Excellence Reporter: Zahir, what is the meaning of life?
Zahir Khan: To know thyself is the meaning of life I would say. We can get caught up in so many of the dramas and stories of life that we don’t stop, even for an instant to contemplate or appreciate the very nature of our existence.
A huge mirror showing us at every turn who we are. We have been so conditioned to turn away from the mirror and not radically meet ourselves, that when the thought that something isn’t quite right enters our minds. We have no idea how to turn to the mirror to see ourselves and instead seek like the fish looking for water.
I recently completed a weekend intensive; there was a young boy there on the final day who had come along with his parents. Over the course of the day the little boy made his presence felt and joined me in doing the talk and speaking to some of the participants as well. What stood out for me was after the morning break, I sat back in my chair and said:
“Where am I, I’ve lost myself”
To which the little boy instantly answered.
“You’re right there”
It was so simple.
I had a room full of people all looking for the meaning of life, convinced something was missing and looking upon the speaker to help them realise who they were. To maybe hear something that would set them free from this bondage of seeking.
And in an instant the young man had given them the answer. Was it accepted, could it be accepted? Its simplicity was such that no one could fully accept the fact that the meaning of life is that you are right here and that realising that we are here lets us stop the search and see what we truly are.
This knowing ourselves is constantly happening and at every turn we reveal ourselves to ourselves. Without effort, without doing. Just being.
It is our natural way of functioning which is always present even while we look for it, as even that is just another of its myriad of manifestation.
It is a wisdom unto itself. Constantly losing itself and finding itself. It is who we are.
And lifetimes will pass, and we could no more fathom it out anymore then we could fathom out the reality of a drop of water.
In it all things rise and collapse. It is us and we are it and even that idea of two dies and the singularity of it all is what leaves us dumbstruck.
The pointer points to itself and yet appears to point away from itself. The divine paradox, the most beautiful of love stories. As beautiful as the explanations and discourses and debates about it are, they will always fall short as it has to be seen to believed and as it is, this non-event brings about it the realisation that I am that which I seek and even that realisation falls silent.
For with what words would I describe to you the beauty of my beloved. All ends in silence with no one to even witness that…
~Zahir Khan is an example of a truly cross cultural and modern spiritual teacher. He combines a traditional spiritual heritage with a straight-talking genuine manner.
Zahir is seen as a contemporary mystic in the tradition of Sufism, having spent eight years studying at the feet of a master of the Qadriyya school of Sufism and then further studying and meeting teachers from the Nondual, Advaita and Buddhist traditions.
Due to experiencing personal pain and depression in his life, Zahir was motivated to find the answers that would result in his pain going away. As a result, he travelled to meet a Sufi Master which he had been told of and took the Bayah with them, which is a pledge of allegiance. He felt at that time, that the path of the Sufis would offer him a solution to his pain.
Zahir spent eight years with his teacher before moving on for further studying and meeting with masters of other traditions, as per the instruction of his original teacher.
It was after a series of powerful awakenings that seeking ended and he came to the realisation that all approaches to enlightenment were pointing to the same thing. It was due to this realisation that in talks he looks to highlight the similarities in all teachings and how we can use these similarities to realise our true self.
“Go beyond my words friend. Our true conversation is in silence”
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