Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time and Space

Universal Studios in Hollywood is often a crowded summer-time destination.  Individuals, families, and friends come far and near to get a glimpse of how their favorite Hollywood movies and shows are actually made.  With thrilling rides, shows, music one easily forgets the self and begins to explore the world of entertainment from an insider's perspective.

As I walked amongst the throng of people walking to different parts of Universal Studios--stopping to take pictures at the designated photo spots--I saw an elderly man with a graying beard in a light pine green kurta pajama.  He was Muslim, clearly showing from his trimmed beard and mustache, attire, and the Muslim prayer cap (called Kufi or Taqiyah I believe).

This aged man was walking from one end of the street to the other, looking down at the ground every now and then as if looking for something.   At first glance, I believe anybody would have said that perhaps he was not mentally stable.  I stopped watching him and reverted my attention to the photos my family wanted to take next to the illustrated "Hollywood" sign.

After several minutes of posing and picture-taking, we rejoined the crowd and continued towards the Jurassic Park ride we had been looking forward to enjoying for so long.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something that looked like a huge bundle wrapped in cloth.  When I focused, I saw that it was the elderly Muslim man, performing his prayers, namaaz, in the direction of Mecca.

He wasn't addled in the head, he was a spiritual man who had realized that it was time for his daily namaaz.  As someone who has hoped to be spiritual for many years, that was when realization dawned that when we look for the right place to pray or wait for the right time, we are simply making excuses.

A true holy person cares for neither place nor time, but immerses him or herself in devotional practice as has become their life's routine.