Tonight at yoga, the teacher came over to help me with a stretch that just wasn’t happening.  After she helped me at least get slightly comfortable in the pose, I wanted to cry because I felt really stuck, not flexible, unmoved.  It made me want to go away to a beautiful island and spend a month learning yoga and focusing every day on deep stretching and finding peace with my body.  It dawned on me that many people who go on yoga retreats go not just for the physical peace they find, but for the spiritual peace. I found myself suddenly wanting that.  It made me wonder what I could do to make my trip to Turkey a more spiritually based journey.

As I will be going to a place ripe with the history of Islam, it seems fitting for me to learn more about the Muslim faith.  I don’t know that much about the Spiritual practice of Muslims.  What are their prayers? I know they pray ritually 5 time a day, but what are they saying and thinking?  What about spiritual meals or community gatherings?  What is it like to attend a Mosque?

I think it would be best for me to explore some of these questions here in Portland, but I wonder if I shouldn’t bring it with me to Istanbul?  Should I wake up every morning at sunrise for the first prayer of the day?  What other ways can I learn more about the spiritual practices of Muslim while I’m in Turkey?  It’s in writing this that I realize I know so very little about one of the great faiths of our world.


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