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How Prayer and Perseverance Helped Me to Connect to the Divine on the Solstice

Experiences submitted by Karim El Bazi.
Experiences submitted by Karim El Bazi.

I like to celebrate and mark the solstices and equinoxes, something I learned about through Belsebuub’s book The Path of the Spiritual Sun. But one winter solstice, due to some events in my life at the time, I was extremely busy and circumstances in general were difficult. I was not able to celebrate the solstice in the way I would have liked to.

In fact on the very morning of the solstice sunrise and very early I had to return a rental van I’d hired.

I had parked in such a way that, even after many attempts, I was not able to leave the parking lot due to an unknown car blocking the way. It was raining down heavily and the clock to return the rental van was ticking. I was properly stuck.

In that moment, I decided to ask for help, quite humbly as I really didn’t think the situation would or could change.

When I opened my eyes I could just barely make out through the rainy windshield that the lights on the car that was blocking my way had turned on. As I looked closer I could see it was driving away, leaving space for me to make the turn to leave my parking spot.

I sat still for a few moments, thankful for what had just happened. While it could have been coincidental, I felt that I had received a little help in that moment due to my sincere prayer.

Having now returned the rental van, I was cycling back home. The weather meanwhile — it had not improved 🙂 It was well past the time of sunrise, yet I still wanted to do something to mark the winter solstice.

I decided to ride to one of the spots I knew up a hill, the climb was quite tough. Once there I started doing some mantras related to the winter solstice sunrise.

However it felt mechanical. I was tired, my body felt weary after the climb, it was still raining down, and thoughts came up that I had lots to do, etc. It was difficult to even get the words out of my mouth… The words of the mantra just ‘fell to the ground.’

However I decided to persevere, which resembled my attitude in the circumstances in my life at the time. And some things happened which I feel I can’t do justice to in writing, and also feel too personal to share. But towards the end of the mantras, I felt powerfully connected to the divine spiritual forces.

After having phrased some final prayers internally, I opened my eyes and from the very thick wall of clouds a single opening had appeared with the sun shining right onto the hill I was on.

Photo by Tony Reid found on Unsplash. (Image has been modified)
Photo by Tony Reid found on Unsplash. (Image has been modified)

The whole setting  was very moving, and I could feel a strong connection to the light shinning among the clouds. The kindness of divine forces at that time felt overwhelming. I had read that the solstice is a time conducive to spiritual experiences and I really felt like I had experienced a bit of it.

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27 comments
  • Nice experience Karim! I can relate to a lot of what you share. Particularly about celebrating the solstice alone, trying to find someway to celebrate when circumstances are not ideal, fighting against odds etc.. And I’ve also had similar experiences where that lack of strength is suddenly fortified through the arduous effort and perseverance. Thanks for sharing that. Next time I celebrate alone I will be thinking of it.

  • Very touching Karim, you vividly brought to life a very relatable experience of struggle, setbacks and the seeming disconnection of spiritual feeling. I am genuinely and honestly moved by your very beautiful and personal reunion with the divine.

  • How beautiful Karim. I especially resonated with “the kindness of divine forces” and how overwhelming they can be. I remember you sharing a bit of this experience after a practice we had done together, with other people. It was very helpful to hear about it. At the time I felt rather fragile, having felt that sense of kindness from above, from the divine. It always takes me by surprise, leaving me feeling humbled. I never feel I deserve it, and yet….it’s there.

    I also love how your prayer was answered, even though you didn’t think it would be. And how fast it was. I’ve experienced things like that too. When I don’t see how something could possibly change, but then they do, especially when I pray from a deep longing and need.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful Solstice experience. I love how the sun shone onto the hill where you were. The whole experience seems very meaningful and symbolic.

    • I can also recall times in my life where I didn’t see how a situation could change and being in it is unpleasant. But then, by some sort of help when that time is right, that situation which seemed without a ‘way out’ changes almost overnight. Often by just a few changes in circumstances, which along with it lifts that difficulty from us.

      For every person alive life can be tough I think, but especially if we have chosen that route where we face what is within rather than just going along with it. So I can see how that can feel like almost too much at times and and we might feel vulnerable in the face of it.

      But :-)!…. You, or anyone, might have a lot more strength within themselves than they might realise as well, despite how things might feel on the surface at times.

    • Thanks for your comment Anne Linn. That kindness from above when we don’t expect it is certainly divine 🙂

      I would also say, even if we are not always able to see it, that we might have a lot more strength inside ourselves than we might think!

      • I think you made some good points there Anne Linn and Karim. I’ve encountered many situations where difficulties have continued for an extended period of time and it has seemed that my prayers are not being answered, but in hindsight, there seems to have been a greater plan being put into action.

        Sometimes adverse circumstances have significantly altered the direction of my life, but led to unforeseen opportunities, which I couldn’t have possibly predicted beforehand. There was a situation some years back, where I needed to abandon a chosen career path prematurely and was devastated. It was a struggle to fight against the lower emotions and thoughts that surfaced as a result, but then a series of opportunities arose, which actually led to a much better set of circumstances than before.

        Importantly, I later realised that if I had persisted with my previous plans, I would have not only lost out on those opportunities, but would have been a much weaker position spiritually, due to unforeseen events, which emerged during the same year and which would have led my life in another direction.

        I’ve realised how limited my understanding of the wider picture of life is, in comparison with the divine will. I’ve found that usually if something isn’t meant to be, it becomes clear in time, in particular where events block a particular avenue so significantly that it makes one reflect a lot upon what the most important things are in life.

        It takes a lot of wisdom to predict exactly what events are coming up and how best to act. Sometimes we need to persist through difficulties, rather than simply running away from them, and by doing so, we gain strength and understanding. At other times, we need to know when a particular plan has reached its natural conclusion, in order to open up new opportunities. It seems the best thing we can do is to act in the most intelligent way we can, according to the knowledge we have at the time.

        It’s easy to become attached to plans and goals, which can bring about a deep sense of loss when these things are taken away from us. But ultimately everything we hold dear within the material world will be taken away from us at the point of death, so letting go of our attachments is something we will all need to face within our lives.

        I’m often reminded of a talk Belsebuub gave on his life story, where he commented that when nothing in our lives really works out, it tends to make us look deeper within ourselves for answers. I think many of us searching for a truly spiritual life can relate to this.

        As you also said Karim: “Even if we are not always able to see it, that we might have a lot more strength inside ourselves than we might think”. I feel this spiritual strength comes from a divine source, which may sometimes appear distant from us, but which is always there to guide us, if we make the effort to reach out to it.

  • Sounds like a powerful experience Karim. I’m sure there’s truth in there being more pronounced spiritual forces at the solstices and equinoxes, but your story made me think that if you’d put the same super-efforts in ANY day of the year, that the divine would respond with mercy and love.

    It’s incredible when we are thrown into situations where we feel uncomfortable, and then are pushed to seek a connection with spiritual forces – either in the physical, like with your car being blocked, or internally, like your feeling of the mantra being lifeless. It seems to me it’s in these times that we pull the motivation to pray from within, and are thus rewarded. Makes sense that we are taught through difficulties in life when you think of those times being so essential for us to realise our utter dependence on spiritual help!

    • I also feel this experience didn’t depend on the particular day, but on efforts to connect to the spiritual. However it did feel like the the things happening in my life at the time, with the weight accumulating to such a point, and then pushing through, to have this feeling of a merciful light emerging on the other side- that it felt in tune with the winter solstice time.

  • Very nice experience, Karim, thanks for sharing. I have realized that the divine has its ways of helping us and sometimes even we think that nothing can happen, the help is coming generously for the good of our learning. I also agree with you that the solstice is a time conducive to spiritual experiences – I got this understanding from something similar as well. So, I feel that from the smallest thing to the biggest preoccupation we have, the alpha and omega of our work is based on our connection with our divine and the right steps for keeping this contact active and sincere.

    • Thanks for your comment Maia.

      It’s interesting how sometimes only after a time, while doing a retrospective exercise a few years later for example, I can see how particular situations in my life were specifically there for a learning.

      To see more and more how our childhood, teens, adult life were not so much random but all arranged for our learning is very special and humbling and makes you appreciate the help from one’s one Being above.

      Wishing you all the best Maia.

      • Yes, I can relate to that Karim and Maia – how there is a vast intelligence underpinning the seemingly random events of our lives. I can think of various examples of where a relatively small event or factor took my life in a very different direction, often many years later.

        I think that putting difficulties into the wider context of learning gives a better foundation to deal with them appropriately. Although the circumstances of some people’s lives may seem completely unjust in view of the suffering caused, these adversities can for some people bring a deeper understanding about life and a search for the spiritual.

        I’m reminded of one of Belsebuub’s talks on his life story, where he said that despite the many difficulties of his childhood and upbringing, it was the ideal setting and exactly what he needed, as those difficulties were the very things that led him to find spiritual peace, as the mundane life brought him no real joy or happiness.

  • Hi Karim,

    thanks very much for sharing this uplifting experience.

    It really underscores of the importance of not seeking to always get insights and experience in perfect situations. I know that at times I have fooled myself into thinking that when all elements are in place and the situation is perfect then perfect feelings of inspiration or spiritual help will arrive. You have shown that what is more important is to really strive and never give up and the help and wonderful connections with the Divine can come at any time or moment that you truly push and seek it out.

    thanks!

    • Yes, It is not somewhere ‘out there’ somewhere in this vague future image I might have. But the real spiritual and mystical experiences are ‘right here’. They start to happen in our life when we’re making the right efforts, and it grows from that place.

      I know what you mean about the looking towards the perfect scenario. That’s also a lesson I’ve had to face again and again, in pretty big ways, and I’m sure many could relate. Looking towards particular situations of one kind or another that end up not happening. Hopefully I’ve learned that lesson to some degree 🙂 and realise more and more it’s about the work in my everyday life right now.

      Belsebuub mentions it in a nice little talk as well listed on this page.Public talks. It’s the one video called Discover more about yourself by studying your dreams’

      • Yes, I think those are good points Paty and Karim. It’s unlikely that there will be an ideal time when everything falls into place and we can create a perfect spiritual way of life without difficulties and challenges, so it’s better to make the effort to feed the spiritual part of us within, regardless of the situations of everyday life.

        In this way, we become much more resilient to obstacles that may come along and gain a far greater understanding about ourselves and the world, compared with hiding away in a perfectly controlled, but unchanging environment.

  • Thanks for sharing this, Karim! Despite all the obstacles, the final experience sounds incredibly uplifting and rewarding.

    There is a great lesson in persistence there. There were so many times when you could have “given up” on making the day spiritual, such as when your van was blocked, with the bad weather, etc. But you kept going, even when things weren’t working, only to feel that deep connection with the divine.

    • Thanks Mike.

      I felt very peaceful and light afterwards. Just enjoying a gentle ride back. Sitting in my living room that morning with some warm porridge. Very sort of rested and peaceful just enjoying the simple impression of life.

  • Thanks for sharing this Karim. It’s a really nice example of the importance of perseverance. Even though the situation may have seemed hopeless, it was still possible to gain a more spiritual experience, which was nicely rounded off by the ray of sunlight coming through the clouds after you finished the mantra.

    • The clouds that day were thick! Basically no chance of seeing the sun, which didn’t help in my choice whether to go up or not 🙂

      So yes that sunlight coming through at that exact time felt like a real gift. And I knew it was part of the other things I was feeling within and that happened in that experience, altogether it made me feel the reality of the presence of the divine with me in ways I hadn’t experienced like that physically.

      I have to say btw, although it might not seem so from this account and writing, that I’m quite the sceptical person. Especially of physical occurrences which people attribute to metaphysical phenomenon. But sometimes you just feel something is not a coincidence, and occasionally you know very strongly.

      • Hi Karim,

        I can relate to what you said about sometimes having a strong feeling that certain events are not purely coincidental, despite having a sceptical outlook.

        I’m also pretty sceptical in my thinking, as I find it difficult to believe something if it doesn’t make logical sense, or if there isn’t good evidence to support it. In some ways, I think this attitude has been beneficial, as there is so much misinformation in the world, so it’s important to have some discernment, in order to avoid wasting time, energy and resources on things that lead nowhere.

        Having said that, I think it’s also important to combine critical thinking with an open mind, as unless we’re willing to actually put something to the test, there’s no way of gaining first-hand experience of whether it works. For me, that’s a truly scientific approach – having an inquiring mind, but also being willing to try things out to see if they work. Otherwise, we can end up being bound by existing theories and dogmas, which limit the opportunities to discover something new.

        The fact that I’ve continued to investigate this work despite having a sceptical way of thinking is an accolade to their intrinsic value. If something doesn’t yield results, my enthusiasm and motivation soon dwindles, whereas if something proves to be of great benefit over a prolonged period of time, it gives me a sense that it is of value and worth persisting with.

        As you described, I can also think of various situations in life that seemed to be too perfectly aligned to be purely coincidental, which gives a kind of reassurance that there is a greater divine intelligence at work, even though it may be largely unseen.

  • That’s very uplifting to read Karim. Such luck you had that the lady moved her car after your prayers. It does make you wonder how much influence prayer can have on our circumstances or other people but it looks like it worked out well for you.

    Your perseverance to do the mantra and in a personal way celebrate the solstice is very inspiring, especially the results that came about which you describe with a few words only but feels like it was very warming and comforting experience. I hope many more people are able to tune into the solstices and equinoxes and feel something similar.

    • When looking around us, at the solid physical world of matter, it seems like that’s all there is. But in that instance, where that person moved their car at that exact time, the barrier to the other world just felt so close, so thin! As if the other dimension and the influence of beings there was all around. And it seemed like influencing things here would actually be very easy for them from over there.

      It does also make me wonder how exactly such things happen. But I think with the wisdom beings have from over there, bit like the ‘butterfly effect’ as they say, only one little thing needs to be touched in one place which turns into things later. I do also wonder how people and their psyches play a part in this. But I think that beings over there greatly respect free will and wouldn’t force people to do thing,s or wouldn’t cause things that are not in line with higher laws.

  • Thank you for sharing Karim, I really liked how you described the weight of the mundane difficulties that were influencing you at that time, including being busy, having commitments, plus bad weather… It looks like despite all these though, you really yearned to connect with the spiritual on this special day, and this gave you the strength to persevere. It is also interesting that you saw the connection between your perseverance amidst the daily difficulties and circumstances in your life at that time, and this particular morning. I found that these are often related, and if I am failing (or succeeding) in my everyday activities, it is often a reflection of my inner work at the time.
    Wishing you a continuous perseverance and strength in all your endeavours!

    • Thanks for the well wishes Lucia. 🙂

      “you really yearned to connect with the spiritual on this special day,..” Although deep inside this was definitely the case, realistically I have to say that due to all the weight of life at the time that’s not how I felt. I really didn’t feel like going up that mountain, and at home it would be warm (it was very cold) and I could have my warm breakfast meal. So with all the difficulties ongoing the option of these minor comforts appeared in my mind. But then the thought crossed my mind: and then what? Will you find what you’re really looking for in doing that?

      It’s also interesting how the mind works. I guess there was a sort of faith within me, this made me choose the decision to go up. But then the goal in my mind carried me through a lot of the way.

  • Hi Karim,

    Thank you for sharing this magical experience that you had and the message within it!

    Even in a situation that seems hopeless and without knowing the outcome your attempt in asking with sincerity and your perseverance paid of and things turned around for the better and the circumstance unfolded so that you had an experience from which you learnt. It goes to show that even a bleak situation can be turned into a very special experience.

    Your story is quite inspiring ☺

    • Hi Penny,

      Agreed about us being able to turn things around. Wishing you all the best in your journey 🙂

      I’m very grateful for the techniques, the tools, the means by which I have the opportunity to turn inner yearning into action and results though. Without that information given by Belsebuub there would be no means for me to do that.

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Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is a British-born spiritual teacher and author who explains that every person has their own unique spiritual aspect... Read more here.

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