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How Meditation Defeats Depression

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

2 December 2010 Melbourne Theosophical Society

Melbourne, Australia


I will say a couple of words about our speaker. Shaykh Hisham is a deputy of the Sufi Master, Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani. Welcome, Shaykh Hisham. As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. For the program tonight we will begin with qasidahs and a general form of dhikr, the remembrance of Allah (swt), and that will be followed by a talk by Shaykh Kabbani, who exemplifies having both the things of this world and taking care of his spiritual love. He has degrees in Chemistry and Islam, and he travels the world to spread Islam. He has a huge responsibility, taking care of things regarding our tariqah, and we are very blessed to have him in Australia. We are going to have questions regarding our Creator. We begin now with praise of God and His Prophet (s). (salawaat recited.)

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

Good evening. Is it evening now, is the Sun still up? For sure, time is in our imagination.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fee haadha 'l-masjid.

It is an honor for me to be here tonight, not tonight, but this morning! (laughter) We don't know where up or down is; the earth is round. So it is my honor to be here a second time and to see these beautiful faces. Some we saw last time and some for the first time, but in our spiritual understanding we are always together. Whether we see each other physically or not, the eyes can see, our hearts can see, every cell in our body can see. It is very difficult to express our feeling because the tongue and language is limited, but spiritual understanding is never limited; that is why you can speak with your Lord with no language. Without language you can speak with someone you don't see; you can move your energy, you can move your spiritual power to everyone around the world and some can hear it. God gave you ears to hear with, but with everyone is it is different between some ears and others. I have a telephone, but unfortunately I can't hear. Is it a defect in the phone or in my ear? I found out my secretary, who is sitting here, lowered the volume in my phone and I cannot hear it but he can hear, and this means his hearing is stronger than my hearing. For everyone God gave a specialty.

We are not here to discuss believing in God or not. As a person I believe in God, in a Creator, because of what I see around me. When you look, you are going to see different faces. Who has the power and ability and capacity to make these faces look different? It is impossible to do; even technology today cannot produce anything similar. You have a computer and he has the same brand computer with the same software, but his software does not work. So what do you need? Tech support. Without tech support you cannot fix the problem in your computer, although the software is the same. Then tech support instructs you, "Press this button, now this button," and it works. Did he do miracles? No, he is someone with experience, a healing expert that can see a defect in software and fix it.

A tech support can heal; he is a guide, a healer, and it is impossible to live your life without a guide. In your life there are so many guides and those who say we don't need them are mistaken. Because in your life you have a guide in nursery school, until you grow older and enter primary school, secondary school, high school, university, and even for PhD studies you still need a guide. Especially at the PhD level, they send you not one but ten people, to whom you must prove that you became a healer. Then they certify that you can become a guide, and give you permission to guide others.

Now, how many professors are studying the human body? There are hundreds of specialties. What do you think about the spirituality, the spirit in your self? Does it not need a specialist on how you can improve yourself? Yes. You go to the gym and build up your body. They give you tablets and you become so big, like Superman, Batman and the Incredible Hulk. (laughter) Okay, you become all that, you are building your body, good. Why are you only building your body, you don't want to also build your spirit? Such meetings in these places are to build your spirit, and without this it is impossible to improve ourselves. And there are such guides and healers that you can find in different walks of life depending on which guide you are following. Is it that someone who uses a rocket is a very fast healer, or who uses a car is a very slow healer? It depends on who you are choosing, as God has said in Holy Qur'an:

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا

laa yukallifullah illa wus`ahaa.

On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. (al-Baqarah, 2:286)

So a healer does not give you a handful of medicine, but he might give you one tablet because he knows what kind of problem you have. They tell you not to take an antibiotic on an empty stomach, take it with meals or you will have stomach pain. It is the same for spirituality: you will have pain in your soul if you don't take medicine. That is why people have the pain of depression, and problems at school or work. Everywhere they feel this depression. How to take away this depression? That is the key today: how to take this away and be happy. Did you ever have anyone tell you, "No, I don't want to take this away, I want to always be in misery and pain." (laughter) I don't think anyone wants to be unhappy.

We are not discussing our Creator, what He created or what religion you have to follow. You are free to choose. There is no compulsion in religion; no one can tell you what beliefs you must follow. We are speaking about the problems of today, which is so much technology. Some technology is very good and some is annoying. I cannot say it is not good, but annoying and a nuisance to many people. First of all, it takes your time; hours and hours and hours behind the computer you are navigating. What are you navigating? Yahoo or Google. Let us navigate through Google: there is Google Earth and Google Space. Everyone is on Earth, so we know that. Go to Google Space and what do you find? Go to these twelve constellations, abraaj in Arabic. Go to one, zoom in, and you can see unlimited stars there; you cannot count them. And as you zoom in, it navigates you deeper into space.

It is impossible to understand how this happened and you will be amazed. That is not annoying, but that is the good part of technology. That is the space around us that we cannot understand, and in it Earth looks like the head of a pin, and this is just our solar system. We are not yet speaking about space; people are not even able to understand Earth!

I will ask one question. Some of you came by car, some by train, and I don't know, some by horse? (laughter) If you came by car you need fuel, as without fuel the car cannot operate; even if it is electric, you need some kind of energy. Can anyone in this room tell me with what kind of fuel the Earth is turning around its axis for millions of years? How does it keep turning? Why, instead of turning clockwise, is it turning counter-clockwise? Is it by mistake? No, it is always turning counter-clockwise. It did not change its course all this time. What kind of fuel is making it turn? What is inside it to make it turn? It doesn't depress you not to know why? (laughter)

As a student I was a depressed, because not one teacher gave me an answer about what was making this Earth turn and what kind of fuel it takes. (Someone gives an inaudible answer about explosions on the Sun). I was studying quantum physics and they answered like that. But what kind of reaction is taking place on the Sun, and what kind of fuel is it that is not making the Sun completely explode? What kind? Every star has its own characteristics, and in the middle of the Sun where all these explosions happen, the temperature is 15 million degrees Centigrade. If you put that on Earth, what will happen? It will explode, it will be gone! Why is the Sun not gone? When you don't know what is around you, it is depressing. If we don't know the inner side of ourselves, it is depressing. For the outside we are searching, but for the inside we are not.

O People! In order to understand yourself, look within yourself, for that small hotel or motel that carries a lot of emotion and spiritual power: in your heart. You have been given a heart so that you may enlighten it. Some people ask, "Why the heart? Why not the brain?" Of course it is the heart, because if you go into a coma and the brain stops, you are still living, but if the heart stops, everything stops. Muslims have a saying from God, "Neither My Heaven nor My Earth contain Me, only the heart of the believer contains Me." If someone is good and of benefit to himself, his family, his community, his country, or wherever he lives, that person will begin to receive that light. When you receive ma`rifah, knowledge of the Divine, that depression slowly goes away.

Why do we have depression? Because we cannot address our problems, we delay our problems. It is like students today, or children, you see when they study there is one book here, one book there, and their socks are there; they are not focused. So when we are not focused and our heart is not zoomed in, of course we cannot see. Depression comes when you cannot see the obstacles within you. You cannot overcome the obstacles that come your way, so you try to create a situation within yourself, not to attack that obstacle (offense), but to defend yourself from it (defense). That will not be successful, because our duty is not to be defensive, but to attack and stop any enemy that is coming to our soul.

We have trillions of cells in our body and each cell is like a huge factory with security police and army battalions, trying to defend any attack. So if that is the case for a cell, what do you think about the whole body? If we are not able to use this energy to defend our body, how can we send it to benefit anyone else outside the body?

Healers are those who gave up their lives, and who always connect their hearts with their Lord, their Creator, building up their energies in seclusion. Now many people do that in shrines, in mosques, and in churches. Everyone has to account for himself at the end of the day, what he has done. That is why we have to meditate. If we don't sit and meditate by ourselves and account for ourselves, how will we know what was our mistake for that day, in order to correct it for the next day? I asked my teacher one day how to count the mistakes we do during the day and how many bad characteristics we have in our soul. Because in Holy Qur'an it says, "And God inspired what is good and what is bad." Every major religion teaches this.

Someone has the microphone and wants to speak.

Q: What do you think about children who have no defense system and no protection against what comes their way?

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham: That is the problem, that children are not raised in an environment to study spiritual knowledge to build themselves up, because parents are not teaching them that. Socially speaking, many of their parents are separated, or they have no social ties. I am sorry to say this is the problem of the 21st century. If you ask, in my time I was studying in a French school, where we studied social behavior and how to build character. Today schools have eliminated this and they have no such thing on how to improve ourselves. If the energy in the house is good the children will be okay. If the energy in the house is not good then there will be problems, the children will have problems. I am feeling by your energy and by your question that you have that problem. It depends on the age of children. If you can, direct them toward better behavior, and put them in touch with meditation and these procedures. There are many places that teach it, and it will be okay.

Depression is a big problem that creates obstacles in so many people's lives. In order to overcome that we have to meditate. I asked my teacher, "How many bad characteristics can we count?" I ask anyone here. (100, 200, 250.) It ends up as 800 different bad characteristics that we build up in ourselves! I asked him, "How many were you able to identify in yourself?" Now he is 90 years old, and he said that once in seclusion, in six months he counted 650 bad characteristics in himself. It is very difficult to understand them. It comes slowly, and you begin to understand them and slowly you build up (your knowledge and defense).

I was in Malaysia at an event where the dean of an Indian University gave a lecture. He is a very nice person, very famous. He is Hindu, a very beautiful person and very nice. He was expressing how to know ourselves and to make ourselves stronger, and he got different quotes from different psychologists. He said, "You have to count what good you have done during the day and write it on paper."

When it was my turn to speak, I said, "I agree but I would like to add more. We should not only count the good things, but also count the bad things to counter the ego, because when you count the good things you are uplifting your ego. There are two kinds of ego. You are increasing your good ego (when you acknowledge your bad deeds), but if you count the bad characters, you destroy the glory of the bad ego by showing it, 'You were bad today.'"

He said, "Can I quote you in my book?"

I said, "Yes."

He said, "I want the whole speech." It was a 52-page speech and he put it in his book!

Today we count what is good and forget what is bad. Wives and husbands separate because they don't want to discuss their problems. It ends up in a big depression and when depression comes it is very difficult to take it away.

Regarding the Earth, we don't know its fuel source, but for the human body we say it is the soul. Did anyone see their soul? I saw my soul. If you train yourself under a competent master healer, you can see your body and your soul. You can separate them, because you can take your soul out. Because the body is the cage of the soul, you cannot move freely. That is why healers can move. God's friends, saints, have nothing to fear because they can move freely in their vision, in their soul. When you put yourself in their care, there are different ways Allah, God, will give you hearing and with your spiritual eyes you will see things you cannot see with your physical eyes. All of this will relate to how much you can take your soul out of your body. At that time you understand what is the "soul." This is where the healer looks and he knows what is the defect because he can see people's souls. There are doctors that can heal the physical body and there are too many hospitals, but I never saw a hospital for the soul, except mental hospitals! There are very few places for healing the soul, where you practice meditation, which can identify your problem.

May God forgive us and keep you happy in your lives, and keep you always happy in your country. Our duty is to obey God, obey Prophet (s), and obey those in authority; that keeps us safe. Also, there is an authority within us, that when we want to do something, immediately the mind or heart will jump to say, "Don't do that! It is not good." There is a balance in your conscience that is like uploading to a computer. In the world we upload so many miseries to our minds! When you have uploaded too much your computer crashes, and your brain will crash. So always you have to download and empty, and when you meditate you will become safi, clear; your mind and heart will clear. So my recommendation is to meditate five, ten, or fifteen minutes daily and connect with whom you like. Meditate and understand your reality. It will help you fix yourself, unless you find a healer, someone who can understand and help you.

May God bless you and give you happiness, health and wealth. God gives because He is the Most Generous and anyone who asks, for sure He will give. Generosity is to keep giving.

As-salaamu `alaykum. May God bless you.

If anyone has a question, you may ask. If there are no questions, it will be a pleasure! (There is a question.) Ooohhh! (laughter) Come sit here, and I will sit here. His questions need my teacher to answer!

Q: As-salaamu `alaykum. I am Iranian. (...) I bought your book. I believe the Sufis are peaceful and they discover what is in themselves. I love the Sufis. My question is, please remind us what is the relationship between matter and mind, between matter and consciousness, and between matter and soul. Thank you. bi l-f``il wa 'l-quwwah, "in action and strength."

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham: (laughs) Your questions are not normal questions; they are from a very high level and to answer it needs time, but we will try. Matter and mind, what is the relationship? Okay, it's very simple, what is the relationship between matter and mind, matter and consciousness, matter and soul. I will give one example that will give you the whole answer. What the relationship is between atoms is "matter = mass + electron + proton." If there is no electron or no proton, there is no mass. So to have equilibrium of matter requires mass + atom + equilibrium. Similarly, soul + mass = body. Without mass, this body consists of soul and flesh, so "soul + mass = body."

Then there is faith, what people believe in. Let me say my faith is Islam (law) + imaan (faith), whether that is Jewish, Hindu, Christian, seek ihsaan (the state of perfection). These are the equations that answer your question. The relationship is so combined you cannot take them apart. You can identify mass and elements, and in the periodic table 200 elements. Also, the relationship of the matter to the soul, mind, education, whatever, all these different equations you mentioned, everything is woven together. In order to understand, you have to analyze it. Like in this carpet, to achieve so many colors you have to analyze it. It is not accurate to say only, "It is made of red and blue threads." To achieve those colors I would have to take every thread out and analyze it. Similarly, the soul has many aspects. As we say, "soul + mass = body," we say "religion + faith = perfection. To understand this you must analyze it, and we hope people can analyze for themselves.

Q: You mentioned out-of-body experiences. Sometimes I experience that.

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham: The soul and flesh give the body life. When you take out the soul you only see flesh, and then you can understand the relationship. When you free your soul you feel better, because the freer your soul becomes, the more knowledge you receive.

[End of broadcast]