Sara Bavar, Anna Moshefi, and Nina Moshefi
DescriptionSara Bavar (44) shares a conversation with friends and sisters Anna Padideh Moshefi (35) and Nina Nirvana Moshefi (39). They discuss their COVID-19 relief work, their experiences as part of the MTO Shahmasghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism, and the lessons and epiphanies they've experienced during the pandemic quarantine.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Sara Bavar
- Anna Moshefi
- Nina Moshefi
Recording LocationVirtual Recording
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00:03 Hi, my name is Sara bavar. I am 44 years old. Today's date is Saturday, March 20th, 2021. I'm recording from Thousand Oaks California. And today I am speaking with the lovely most happy sisters. We are all volunteers at MTO shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism.
00:24 Hi, my name is Nina Nirvana. Most happy most people call me Nirvana. I am 39 years old today's date is March 28th of 2021. I live in Milton Georgia and I am really excited to be here with my dear friend Sara bavar and lovely sister.
00:45 My name is Anna podimas Fe I go by Patty. I am 35 years old and today's date is March 20th, 2021. I live in Johns Creek Georgia, and I'm very happy to be speaking with my charming sister Nirvana and my stunning friends are above our
01:08 So we met back in late March early April when we started working on the Global covid-19 Response initiative, but I have to say just as a side note. The three of us have never actually met in the same room. It's always been through virtual relationship and I have to say that with that being said this virtual Bon debarras feels really special to me. So I just wanted to start out by letting thing that to you guys and I would like to try on those feelings are 100% Mutual on my side.
01:49 For sure a little lie.
01:56 I think what's most interesting is that all three of us are students of MTO shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism and I feel like we're on these Berry parallel pads, but our journey is couldn't be more different than unique. Does that does that make you guys were the just me guess is there's a group of individuals from across the globe and we meet on a regular basis of via zoom and majority of these individuals. I have never met right yet. There is this sense of connectedness and a Metrology among all of us and for me.
02:43 I wholeheartedly attribute this harmony that we have to the student ship that we share at MCO and the love that we have for our Sufi teacher professor and his teachings of the path of self-knowledge because it reminds me of how purpose or not around but showed the importance of giving back and helping those hard as head during these difficult times with all the MTO centers around the globe as the pandemic started and that's basically how are Global covid-19 Response after it started back in April of last year. Not a play here in Georgia, but on such a global scale and it was so amazing to see how all of the sudden our energies came together with this.
03:43 Purpose and sense of Attraction and guidance if you will get you mentioned Global it's it's across three continents to be exact. Yes. Yes. Absolutely North America Europe and Australia and the donation numbers because you know, it's where we're modest number of people that are coming together and doing this but the donation numbers for me verbally mind-blowing. You know, what we started this last year and our personal protective equipment is already over, you know, 90,000 93000 over 92 thousand tons of food over 17,000 hygiene and and Care kids and it's it is if it's lovely to see, you know and each event.
04:43 Such a specific purpose and it supports a particular group within a community, you know that has a certain need. So for example, I know you guys remember on International Nurses Day. We came together. Worldwide and provided PPE in healthcare workers as a healthcare worker in the hospitals and care centers or on my personal favorite which was international data education and we were able to supply children with backpacks and school supplies when we started our covid-19 response efforts here in Atlanta. We weren't do bees. I didn't know like we didn't know the house the watch the how many's of anything but now in Atlanta we have this very Advanced, you know, I would call it off.
05:43 Nations of PPE creation and donation processing steps so badly all the way to you know meeting families for the hit during these four times at of the pandemic has definitely been an amazing experience to say the least for me and you know, it's what is so interesting is that MTO centers around the globe have always had various Outreach efforts such as Interfaith Gatherings Sufi psychology Association seminars and Community Support efforts of various Nature's prior to pandemic but this time around things were definitely different. I don't know maybe because it was on such a global and bath gal that I created this massive wave that that's set in motion.
06:43 So many individuals selling all with the same purpose and attraction, you know, you say that reminds me of a poem by the Sufi poets ID and I'm going to read this off of my screensaver here. So I don't miss any of the words. Those human beings are members of a hole in creation of one Essence and soul if one member is Afflicted with pain other members uneasy will remain if you have no sympathy for human pain the name of human you cannot retain and you know, when I am involved in any of these donation efforts, it really just reminds me of this poem and being part of such a magnificent well-organized Global Community is
07:43 Is very inspiring I think that that's perfect. That is the key here. You know your mom we have you know, half a dozen kids between us and you know, I creep and I make I was I was so preoccupied with you no feeling these invisible gaps in my life with superficial things and behavior all the time, you know, wake up make the kids get them ready for school go to work pick up the kids and you know stop and repeat the whole thing again the following day on the kid and you know, we were in lockdown and all of those things that I thought really did find me and made it my reality. We're pointless. I thought you know, and that's when the pandemic that that's when the Panic for me. So I didn't you know, how how was I going to be a mother to these two kids without all of that stuff to keep
08:43 Busy, I was going to keep myself saying with Just My Size. I didn't have much of the purpose, you know beyond what it is that on the surface there. So I was almost forced to listen to myself and buy to really find my purpose now and you guys know it in Sufism were taught about the essence of our being rr1 truth about that place, which is the source of infinite knowledge and I had to really reach for the teachings and and bring them to fruition for me up. I assume I'm not the only one who felt like you just said a resonates With Me on piano on every level almost I was on autopilot to before the pandemic hit I'm a single mom. I work full time.
09:43 I had this extremely tightly structured schedule that I had created a masterpiece. I would call it every moment of my day and my children's day was a count the ones we went into lockdown a middle of March 2020, you know Universe through a whole monkey wrench into this again Masterpiece that I read it I had to now start teaching 23 seven-year-old online of the virtual platform was something I was not trained to do neither were any of my students order parents prepared for this? I also had my own two kids at home. Now who had to learn to sit down and study on a virtual platform in an unsupervised setting because I was in the Next Room is she might do that. I had also just started another graduate program, so
10:43 Total chaos for me. However, you know, I had to stop and I had to realize that
10:51 I honestly did not have it as difficult as some of the families with in my community or within my circle that I was aware of and you know, but as you've mentioned at the world slowed down, I was forced to sit with myself. Also, it was this involuntary reflective. I had to efface and address certain things about myself. I had to have a talk with my ego. I had to look at some of my fears my flaws and you know just go through some of the unhealed experiences that I was carrying around and considering now in hindsight The Good the Bad and the Ugly of it depends Emich has really been very transformative for me. It's created the clarity of purpose of who I am what my identity is beyond the social labels that Define me, you know, being a mother a daughter a teacher and
11:51 I love this quote. I would like to share with you ladies. A woman is like a tea bag. You don't know how strong she is until you put her in hot water and for me and for me this pen that's this quote is the pandemic for me in a nutshell and whose quote is that by then? However, it is not original to her and a reflector. For me and you're not first it was it was so hard to let go of all the people and they make habits and the hardest one which I hope you guys agree red was being at home all the time with the kids and having them focus on their school work remote because this was something that we were not used to just completing you set up for all of us at home.
12:51 It was pretty challenging at first, but it wasn't until I had accept it and submit it to Des new way of doing things that I experienced some relief and peace and out. What was so amazing is not through Professor. Another Alice teachings. I have learned that submission intolerance is to harmonize and bring about balance and Tranquility with this last existence and and if it's guidance if you which me is is nothing else but love and when I look at it from this Viewpoint, I almost realize that through this absolute Mission everything including the obstacles and hardships.
13:47 Are a part of this source of guiding love and this this reminds me of Professor. Another angle is example of how a drop of water becomes one with the ocean soon as it realizes and lets go of its own limitations and that's something I really have to go back and focus on again and the time Marcos app and then we'll was an exercise has a which which are the heart Focus Sufi meditation techniques that I have used have helped tremendously as as as a as my self care routine for for the past 12 months.
14:29 Did you did you have self care prior to the pandemic I sure did have self care prior to pandemic Sarah but what was so interesting is that I was also very busy with what I thought was this perfect routine of working and parenting that left me with a very limited time to get it to me at all and you know the pandemic definitely function as a time I call for me and I immediately realized that no one in the family was functioning collectively when I was not gathered and centered myself and you know, I realized the dedicating that extra time to my daily prayers and tell Mark was practice has definitely made things so much easier not only on myself but on the everyone around me in the family.
15:21 That's such a good point because I think as mothers, you know where we're always feeling guilt that Mom guilt is so powerful. You are putting yourself first makes you a bad mom, which is so ridiculous to think. It's such a ridiculous thing to say, but the execution was sort of like more busy working authentic. I you know, I always felt like it was too difficult because I would prioritize everything else over that. I remember one time during lockdown last year. I was out walking and listening to Professor mother-in-law's lecture from years ago at Georgetown University and he talks about people always coming up to him after his lecture complaining about how difficult it all was and how they could drop their heads around it and it answered when they were first learning to
16:21 A little difficult and she said that you know, it was hard but he wanted it then it doesn't matter how difficult it is to you. You know, you you were until you achieve it and running the risk of sounding really cheesy and really cliche. I almost like I felt like I did that day. I was like, yes. You know if you want it you work for it right until I I decided that yes. I really wanted this until I chose to you start my days off on the right foot. So now I do know I I meditate first thing in the morning before the sun comes up and whenever I have those days, I want to be lazy and stay in bed and relax and me and just really discover my reality right and to be honest.
17:21 It goes back to what you said about the family unit function collectively if knee is the mother, you know, if I'm able to take care of myself. I feel less stressed about a mother to my children to my husband, you know that a friend is estimate the empowering effect of self care for to self both on the social as well as on the spiritual level Professor another angle and one of his lectures.
18:01 They did something similar to this in order to be able to manifest peace and Harmony within our world and our environment. We have a first as individuals be able to realize these Concepts within ourselves, right and as individuals, we each are capable of tapping into these in Herrin Concepts because we are manifestations of existence. So that is within us. It's already ingrained within. But as mothers, I think it's vital that we colonize this would create a cut Mission because as a famous saying you cannot pour from an empty Cup right soap for me. I realize I cannot create a stable and peaceful home for my two sons. If I am unable to retain my own peace and balance on on a daily basis regardless of what is happening, right? I think for me the impermanence of the world
19:01 Sometimes leaves me in a very dark and isolated place and you know, sometimes I just need to take a moment of self-care and that could be something as basic and simple as letting the dishes be sitting on the sofa and taking deep breath consciously and with purpose taking deep breath and every time I do this I it feels my Inner Light Of Hope and of peace and you know, that was back to prayer and that's how Marcos meditations these are activities for me. Add to the light and with every step I come closer to this light and then there's safety and then there's comfort in it and you know, there's Enlightenment in it this Enlightenment creates this beautiful confidence that I carry with me with every decision that I make Ciroc my day and there is power.
20:01 That so it is very important that we realized the power that lies and self care about our self care journey and you know how the changes that it causes has it changed our relationship with sisters at all.
20:23 We talked about how it doesn't for kids near I'm and our parents migrated to Europe When We Were Young and because of the circumstances in Europe at the time we movement in Europe until finally after my graduation from high school. We moved to Atlanta Georgia and you know all of these moods and I learned my supporting one another and were able to publish this special bond from a very young age if you will and but you know as as we got older, I feel like we took things for granted and we just got so busy with life and drifted apart to some extent and what was so funny. Is that as the MTO code 19
21:23 Read started the opportunity for us to work again together came back up and I'll we were collaborating on MTO Atlanta event and it definitely was a bumpy ride to say the least in the beginning but believe it or not. We were really sweet and I mean I could feel the energy love between us again. And what was so interesting is that back to Dos childhood moments where we shared this very special bond as children and you know, it is amazing to see this at Blossom and in between the both of us and
22:13 What's up, let's hope so. Otherwise the rest of the conversation going to be for you.
22:21 You know what? I have a story to tell before I respond to that new. This is actually funny in hindsight. Now it what you know, it was kind of awkward when it happened when it came up that Nirvana and I had the opportunity to work on these humanitarian and Community Aid efforts together. Nirvana was asked by one of the global coordinators.
22:50 If she thought that we could actually successfully work together, you know us being sisters and all and her response had been apparently. Yes. It is my better half, you know and to which my response had was why would you lie to this person? They're going to brace yourself here, But in my defense is that is exactly where I stood when it came to viewing our relationship go back in March of 2020, you know as as it is, you know pattern with siblings we mature into the world will mature into our rules and you know, we drift apart and we grow in different directions. So it definitely was a bumpy in the beginning but the Sufi poets Jalal ad-din Rumi has this beautiful quote at work. Yeah.
23:50 Part of the poem If You're irritated by every rub how will you be polished? So as we you know went through the motions we were rubbing off, you know on each other polishing off the excess, you know, we were gained this connection that we had lost and we didn't just reconnect. We it grew exponentially there's a sense of there's a very strong sense of respect that we have for one another one another right now and I think it's one that goes beyond what the social definition of the word is right now and you know, it kind of goes to show that
24:35 Connections are never truly lost their merely overshadowed by less permanent sings their veiled over and a professor another angle actually addresses the interconnectedness of everything within the existence and his book Siri. I need unlimited vision of leadership and to me if each one of us, if each individual who roams the Earth could realize how our actions are words, even our thoughts affect those around us, whether we have direct or indirect contact with them. We would all just be so much more cognizant of how we behave the Ripple effects are 100% real and there's tangible is just as individuals. We need to, you know become still enough. So we're aware of them you mention awareness and and it reminded me of attorney.
25:35 I was making the other day. I was driving home and feeling you know, that that's sense of invigoration you feel after a donation. I was thinking that you had the active service is more than just this incredible feeling, you know, which in and of itself is enough is a lot but I I realize that everything in existence is in service to one another, you know, so from the medicine that I take for a headache too, you know the place I put my food into the tree that provide shade and clean air like everything and pay that you mention it reminded me of my favorite quotes in the butt when he puts his father when he writes it all of existence is love and that really sums it up for me all of your senses lab, you know Services Rob and it finds everything and it brings purpose and it rings meaning and at that moment, you know, it just it is really from tooth after me. It's just was like a
26:35 Shock, you know that that was the one that really did it for me. What about for you guys for me was our first hospital donation event back in April of 2020 and you know that moment we were so excited. I had no idea what to anticipate as back in April. We really didn't know much about the virus and the conditions in our community and we were donating to a bolster hospital here in metro Atlanta and and the area at a time. I was one of the first MP centers in Georgia and as you can imagine that they were really struggling with all the incoming patients and we have prepared surgical gowns isolation. I'm sorry and and and face masks and catered lunches with your entire coven.
27:35 And as we got there with our trucks the hospital, so I came down and greeted us and, you know, we started to unload the trucks and as we were gearing up to leave one of the hospital staff approached me and asked me about the isolation gowns and that we have prepared for them. So I remembered that there were still in my truck and went and got them and as I was handing these isolation gowns to him we had this moment that we shared and at that moment we exchanged this look that that that I will never ever forget in and he immediately said now you have no idea how much these gallons are appreciated, and if you happen to make more, please feel free to stop by anytime and drop them off and it was a dad moment that I realized how serious they were and how badly these items were needed. Bye. Bye.
28:35 How do you spread lime a hero's and you know with that encounter ever since last April? We have not stopped making these items for our teachers and doctors and all of the Frontline workers who are basically risking their lives every day for us. You don't Nirvana. It's interesting because you and I, you know, post donation events. We always talk about the numbers and how he know what went well what needs to change we never talked about the event that actually made it stick for us. Right and it's so interesting cuz I'm sitting here listening to you and I'm like that was the exact same as in that's for me that's fascinating. It is interesting. So but you know, you know you both know I'm an extrovert. You know, I'm loud. I'm happy My love language is physical.
29:35 So when we went into lockdown in March of 2020, I was just not in a good place, you know not having access to my peers. My circle was just not okay, and you know, we had previously participated in charity events before he ran for Atlanta and Fuel Center because you know charity is one of the guiding principles of MTO shahmaghsoudi yet, you know, even though it was very excited for this opportunity. There was still a particular graines about me that day.
30:11 You know, we're at the hospital were smiling behind our masks. We're still not sure of how it's going to go because we had never done a donation under circumstances. But I was I was you know him as I handed out that first bag of catered lunches. It kind of reminds me of the glass you were just talking about Nirvana Hospital representative took the back from me and you make holiday exchange of energies of vibe. It might have been has anything but it happened and I felt as if I was being lifted to Cloud9. I felt Joy there was a freshness there were colors and I don't know how to describe it in words, but
31:04 I realized that in giving I had created so much space to also receive in return and that moment confirm the purpose behind the importance of giving and charity that Islamic Sufism teachers about with also did importance of the MTO Community Support efforts that we are involved in during this pandemic. Yeah. I'm just going to jump in and I I just want to say, you know, it's it's a hard time for a lot of people right now. There's there's no sugarcoating that but these are the times when we need to come together as a community and give each other because you know where we're only as strong as our weakest and I don't know or understand the hardships of the receiver of the donation will be facing the weather. That's
32:04 Empathize with one of the teachings of Sufism is to give thanks The Giver. Thanks the receiver for accepting donations because really they're doing more and it's teaching of gratitude and appreciation and if it's truly a gift to be a part of something that's bigger than you are the unifying effects of our Global donations gradually over time became all-encompassing Atlantis Sheriff's Office who helped us hand out these donations and many others in our community and it became almost like this contagious thing that people wanted to be a part of complete strangers reach out to us who wanted to donate their time or their sewing machine to these humanitarian causes and seeing all of this.
33:04 We made me realize that this all-encompassing Unity, which is Lizzie Municipal pools of Islamic Sufism. I had had played out so beautiful not only in our hearts but also in our communities through our Global covid-19 Response after its and cherub charitable donations as you ladies mention,
33:32 Yeah, you you bring of unity that the pandemic has brought distance and you know almost every aspect of life for so many people across the globe but I feel like for myself the Cobra spawns was hurt if the glue that brought us all together such a great point. So there is a book called The expansion expansion and contraction within being damn and damn is spelled d a h m mean in breast and the author Professor another Alma explains the act of breathing from a cellular level all the way to the cosmic level. Just a side note for you. Ladies. This is 100% physics book. I'm social sciences person so it took me.
34:32 Year-and-a-half and some change to finish a book but it is so worth every minute that I spend with it. But since you brought he knows a you know, the fact that we were all distant, but we were brought together the way the book explains this phenomenon. It's very interesting particles in their original state are all scattered, right and based on the laws of love and attraction. They are brought together looking at the fusion of a proton neutron and then there's this thing where I did not find person. I called The Love Dare a. Of what seems like dormancy but is really high activity and the most tangible example would be when a caterpillar is
35:32 Listen to Chrysalis right after this. There is a. Of expansion in the proton neutron Fusion this expansion carries our light and the radiation radius.
35:46 Of the six nation is only as strong as the Catalyst which created the fusion so the contraction phase right? Can I just jump in and say for someone who claims to not be a specific person?
36:08 Regina Regina, here's the kicker right for this book. And this is why I brought it up.
36:14 With the first Global covid-19 Response effort thousands of MTO students from across the globe were brought together on the laws of attraction and love in this harmonious intention was one purpose of giving in charity. And then once that effort was over with on. Day, there was a. Of steaming dormancy. This is when we all return to our centers, right, of course being in the middle of a pandemic we were all practicing the CDC guidelines of social distancing of proper PPE usage and sanitation of the product right, but we were all in our centers and we were just preparing creating p p e processing donations as they were needed within the communities, but from the outside it seemed like we were dormant.
37:15 It's very interesting because the Catalyst in these efforts is love and hope so with every donation. There is this process of contraction coming together and expansion write these efforts are mimicking the process of breathing on a social level. They're mimicking life the reading light into the community and what each bag with each mile each exchange of hopeful words yet. Another person is affected by the light of these donation efforts and with every donation. This radius keeps growing and growing and to be not just a witness, but also a part of these just everything is all inspiring to say the least. I think this really goes back to what prophet Muhammad peace be upon him has stayed at UVU.
38:15 When I go back to the stable Center and find that peace and balance within it will immediately radiate out onto my surrounding it and have this great impact not only on my family but on my neighbor and people in my community and what better than this to have blossom in our towns and neighborhoods, right? So I just want some of our conversation by turning to one last cookie Professional download which I know is our favorite. We use it in all of our donations. We thought it everywhere. Hope is planted seed in Fertile ground that bears fruit.
39:05 In the land of my heart the plant of Despair never grows.
39:10 So with that thank you both for having this little adventure with me. That was it was a lot of fun.