After a decade of working for mainstream media, I know it's time for a new kind of journalism. One that allows me to write the stories I long to bring into the world. My sacred work.
There are no facts. There are only stories.*
Why are stories so powerful? Because they shape our sense of who we are and how we relate to the world around us.
Like most things in the modern age, journalism today is cut off from the knowledge about our deeper sacred identity. Conventional reporting follows the story of separation – the myth that we are individuals separate from everything and everyone around us. Mainstream media is a powerful amplifier of that myth.
The more a narrative is repeated, the stronger it gets. Gradually it becomes our shared reality. When we act on those shallow stories, we contribute to a world we do not want. We loose the feeling for what is truly essential. We forget why we are here and how we can contribute to turn this planet into a more beautiful and soulful place. We lose hope.
What you give your attention to, you also give energy. Caught in a relentless torrent of information, we end up feeling depleted, disoriented and devoid of meaning. This type of journalism doesn't serve us anymore.
Let's take Iran, for instance – a country I have come to love and deeply appreciate. Magnificent culture, warm-hearted people, a rich spiritual heritage. But soon my eagerness to share those discoveries bumped against the skepticism of my editors. "How could you be so positive about Iran?!" If I wanted to write on Iran, I had to include nuclear debates, proxy wars or religious fanaticism.
As I got more aware of those mechanisms, it all came down to one question: What story do I want to serve?
So, why Sacred Journalism?
Having spent much time of my childhood in India, I've always felt at home in sacred places. We live in societies that have lost their sense of what's sacred. This has caused a lot of suffering and led to the destruction of our planet. Meanwhile, mainstream religious teachings have drifted away from their sacred core. Is it possible to again weave narratives that amplify the sacred?
The stories you can read here are stories that touched me and I believe will touch you. Stories I kept in my notebooks because I couldn't publish them anywhere. Or stories I couldn't pursue because of money and time constraints.
Turning journalism into a force of healing, this blog aspires to offer you meaning-full stories that reconnect and illuminate.
This blog is also a reflection of my own journey in search of the sacred. Liberating my writing from the limitations of mainstream media, here comes my offering to you. As a writer and researcher, I challenge myself to look deeper and take time to listen deeply without getting stuck in my own storylines.
Sacred Journalism is slow food. For now, I intend to offer you one piece per week, published every Monday.
Using the tools of traditional journalism – solid research, well-crafted writing and appealing photography – I will share feature stories from my travels. Some of them are longform writing, others more of a short glimpse. A good part of this work is located in the "Islamic World," a geography that has been caught in negative storytelling for almost two decades. You can also find interviews with changemakers and wisdom keepers – people who dedicate their lives to the path of inner transformation and sacred activism. Another part is reflective essays on topics that move us and pieces on culture such as book reviews or articles about world music.
That's the intention, for now. The rest is emergence :)
*) Whiteman, Nigerian shaman, quoted by Adebayo Akomolafe and found in Charles Eisenstein's The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.