The Power of Meditation
During the 1970's one of my teachers noted the problem with the anti-war movement was that war against war was still war. I think of this as I read declarations by protest leaders today that we must oppose the war in Iraq by bringing our own society to a halt. Perhaps we must rather bring ourselves to a halt, to look inside to where the war lies within us, to begin to bring the 'pieces' into 'peace'.
In my first Response Message following September 11
I wrote: "A war is being fought between two groups
which may be characterized as 'Exploiters' and
'Exploders' - persons whose soul alignment is too cold
or too hot. The exploiters are those who lead
privileged lives, and are indifferent to suffering in
a world where one fifth of the human population live
in relative comfort, while the rest struggle for
survival, irreplaceable resources are drained, forests
disappear and species go out of existence. The
exploders are those so caught in rage and hatred that
they have lost any sense of discrimination between the
guilty and the innocent, and are willing to sacrifice
everyone. Although this war presents itself around
racial or class issues, the deeper underlying issue is
the spiritual imbalance between the Feminine and
Masculine principles, which constricts access to
feminine perspective, compassion, nourishment and
power, creating the appearance of scarcity in which
groups of males compete for dominance, and male
dominant religions compete for spiritual authority."
For those of you who may not have a sense of how to engage the power of your 'spiritual activism', I suggest the following simple steps. Sit quietly and pay attention to your own breathing until you begin to feel a sense of quiet within. Draw your consciousness inside yourself and ask what aspects of yourself are not at peace, not integrated into the whole. Then remember that in the world are others whose pain is perhaps now greater than your own, and invite them into your heart and your center. From there ask that you and your guests be drawn to the center of spiritual life however you experience it: as Source, Great Mystery, God, The Mother. And there ask that all of you be comforted, be reconnected with all those you love, be empowered to face the tasks of day-to-day life, and to create the answers to the questions which have troubled you. Specifically ask that each of you be given what you need for your life, no more, no less. After taking all the time you need at the Center, ask that all who have assembled with you return to their lives in the outer world, without losing the connection that binds you to peace. And reenter the world.
Practice the meditation with friends and lovers. Call small circles together to reinforce the love and the power.
Put a candle in your window. But more importantly, put a candle in your heart.
In one of the background stories in the papers a few years back, a reporter asked a resident of Baghdad what he thought life wold be like after Saddam. The man was puzzled, even dumbfounded: "I don't know whatyou mean," he said. "I cannot imagine life without Saddam. He has always been here."
So worlds are lost by a failure of imagination. Or
gained by its exercise. That is Spiritual Activism. To
imagine what can be, until we have drawn it out of our
dreams and into being.