July 30, 2006
A Spiritual Solution to the Current World Crisis
Below is a beautiful reminder of how all of us can participate in healing the current world crisis. It's written from someone named Anjali, and I'm personally moved to do exactly as he says. Let's join with millions of people around the world who understand that such visions as described below are not just "idle thoughts," but actual powers of the mind.
"I am inviting you to participate in creating a million people (you and me and our friends) to cover the planet with love.
Here's how I envision it:
-- Take a minute, each night, with friends or family before dinner, or alone, to take action.
-- Begin by dropping the mind and becoming still.
-- Then, taking a deep breath in, focus your attention in the centre of your chest (heart chakra) ....
-- Hold your breath for a moment as you visualize our little blue planet,floating like a ball in space....
-- As you breathe out, imagine your breath wrapping around the earth like a cloak, sending out from your heart - to everything and everyone all over the globe - the blessing of Love.
Just one breath of Love each night by a million people could change the nature of what's happening in our world! We can continue the action until we see Love actualized everywhere around us!
Please join me,and share this with your friends... We can do it!"
Posted by mwblog at 4:54 PM
July 29, 2006
On Consciousness, War and Peace:: Reflections by Deepak Chopra
Dear Friends of the Alliance,
What happens when we are delving deep into the nature of our consciousness, while our collective subconscious erupts with rage and violence in the Middle East?
I felt myself asking, "Is it realistic to hope for a new humanity?" As I look at the faces of people yearning for true peace (not just the absence of war) and feel their presence, any sense of helplessness diminishes, because I am looking at the seeds of the new humanity.
These are caring, compassionate, loving, people engaged in personal transformation. There are many all over the world, if only they could be connected. If only we could reach critical mass as soon as humanly possible.
But the immediate question for everyone of us is "What can I do now?"
I would like to share my reflections with all of you in this time of war. These are not original insights. They have been part of wisdom traditions for a long, long time. I deeply honor the sentiments of those of you who favor social activism, but that approach has been tried over and over again without great success. I believe at the core of my being that only a consciousness-based approach will work.
Societies get into the grip of their own self-created story.
It's helpful to realize that we can choose not to participate in that story. Realize that national and tribal stories are limited, self-serving, based on the past, reinforced by orthodoxy, and therefore opposed to real change. Stories are incredibly persuasive. Wars are fueled by victimization that runs deep, for example. So let us not try to change anyone's story. Let us only notice and observe ourselves when we buy into it and then let us back away from participating in it.
Let us not demand of ourselves that we alone must be the agent of change. In a fire brigade everyone passes along a bucket, but only the last person puts out the fire. None of us know where we stand in line. We may be here simply to pass a bucket; we may be called on to play a major role. In either case, all we can do is think, act, and say. Let us direct our thoughts, words, and actions to peace. That is all we can do. Let the results be what they will be.
Let us realize that engagement and detachment aren't opposite -- the more engaged we become, the more detached we will have to be. Otherwise, we will lose ourselves in conflict, obsessiveness, anxiety over the future, and feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Keep in mind that we are pioneers into the unknown, and uncertainty is our ally. When our minds want closure, certainty, and finality, let us remind ourselves that these are fictions. Our joyous moments will come from riding the wave, not asking to get off at the next station.
Most misery is born of failed expectations so let us learn to minimize expectations so that we will feel far less guilt and disappointment. We aren't here to be good or perfect. We are here as the antennas for signals from the future. We are here to be midwives to something that wants to be born. Good people have preceded us. They solved some problems and created others. As one wise teacher said, "You aren't here to be as good as possible. You are here to be as real as possible."
I know this sounds difficult, but let us try to be tolerant of intolerance. This is a hard one at times, but if you try the opposite -- showing a hard heart against those with hard hearts of their own -- all we've done is expand the problem. It's helpful (but often difficult) to remember that everyone is doing the best they can from their own level of consciousness. Trying to talk a terrorist out of his beliefs is like trying to persuade a lion to be a vegetarian. All we can realistically do is seek openings for higher awareness.
Let us resist the lure of dualities.
These include us versus them, civilized versus barbarians, good versus evil. The good, civilized people of Europe managed to kill millions of themselves, along with millions of "them." In reality we are all in the same boat of human conflict and confusion. Sometimes it helps to admit that the doctor is not far from being a patient.
Let's create an atmosphere of peace around ourselves. Imagine that we are like a mother whose children come home crying about fights at school. Would it be her job to soothe their wounds or to arm them for fighting back tomorrow? Simplistic as it may sound, the male principle of aggression can only be healed by the feminine principle of nurturing and love.
Mahatma Gandhi spoke the truth when he said "You must be the change you want to see in the world." We are units of consciousness, and the world is our projection. If there are enough units of peace consciousness and they connected with each other to reach critical mass, we could heal the world by healing ourselves.
A conscious change of heart is one of the most concrete things the world can ever see, a change of heart can change the world, whereas dutiful combative stances can only increase our agonies.
While caught up in a conflictive situation keep out there in the midst of it all doing what you do best:
Do not be discouraged, but know that there are people all over the world who support you, one day there will be so many that everyone will see peace.
Love is the only point of departure for intelligent action.
Reactionary activism based on blame and self-righteousness leads us to perpetual strife, as we accumulate vengeful and judgmental postures.
There is war and suffering in life, it has always been there, now in the present news from the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Guatemala, Congo, Somalia, etc. But it is really everywhere, as we have forgotten who we really are, and have failed to exercise the charity of forgiveness of ourselves and others.
How can we overcome this strife? -By overcoming hatred-. How can we overcome hatred? -By releasing love-. How can we release love? -By growing in consciousness, which means consideration, forgiveness, understanding, -an awareness of our common being. And this applies to collective, social, family, and individual conflicts.
Lets not become impatient for concrete solutions alone.
As we engage in dialogue among ourselves to find the solutions to our immediate problems, some of us with warplanes and missiles flying overhead, we become truly desperate for concrete strategies, and concrete results.
But let's ask ourselves: did millions marching for peace across America and Europe before the Iraq war prevent it? Did the peace treaties negotiated by President Clinton between the Palestinians and Israelis achieve anything? Has all the negotiation and conflict resolution by responsible, intelligent, sincere diplomats affected the estimated 35 wars that are now going on simultaneously in the world? Has all the moral outrage prevented the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Sudan, Ethiopia, or Gujarat? Has the hundreds of billions of dollars of aid to developing nations overcome poverty?
We cannot simply pursue without reflection the same thing that didn't work
Maybe personal transformation (including the longing for personal transformation) can contribute towards a lasting and radical solution. Why don't we give peace a chance by engaging in something seemingly not so "concrete" like participating in the creation of peace consciousness?
We can and must do whatever is in our reach to put out the fires. Yes, let us bring the buckets of water and dig the trenches to contain the forest fires we have started, but if we do not stop smoking, we would not have addressed the root cause that gives continuous rise to the fire. So although we must raise our voices and coordinate our actions as our hearts demand to counteract conflagrations like the one in the Middle East and Iraq and put pressure on our leaders to act fast to bring peace, we must not diminish our first order of sustained priority, that of addressing the root cause of all our social and individual hassle and pain - our ignorance and the healing our own selfishness.
And this quest applies to all, the so called spiritual leaders, the seekers, the social workers, activists and everyone, for all, no matter what role we play, we all are longing for love and peace, for greater understanding.
Peace can only be created by those who are peaceful.
I cannot honesty claim that I have achieved peace of mind, but because I am at least trying to go beyond my personal melodrama, it is my hope that I may be capable of seeing things in perspective. I think longing for peace may itself be the beginning to bring about a new birth of awareness.
To be part of the gestation process is just as necessary as any other stage. As Rumi said in one of his poems, "Our longing and our helplessness are the way".
Let's meet as people who have nothing in common except our helplessness and our own peace of mind.
It's worth celebrating that we are not emotionally drawn into the concept of war as a "solution" when the rest of the world is. Maybe it is worthwhile to invite the world into a new era -- showing humanity the face of peace.
I have no doubt that millions will watch us and say, "That's me, too."
I do not want to convey a sense of pacifism.
Consciousness isn't passive. In itself it's always moving, changing, creating and affecting change. Activism that works for change on the surface often winds up being just a counterforce -- it's the opposite side of a tug of war.
The situation in the Middle East right now, for example is rife with action. It's rife with opposition. Is there a choice that didn't involve increasing tension? Of course, we all support humanitarian relief, peace negotiations, etc. this world has always been full of good, well-intentioned people who devote themselves to social change. And for many, this work is their personal path of evolution.
Yet the world remains a sinkhole of poverty, famine, war, crime, and despair. Goodness hasn't changed the situation; activism has ameliorated it, at best.
When doing more of the same thing doesn't work, I think it's time to consider the deeper wound, which is at the level of consciousness.
There is action to be taken in consciousness, even though it may be subtle action.
Posted by mwblog at 12:01 PM
July 22, 2006
Praying For Peace by Marianne Williamson
Like many people, I'm both glued to the news and horrified by it. My thoughts and feelings have been thrown out of order, into some kind of disarray that at times surprises me. We're all being challenged by world events to see just how deeply our convictions lie, and how and where we're ready to apply them to the realities of the world.
For myself, if I'm sure of anything I am sure of this: the mortal mind, as it is currently and commonly configured within human consciousness, is inadequate to the demands of the times in which we live. As Gandhi said, "The problem with humanity is that it's not in its right mind." We are being asked by history, by evolution, by God, to evolve beyond all thoughts of separation to see the unity of all children of God. Ultimately we will leave behind as quaint such notions as "national sovereignty." We will realize that all of us are one. Or else....
No one has a monopoly on human suffering, and no child is more precious to God than any other. Only when we have learned to love as God loves will the world be uplifted to where it naturally belongs. It's one thing to say that, or to even believe it. But how do we apply it to such a moment of world crisis as confronts us now?
A Course in Miracles says that God does not give us victory in battle; rather, He lifts us above the battlefield. Our greatest spiritual contribution to this moment is to remember, in the words of the Course, that "beyond this world is a world I want." Beyond this three dimensional reality where the horrors of war are raging, there is another field of possibility alive in the Mind of God. Our work as individuals is to claim that world beyond this one, with passion and conviction; it is a world in which Jews and Arabs and Christians -- and everyone else as well -- are united not through the body but through the spirit. Close your eyes and see with your Inner Eye what the newspapers cannot show you. See the light within every Israeli, the light within every Palestinian and Lebanese, the light within every human heart, emerge from the center of their souls and then merge into One. See this, hold onto the vision, pray that it become a reality on the face of the earth, and then surrender it into the hands of God.
What the world needs now is a miracle, and it is miracles to which we are all entitled. For miracles occur naturally as expressions of love; they are in fact the natural order of the world when the mind is in its natural state. Our task, quite simply, is to love in a way that we have never loved before. Let us love even those with whom we do not agree, perhaps even those whom we might think we hate. Let us love them not personally, of course, but impersonally. Let us reach for the Love of God within us, that we might reach the Love of God within them. Let us all awaken to a higher truth, that we might be subconscious awakeners.
Neither Israel nor Lebanon need any of us to fall into this nightmare with them. What they need is for us to remain spiritually awake -- to the truth of their Oneness in the Mind of God. Because all minds are joined, our being awake will help them all to awaken. Their souls are making an ultimate sacrifice for each of us, showing what lies ahead for the world should we not remember who we truly are.
God bless Lebanon. God bless Israel. God bless every child of God. And God, please help us to live in peace. We need a miracle. And we need it now.
Posted by mwblog at 8:27 AM