then it shifts. You. Shift your brain, and you kind of start to calm down

00:31:43.040 --> 00:32:00.849
Maryam Qadri: And I and I find that very, very helpful, or it's sometimes I also get frustrated. Sometimes I'm like, when will I stop being afraid? And astrology? My husband does Vaic astrology. So I find it helpful for the sense that sometimes he can tell me, like, okay, I went through 7 years of Saturn. I don't recommend that to anyone.

00:32:01.760 --> 00:32:14.319
Maryam Qadri: It's very, very hard on a person, but like, but like, he would always encourage me and say, Oh, don't worry, it's getting over. You're better than you know, I just, and sometimes it's kind of like helpful little nuggets that like

00:32:14.430 --> 00:32:28.729
Maryam Qadri: that, you know I don't. I don't necessarily take it seriously. Sometimes, my mother does not. She won't even go near it. She's like, who day like not, but like it is, I find it helpful, and it can be actually dotted on sometimes. So so, all these different things.

00:32:29.150 --> 00:32:53.640
Dr. Rose Aslan: Thank you for sharing. I just love hearing when other women have such a deep set of tools that they can use and draw upon when necessary. I mean, this just illustrates the necessity to have quite a few tools depending on what's going on, right? You can just depend on one or 2. I love that the Quran makes you happy. Running with Pop. Music makes you happy. Various books bibliotherapy makes, you know, really can support you. So it's lovely to have

00:32:53.640 --> 00:33:06.080
Dr. Rose Aslan: this large set of tolls. And I and I really recommend it. Most people try to create this large set of tools so that they can draw upon them, and depending on what they need, they know what to use.

00:33:06.080 --> 00:33:07.649
Maryam Qadri: So that's wonderful

00:33:07.650 --> 00:33:13.529
Dr. Rose Aslan: a question for you that just kind of came to mind. If you met your little girl self, what would you tell her

00:33:16.790 --> 00:33:18.710
Maryam Qadri: I would tell her

00:33:22.000 --> 00:33:24.840
Maryam Qadri: I would tell it that she is fun

00:33:25.120 --> 00:33:34.869
Maryam Qadri: and not to worry because I didn't have friends as a little kid, except for Chester Patrick. God bless him! He's still here in my hometown. So I was a Tom when I was

00:33:34.930 --> 00:33:53.369
Maryam Qadri: I was I didn't have. So in school, that's very stigmatized. So I didn't have friends for the first 6 years of elementary school, and I was held back my first year. So what happened is all my former classmates thought I was a failure, and they told me that when they passed me, and then And then because I was a tomboy. I didn't do makeup, and I didn't do it.

00:33:53.440 --> 00:34:17.339
Maryam Qadri: I didn't do the thing. I didn't. I never do to this day. I don't have a purse like I don't know my best friend, Jeremy. His guy was interested in me, and he's, and he was talking to me like she. She doesn't carry a purse. It's like, no, she has a wallet; I just didn't understand the purse. I was like, what is the purse like? What is it? So? So I would tell her that she's that she's fun, and that she's

00:34:17.560 --> 00:34:22.939
Maryam Qadri: and that she's accepted, you know that she's enough that she's accepted, and that she's fun.

00:34:23.020 --> 00:34:47.169
Dr. Rose Aslan: Yeah, beautiful. Thank you. And I also don't use purses, Marian, but that's because of my I have back issues. So I always carry a nice backpack, but I mean, you know, I can't do messenger bags even because they're uneven support. Wait on my shoulders, and I really need to even wait. So I'm also not a purse or personality woman either, but you can still be in our divine feminine, even if we don't have purses right and helping our backs.

00:34:47.170 --> 00:35:09.089
Dr. Rose Aslan: Yep, I did adopt a cell phone person, though I must confess this when we travel. I'm a cell phone person now, but I was like, but I like that when we travel. So it's smaller. And I'm like, this is all right. Yeah. So your trajectory and religion are so interesting, going from being from quite kind of Universalist soupy communities to being a Stan suit, as you call it. Tell me.

00:35:09.300 --> 00:35:33.150
Dr. Rose Aslan: where are you now, and how do you relate to everyone else? It sounds like you have these really good boundaries, and you've had these encounters with people. What keeps you Muslim? What delights you in the context of Islam and Islamic spirituality.

00:35:33.710 --> 00:35:44.099
Maryam Qadri: With most even like, like I recently got back in touch with some of my bravery contacts, I reached out because we co-published books together as I edited for them, and they and I helped them publish some books, and and

00:35:44.330 --> 00:35:46.450
Maryam Qadri: God bless them like

00:35:46.940 --> 00:36:00.270
Maryam Qadri: there to this day. They're very good to me, so I give them full access to my account, like cause I there's just like this is that they were always so good to me. So, I still take too many classes. So there's so I feel that for me it's like

00:36:02.510 --> 00:36:03.630
Maryam Qadri: for me.

00:36:03.710 --> 00:36:16.389
Maryam Qadri: God is one in Lord of all. So, I would say that for you and me, it's the same. We see we see the same divinity. and everyone and everything, and we see, and we see that.

00:36:16.490 --> 00:36:45.849
Maryam Qadri: and no matter like, in so much of the Sufi poetry, where it talks about like the person at the idol, like one of my favorite traditions. Is that hazard? And Mar was beloved to a law when he was prostrating before idols, and people say, Oh, that's because he knew he would become the caliph. But yeah, he knew he would become a caliph, but actually, hazard Lamar's mail a new police with him was sincere. And all of these stories and the Sufi pulling. And it's like sincerity. So for us, it's about sincerity. It's about seeking. It's about

00:36:46.430 --> 00:37:10.979
Maryam Qadri: It's about working on yourself, like doing the work. You know, we all have different levels. But if someone's trying, then then then it shows up in their life. it's about. It's about good character. So, being good with people and respecting people, so we respect everyone, and then we only draw the line when the person isn't manageable, they're intolerant, they're belligerent. They're forceful. Then we can't.

00:37:10.980 --> 00:37:17.639
Maryam Qadri: I read this beautiful quote by Housing a few days ago, and it was like he talked about the ideal. Because, like you said, I have like a lot of

00:37:18.620 --> 00:37:34.960
Maryam Qadri: it, was it? What can be hard? And I still feel divided, like I still have questions about this. And I've been sitting with these questions about this is that I feel part of my heart is still so much wedded to the Sunni tradition. I like it so much that it is like, so I can't. I don't think I'll ever let it go.

00:37:34.970 --> 00:37:59.429
Maryam Qadri: And part of by itself is 100, and then I don't feel the universal is in conflict necessarily with that, but it can be when it becomes so sectarian that it disallows because, for example, most, any orthodox Sunni will say that there are other religions are not valid, only Islam is valid. That is the accepted position. So I don't. We don't accept that position. We believe all religions are valid now that, of course, puts us outside

00:37:59.530 --> 00:38:05.979
Maryam Qadri: of Sunniism, and some would say outside of the pale of Islam. In fact, it would. Many people would probably argue that, but

00:38:07.130 --> 00:38:11.449
Maryam Qadri: need that as it may, what I love is what has a and icon said, and it's that

00:38:11.810 --> 00:38:23.480
Maryam Qadri: we all have ideals, and those are our unique divine ideals. And we have to go. We have to go towards that. And if and if we're sincere with that, and we're, and we're living, that

00:38:23.480 --> 00:38:44.760
Maryam Qadri: it's not. It's no, because not too we. Nobody in the world is going to agree on everything like when I was when I read the Quran, and I'm reading passages about the about the real well, there are refutations to Christianity, right? Well, Christianity also refutes Islam, and I thought there's nothing wrong with that because everybody has their own divine conception. And if the Trinity works for someone

00:38:44.760 --> 00:38:57.409
Maryam Qadri: that's fine; the Trinity didn't work for me intellectually; it didn't work for me like. So I respect my mom and love her. And I know that works for my mom. But that's not for me, right? And so I think it's the ability to

00:38:57.410 --> 00:39:21.380
Maryam Qadri: to recognize different views. Respect those views. there are many fantastic things. I love Hinduism. There are many things that are fantastic, but I can't embrace all of it, and not all of it makes sense to me so. But I don't need to be right, but I respect, and I think what's lacking is respect and respect meaning, and my husband always says this respect means acceptance. Not only do I respect you, but I accept that you have the right

00:39:22.060 --> 00:39:28.140
Maryam Qadri: to practice the way that's true to you and that makes you give you that connection with the divine

00:39:28.250 --> 00:39:37.579
Maryam Qadri: like. If you're worshipping in a way that is sincere. It won't. They will say over and over again that their prayers won't count if they don't have correct belief. Your Prince doesn't count.

00:39:38.010 --> 00:39:39.940
Maryam Qadri: If you aren't sincere.

00:39:40.610 --> 00:39:46.699
Maryam Qadri: that's what it's about. So that's why sort of a class. It's about sincerity. That's when our prayers count.

00:39:47.270 --> 00:40:04.000
Dr. Rose Aslan: hey? What you're talking about. Maryam, is pluralism right? The content that we live as a Muslim who is pluralistic and accepting, acknowledging the validity of other faith traditions and communities in this world, right? And actually, like within Islamic tradition. It's not like

00:40:04.030 --> 00:40:16.739
Dr. Rose Aslan: most people are not gonna call you and say that you're outside the pale of Islam, really, because there are so many diverse perspectives within Islam. It's just a lot of voices are the ones who claim orthodoxy. But there is no.

00:40:16.770 --> 00:40:23.610
Dr. Rose Aslan: there is no central authority within Islam, Sunni or otherwise, that can

00:40:23.750 --> 00:40:45.819
Dr. Rose Aslan: you know that can govern Islam and say what is right? What is wrong. This is part of the beauty of Islam, that there is a pluralism. that's encouraged, and differences between different members of the Uma. The community is actually encouraged, despite the fact that some within orthodoxy so-called orthodoxy, we claim otherwise.

00:40:47.450 --> 00:40:48.560
Dr. Rose Aslan: Okay.

00:40:49.080 --> 00:41:04.410
Dr. Rose Aslan: yeah, thank you for sharing that. And it was so delightful to listen to you that even my cat came, so you can't see she came to listen to you as well, and Miriam and she never usually comes and joins me in my podcast as we wrap up Miriam.

00:41:04.810 --> 00:41:12.480
Dr. Rose Aslan: what are the pros of wisdom? Would you like to share with listeners? You know. I'm thinking of people around the world listening who are

00:41:12.690 --> 00:41:25.590
Dr. Rose Aslan: thinking about Spreshod and the healing, perhaps struggling with it. They often feel alone in the world. They feel that their views don't conform to the mainstream community that they might be part of. What? What would you want to tell them?

00:41:26.380 --> 00:41:31.240
Maryam Qadri: I would say divine wisdom guides you.

00:41:32.630 --> 00:41:42.719
Maryam Qadri: Never give up your own agency or intellect, trust yourself. and but remain curious, always eager to learn and and

00:41:43.900 --> 00:41:49.260
Maryam Qadri: and have fun. It's really about having you have to. It's so much fun. It's so much fun.

00:41:49.430 --> 00:41:52.229
It's like it's it should bring you joy.

00:41:52.400 --> 00:41:57.609
Dr. Rose Aslan: I love that we're so serious, especially those who are invested in the spiritual and religious path.

00:41:57.720 --> 00:42:19.119
Dr. Rose Aslan: For many years, I was so deeply invested in that that I literally forgot to have fun, and I haven't left it. In fact, I feel even deeper in this virtual path. But fun is in the central part of that that we forget how many times you hear a priest, a pastor, a rabbi, or email, I'm saying, go have fun. This really should be

00:42:19.120 --> 00:42:28.269
Dr. Rose Aslan: really part of the faith. I was listening to a podcast the other day saying joy is, in a sense like, we're literally wired for joy and pleasure.

00:42:28.400 --> 00:42:52.109
Maryam Qadri: We're not encouraged to seek that out. But joy and pleasure and fun. They're all connected. And we really should be seeking those experiences out to find the beauty of this, of this junior of this material world. Well, even what I've been enjoying is that the Quran, right? The Quran calls the reason that Paradise. Paradise is like a pleasure paradise. If you think about the chronic depiction, it's very.

00:42:52.230 --> 00:43:08.169
Maryam Qadri: It's so. It's like I was thinking about erotic poetry like Sufi poetry and erotic because I enjoy that, and the thing is that if someone objects to it, it's like. But the Quran itself is laden with these calls to a very attractive.

00:43:08.410 --> 00:43:28.109
Maryam Qadri: you know. Very. It's so. It's like, it's something, too. I think. I think I think when we lose sight of that delight. And why? Why is that? Why is that recommended? Because because it's a whole-body experience and because it's something. And we can definitely identify with here and then there in Shawla, you know like it's supposed to be more intense there. So

00:43:28.290 --> 00:43:29.170

00:43:29.690 --> 00:43:41.610
Dr. Rose Aslan: so well, thank you so much for sharing. This was really beautiful. the conversation we've had. And if people want to find you online, can you please give us the information about how they can find you

00:43:41.630 --> 00:43:59.370
Maryam Qadri: right? So if you go to Www essential spirituality, you can find our website if you go to Youtube and type in essential spirituality. Our logo is like a pretty blue and gold circle with the icons of all faiths and

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Maryam Qadri: and that the Youtube Channel and the website are probably the easiest. We're also on Facebook under essential spirituality. And an Instagram, yeah, excellent. And I'll also be included in the show notes. So listeners go to the show notes and click on those things. Thank you so much, Mary. It's been a delight and a joy to have you on today.

Spiritual Journey
Spiritual Practices, Healing Modalities, and Self-Reflection
Seeking Solutions and Overcoming Challenges
Challenging Individuals, Importance of Boundaries
Coping With Anxiety and Depression
Embracing Pluralism and Seeking Sincerity
Finding Essential Spirituality and Coaching Support