Soul's Longing: Eighth Annual Sufism Symposium

The weekend began on Friday afternoon with the Sufism and Psychology Forum presentation of a panel discussion on "Soul's Longing." Moderator Amineh Amelia Pryor opened the forum with a presentation that included the invitation to empty our heart of attachments to the world and listen for the divine within, in order to attain tranquility.

Sheikh Jamal Lawrence Granick spoke on the topic "The Soul's Longing for Intimacy with the Divine." Unlike what is prescribed for other forms of intimacy, he suggested that we need inner solitude to seek inner intimacy through unity with the divine.

Dr. Bahaman Shiraz, speaking on "The Journey of the Heart: Self-Knowledge and Self-Transformation in Sufism" indicated that the greatest contribution of Sufi psychology is the idea of the heart as a place to start awakening to find the innermost secrets of God. He suggested that the ego has no interest in spiritual development, but it is the heart that allows for transformation.

Panelist Dr. Roger Walsh opened his discussion of "The Soul's Longing" by telling us that "you can never get enough of what you don't really want." He went on to say that there is pleasure and there is bliss. He suggested that we forgo the first and claim the second. He suggested that we can destroy craving by the realization of our true self.

Arife Ellen Hammerle brought the afternoon to a close with a presentation on "Ascension: The Magnetism of Longing." She advised that the goal in all of our actions is unity with God and that unity is found in submission.

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