COMING TO AMERICA
August 14, 2000. The date I left my country. I have never left home before. To most of us Africans, the motherland is the only place that could truly feel like home.
In most Africans culture, where your umbilical cord is buried, there your soul will always return. Africa to me is more than a continent.
Africa is the mother that provided for my ancestors everything they needed for life. Looking at the ceiling, laying on my back, tears running from my eyes, I missed home.
I knew that my coming to America was not a random event. It was not even a choice. Mektub! It was the voice of destiny that brought me here. Why America?
I did not know how to answer that question for a very long time. The closet I was sleeping in was my sanctuary. I have built a small altar in there for my prayers.
An altar is something that is part of my culture. I believe most ancient civilizations understood the mystical power behind building an altar.
An altar is a reminder to connect to a power bigger than oneself. It's a link between heaven and earth. It is the bridge between the seen and the unseen.
In front of this altar was my imaginary library with a few books and my Bible that was now falling apart. Next to the books I laid opened two beautiful letters.
The first letter was from my younger sister Diane. She wrote this letter for me to read on the plane. The letter simply said, "You were my light. Now, I feel like I am in the dark."
And next to her letter I placed my mother's letter. She wrote her letter on her handkerchief. It simply said "My son, I love you and I will miss you. But remember that you are the light this world needs everywhere you go."
For those of you who went through the Soul Journey spiritual masterclass, if you have ever wondered where the concept of "creating a sacred space came from." Here is it.
It came from my experience with the altar in that tiny closet I have made my living space when I came to America. This is how our future could carry the footprint of our past experiences for others to follow.
The closet was tiny, yet it felt bigger than the entire house that hosted me as a guest in America. The altar was bringing heaven into my soul. To me, that's all I needed.
My few clothes were hanged to my right. My shoes laid straight underneath them. With the closet's door closed I had my somewhat privacy.
As a child the world never felt inert to me. This explains what I wrote in my book: Your 3 Greatest Treasures, "You are not here alone. Everything is watching you."
Have you ever read the beautiful poem by Armand Amar? It's called Poem Of The Atoms. If you have not, then let me share it with you.
Because it says everything about how my soul always felt being here--on earth. I have always felt as if my soul was bigger than the world, that the world was inside my soul.
POEM OF THE ATOMS:
"O day, arise!
The atoms are dancing.
The souls are dancing,
overcome with ecstasy.
I'll whisper in your ear
where their dance is taking them.
All the atoms in the air and
in the desert know well,
they seem insane.
Every single atom,
happy or miserable,
Becomes enamored of the sun,
of which nothing can be said."
But I must confess that the journey has not been an easy one. Like in every story whether true or a fiction, the main character is never prepared for everything he or she gets to encounter.
Sometimes I look back and wonder, how could a man land in another country such as the United States of America with 0.75 cents left in his pocket, incapable of speaking English, and with no legal papers to become who I am today?
It's because of what was carrying me spiritually. Not what I was carrying physically. Now, let's see the mystery unfolds. Like someone once wrote, "life is not a problem to be solved. But a mystery to be lived."
Now, some of you who are my students could also understand where the title: The Mysteries School came from.