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Interview with Nafisa Shariff - ETHOH

1. What is the nature of the work that you do through ETHOH? Can you give us an overview of the programs that you offer seekers?

What I do through Entering the Holy of Holies, An Institute of Learning and Healing, Inc. (ETHOH) is help people to recreate their lives in Love. Through the use of classes, workshops, retreats for men, Rite of Passage programs for women, individual as well as group wellness sessions and traditional West African dance classes people have the opportunity to discover "who they are" through the use of meditation and Spiritual Tools for Transformation. This process of self-discovery is very revealing and can be quite disruptive, yet it is extremely healing and empowering for the individual. Often the process is not what people think that it will be. With consistent practice and discipline however, the process of meditation, contemplation and self-reflection brings people back into harmony and balance with themselves, their families, friends, society, nature and the Divine flow of the Universe. Over time people relinquish the victim/helpless/hopeless states of being and embrace a new reality of self-awareness, self-responsibility and self-mastery.

2. The description of the Teachings course via your website stirred in my memory the principles of the law of attraction and what the movie "The Secret" teach. Do you see a correlation in the work you do and these principles? If so, what is that correlation?

Absolutely! "The Teachings" or "The Phases" course that I teach is based on the laws that rule the Universe and the law of attraction is one of those laws. Jesus said it best, "As a man (or woman) thinketh in his/her heart so shall he/she be." Often there is a disparity between what we say we want and what we do to acquire what we want. The process of healing and transformation at the soul level requires that an individual be not only mindful but also vigilant to their own thoughts, words and deeds if they are going to be able to make choices that will manifest what they want and lead them to a life of
love, harmony and peace.

3. What are the benefits of meditation and how can one begin to incorporate meditation into his or her life?

The benefits of meditation are many. To begin with, meditation has become the number one method of reducing stress in people's lives because of its ability to assist individuals to quiet their minds, relax their bodies and open their hearts to the virtues of unconditional love, compassion and kindness. For the brief moments that we are in meditation we can actually experience a very deep sense of peace, harmony and tranquility within ourselves and with the universe all around us. Ultimately, our goal is to be able to maintain those peaceful states even when we are not in meditation. But beyond reducing stress, meditation has been used for centuries by masters, sages and teachers to delve deeper into their consciousness to pierce the barrier(s) that separates them from Higher states of consciousness and allows them to merge themselves completely in Holy Communion with God. "My Father and I are One."

One of the simplest ways to begin a meditation practice is to walk in nature and to breathe deeply with the awareness of inhaling all things good into your mind, body and spirit and exhaling all that is negative or that no longer serves you. These same techniques can be applied simply by sitting in a quiet place and allowing yourself to be absorbed by the silence while declaring your intentions to heal. Within minutes of focusing on your breath and your intention to relax, release and to heal you will begin to feel yourself shift into states of serenity and tranquility almost effortlessly! The more you practice these simple techniques the better you will feel, until one day you will be ready to begin a formal course of study and that is when as the saying goes, "when the student is ready, the teacher appears!"

In part 2 of our interview, Nafisa speaks gives more specific advice for those on a spiritual path. Be sure to check back for it!

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