Honoring My Spiritual Mentor & Friend
This morning my dear friend and spiritual mentor, Waris Faridi, departed this world to continue his soul work on the next turn of the spiral. He was my greatest living spiritual influence.
We met a little over four years ago at a metaphysical fair where I was selling my book, A Call to the Heart, and he was selling gemstones. He came up to me, was intrigued by the book I’d written, and then immediately jumped into things that went way beyond my scope of spiritual understanding. They resonated. So I listened.
He just let his table go unmanned for quite some time as he engaged in a passionate spiritual discourse with me. This was Waris…spiritual sharing took precedence over EVERYTHING…even the thing that was serving as a source of income for him, his table.
Regardless of where you were in your spiritual journey, if you showed an interest in wanting to learn more, he made this a priority in his life and met you to the degree that you were willing to be met.
For some, that meant he woke up early on Saturday mornings to meet with them at 6:00am! For me, that meant meeting up every Wednesday evening at an Indian or Pakistani restaurant (or Whole Foods) for years to discuss all manner of spiritual things and to specifically go into whatever I needed to learn and grow from (I still have a ton of work to do!).
His ability to love unconditionally was unparalleled and unique in its ability to be expressed in very personal ways, meaning he could both love and uphold a person’s soul nature (all the divine potential that lives in us that may or may not be actualized in expression) AND cater very lovingly to our human side…even the cranky, B.S. side that I showed more than once from being triggered in his presence!
He knew how much of it to accept (i.e., giving us space to come out of it on our own) and when to fiercely cut through it to shake us out of our fearful, reactive state. I couldn’t have been mentored by someone who was fierce all the time, so his predominant gentleness with sparing fierceness made him a perfect mentor for me.
This very personalized expression of unconditional love sometimes triggered me, because it was coming from a male and my rigid mind couldn’t quite understand it. I railed against it at times is some pretty crazy ways. He patiently understood this.
He was an extraordinary anomaly existing in a world still very much caught in conditional love. If you couldn’t see him for his spiritual qualities, you risked overlooking him and what his life stood for, which was the flowering of the highest qualities that every spiritual practice points to: love, wisdom, compassion, service, and truth.
He was the most exquisite blend of love and wisdom. Some teachers teach predominantly through one or the other, he taught through both. It didn’t matter where you were in your journey or understanding, he could meet you right where you were and build a bridge to greater understandings and depending on what you could grasp, he could continue to lead you into higher and higher understandings. This was one of his greatest gifts.
One of his main specialties (or at least the part of his extensive knowledge-base that we connected on) was in his understanding of self-knowledge…understanding our reactive nature so it can be mastered in ways that allow the flowering of higher spiritual qualities (the fruits of the spirit) to express more freely and naturally.
I tried to share many of the lessons and insights from the first few years of our conversations when I blogged from 2013-2015 and have, in no way mastered these things, but the insights continue to serve as a necessary light on what needs to be processed and how it can best be processed.
He had a deep and rich spiritual community of friends that stretched from San Antonio to Germany to Pakistan and back around the world. I was honored to be a part of his beautiful network of friends and blessed to have been able to spend such an extensive amount of physical time with him these past four years.
He will be missed dearly but I know his presence lives on.
The pictures were taken in 2014 when we took a road trip to Sedona. The one of him sitting on a bench perfectly depicts his light-hearted nature (he loved silly jokes) and the one of him standing shows his more regal nature.
P.S., for anyone who is interested, there are a handful of videos on YouTube with recorded talks that he gave covering some of his main teachings. Just search his name “Waris Faridi” and they should come up. These are especially good for anyone interested in self-knowledge.