A popular request from workshop participants is for a practice or an insight to prioritize and manage the preponderance of daily tasks. How can one balance the needs of self, family, work, and community? Sufis use a technique called "Closest to the Light." This practice is based on the following hadith: "make all your concerns one single concern and God will look after all your other concerns." Simply ask yourself which of the things on your to-do list are closest to the Light and attend to them. Use whatever time and energy are left for the other tasks on the list, and you will find that the Light takes care of them.

As an example, let's say that you need to raise money for your organization, prepare for a lawsuit, attend a religious ceremony, and care for your ailing mother. Ask yourself which activity holds the greatest sacredness and meaning for you. Maybe you decide that taking care of your mother is closest to the Light. Willingly and lovingly focus your activities on tending to her and, as for the others -- the fund-raising, the lawsuit, and the religious ceremony -- give to them whatever is left of your energy and time without avoidance or aversion. The Light will bless you for honoring it and will take care of your other concerns. Islamic sages say that there is a great secret in this for anyone who can grasp it.

Walking This Practice into the World

Do this practice daily and you will feel a radiance of light in your heart. Rumi promises that if light grows in your heart, "You will find your way home."

Jamal Rahman in Finding Peace through Spiritual Practice by Don Mackenzie, Ted Falcon, Jamal Rahman