December 25, 2012

Prayer for Connecticut

For those who bear tonight the unbearable burden
of unimaginable grief,
who in their agony yell at the forces of fate...
For those who moan and those who faint, 
for those who rage and those who pray,
we moan and pray along with you.
For now, those were our children too.
Dear God, May a legion of angels come upon these parents.
Bring to them an otherworldly touch,
an otherworldly comfort
an otherworldly sense that their children are well --
that they are safe with God,
and shall be with them always.
Give to those who grieve what no mortal can give...
the touch of Your Hand upon their heart.
May all touched by this darkness
be Lit by Your grace.
Please wipe away all tears, dear God.
as only You can do.
Amen


Posted by mwblog at 10:10 AM |


December 12, 2012

Christmas for Mystics

The holidays are only holy if we make them so.

Otherwise, the assault of modernity - from crass consumerism to a 24-hour news cycle to the compulsivity of the wired world - wrecks whatever we have left of our nervous systems, making the true spiritual meaning of Christmas seem as distant as the furthest star. It's only when we consciously carve out a space for the holy - in our heads, our hearts and our lifestyles - that the deeper mysteries of the season can reveal themselves.

The holidays are a time of spiritual preparation, if we allow them to be. We're preparing for the birth of our possible selves, the event with which we have been psychologically pregnant all our lives. And the labor doesn't happen in our fancy places; there is never "room in the Inn," or room in the intellect, for the birth of our authentic selves. That happens in the manger of our most humble places, with lots of angels, i.e. Thoughts of God, all around.

Something happens in that quiet place, where we're simply alone and listening to nothing but our hearts. It's not loneliness, that aloneness. It's rather the solitude of the soul, where we are grounded more deeply in our own internal depths. Then, having connected more deeply to God, we're able to connect more deeply with each other. Our connection to the divine unlocks our connection to the universe.

According to the mystical tradition, Christ is born into the world through each of us. As we open our hearts, he is born into the world. As we choose to forgive, he is born into the world. As we rise to the occasion, he is born into the world. As we make our hearts true conduits for love, and our minds true conduits for higher thoughts, then absolutely a divine birth takes place. Who we're capable of being emerges into the world, and weaknesses of the former self begin to fade. Thus are the spiritual mysteries of the universe, the constant process of dying to who we used to be as we actualize our divine potential.

We make moment-by-moment decisions what kind of people to be -- whether to be someone who blesses, or who blames; someone who obsesses about past and future, or who dwells fully in the present; someone who whines about problems, or who creates solutions. It's always our choice what attitudinal ground to stand on: the emotional quicksand of negative thinking, or the airstrip of spiritual flight.

Such choices are made in every moment, consciously or unconsciously, throughout the year. But this is the season when we consider the possibility that we could achieve a higher state of consciousness, not just sometimes but all the time. We consider that there has been one - and the mystical tradition says there have also been others - who so embodied his own divine spark that he is now as an elder brother to us, assigned the task of helping the rest of us do the same. According to A Course in Miracles, he doesn't have anything we don't have; he simply doesn't have anything else. He is in a state that is still potential in the rest of us. The image of Jesus has been so perverted, so twisted by institutions claiming to represent him. As it's stated in the Course, "Some bitter idols have been made of him who came only to be brother to the world." But beyond the mythmaking, doctrine and dogma, he is a magnificent spiritual force. And one doesn't have to be Christian to appreciate that fact, or to fall on our knees with praise and thanks at the realization of its meaning. Jesus gives to Christmas its spiritual intensity, hidden behind the ego's lure into all the wild and cacophonous sounds of the season. Beyond the nativity scenes, beyond the doctrinal hoopla, lies one important thing: the hope that we might yet become, while still on this earth, who we truly are.

Then we, and the entire world, will know peace.

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Posted by mwblog at 6:33 PM |


November 15, 2012

Love Letter to East Coasters

It can be difficult finding peace at a time of full tilt catastrophe. To many on the East Coast, the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy must feel like a cross too hard to bear. Why, you might ask yourselves, is your area of the country so often ground zero? Why are you the ones to be in the line of fire? And many of us, living far away from you geographically, can only say, "We love you. And thank you." We know you've sometimes taken the hit for what all of us have created.

But I assume that while you've experienced destruction, you've also been blessed by miracles. Destruction is usually material, while reconstruction begins on a spiritual plane -- not seen physically at first, but bursting forth like little knowings in the soul. I'm sure it's not easy -- in fact, the most brilliant dawns often emerge after nights of anxiety and anguish -- but there's no way you're not burning through layers of meaninglessness not just for yourselves but for all of us. I know you're learning in whole new ways what it means to live in community, to be there for each other, to survive without much of what you thought you needed in order to survive, to throw yourselves on God's mercy at a time when nothing or no one in the mortal world can lift you up in the way you feel you need, and to hug your kids like you've never hugged them before. From broken houses to broken hearts, you're having to sift through the debris of a world that needs to die now, and for the sake of all of us, make room in your hearts for some powerful new beginnings.

The rest of the country is doing what we can for you...praying, sending money and material help, definitely not turning away. And at least as importantly, we're bearing witness not only to your agony but to your courage. We deeply acknowledge the journey of sorrow you're having to take within yourselves -- not only to endure but to triumph, and ultimately to transcend the storm not only of Sandy but of the times in which we live.

I know I speak for many in sending you all the love in the world.

Marianne

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Posted by mwblog at 7:25 AM |


October 20, 2012

SISTER GIANT: Women, Non-Violence and Birthing A New American Politics


America keeps trying to fix itself by moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic. Clearly this isn't working, and people in the consciousness movement have some important clues why -- and what to do about it.

People involved in the inner journey discover the value of the feminine, or spiritually receptive and inclusive, aspect of human consciousness. Everyone archetypally is a parent to future generations. And a motherly love - putting the care of children before every other consideration -- is the ultimate intelligence of nature. Yes, women are homemakers -- and the entire earth is our home. Yes, we are here to take care of the children -- and every child in the world is one of our own. We have evolved to a point to be ready to say these things, in a meaningful way and with a collective voice. Making money more important than your own children is a pathological way for an individual to run their affairs, and it's a pathological way for a society to run its affairs.

But people often say to me, "I don't want to get involved with politics because it makes me upset. What am I supposed to do with the anger, the rage, the cynicism?"

Well, I know what we shouldn't do. We shouldn't use our own upset as an excuse for not helping. We shouldn't come up with a pseudo-spiritual excuse for turning away from the pain of the world. There is nothing spiritual about complacency.

These are very serious times, and serious people need to be doing some serious thinking. The last thing we should do is allow ourselves to be infantalized by a counterfeit version of enlightenment. No true search for enlightenment ignores the suffering of other sentient beings. Ever.

Albert Einstein said we would not solve the problems of the world at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. We need more than a new politics; we need a new worldview. We need a fundamentally different bottom line. We need to shift from an economic to a humanitarian organizing principle for human civilization. And women, en masse, should be saying so.

The US incarcerates more of its people than any nation in the world, or any nation in history. Our military budget is almost twice that of all other nations of the world combined. At 23.1 per cent, our child poverty rate is so high that it is second only to Romania among the 35 developed nations of the world. 17,000 children on earth die of starvation every single day. We are the only species systematically destroying its own habitat. And two billion people - almost a third of the world's population - live on less than 2 dollars a day. There's a lot more to those statistics than a simple "To Do" list can fix. Those facts will only change when we bring to our problem-solving a far more committed heart.

Currently, the U.S. Congress is comprised of 16.8 per cent women. Our State legislatures are comprised of 23.6 per cent women. Would our legislative priorities be what they are today - tending always in the direction of serving those with economic leverage first -- were those legislative bodies anywhere near gender equal? Would the "war on women" exist as it does now? Would child poverty - or poverty, period - be given such short shrift? I like to think not.

Yet there are understandable reasons for the lack of female participation in our electoral politics, not the least of which is that the entire political system is contrary to everything a feminine heart stands for. It lacks inclusion. It lacks poetry. It doesn't nurture. It doesn't love. And without those things, the feminine psyche disconnects.

Where does that leave us though, if we simply shudder at the thought of politics and then ignore it altogether? Talk about being co-opted by a patriarchal system! We will have gone from men telling us condescendingly to not bother our pretty little heads about important things like politics, to not bothering our pretty little heads without even being told not to! The suffragettes struggled and suffered so much on our behalf; what a travesty of everything they stood for, if we simply look away as though we can't be bothered.

And yet we should be bothered. Our challenge is to not look away, but rather to transform the field; to create a new political conversation, our own conversation, out of which we can speak our truth in our own way.

My hope and intention is that Sister Giant will be an incubator for the emergence of that new field of political possibility, entailing a new conversation about America and a serious sense of sisterhood. It will cover everything from psychological and emotional issues to a spiritual perspective on politics, to actually training women how to run for office. I want to be a cheerleader for women who have never considered running for office or being involved in a campaign, but who in the quietness of their hearts might think, "Why not me?"

As we awaken individually, we will act more powerfully collectively; legislation and political campaigns will embody a new kind of thinking only if we engage en masse. In the absence of our engaging the political system, we allow it to become something other than what we are. That in fact is what has happened, but it's also what we can change. For what we engage, we transform. And what we engage with our hearts is transformed forever.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the desegregation of the American South was the political externalization of the goal of the Civil Rights movement, but that the ultimate goal was the establishment of the beloved community. He said it was time to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of human civilization. He wasn't called a New Age nutcase or considered an intellectual lightweight for saying such things, and neither should we be. I don't think making love the new bottom line is naïve; I believe that thinking we can survive the next hundred years doing anything less, is naïve. Sister Giant is a place for anyone who agrees with that - male or female, from the political Left, the political Right or the political Center. It will, I hope, contribute to a new conversation, a new America and a new world.

Sister Giant

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Posted by mwblog at 7:46 AM |


August 5, 2012

MAY FREEDOM RING, EVEN ON THIS SAD DAY

It might sound a little cheesy to say this, but it's important to remember today that Americans are good people. All people are good, I think, and we are no different. The truth of who we are is decency and love.

What happened in Wisconsin on Sunday is a demonstration of our "shadow self" - a very ugly, racist energy that has plagued our country from its earliest days. We're no better or worse than any other country in this respect - nations have character defects just like individuals do - but ours was on full display when embodied by a crazy man who seemed to think, quite perversely, that he was defending America by killing those whose religious beliefs were not his own.

What is true, of course, is that the gunman was not defending us - rather, he was attacking us. By attacking those whose religious orientation is not the majority, he was attacking one of the fundamentals of our liberty: freedom of religion. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Whether a man believes in twenty gods or no god neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Whether the Sikhs want to worship in Wisconsin or the Christians want to worship in Texas or the Jews want to worship in New York, we're living under the magnificent umbrella of a Constitution that says we can.

What I hope we'll see now is a loud and fervent call by religious leaders in the United States - particularly Christians, because they are the majority - for religious non-judgment and love. Tolerance itself is not enough, for it still implies judgment. America at its best is an expansive mindset: an agreement that the point of freedom is not that those who think like we think and pray like we pray can feel at home here, but that all of us can feel at home here - because it is home to all of us.

That is freedom, that is America, and that is love.

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Posted by mwblog at 9:36 PM |