The Mission, The Quest

January 1, 2006

If you cling to an idea as the inalterable truth, then when the truth does come in person and knock at your door, you will not be able to open the door and accept it.  -Udana Sutta

To continue our thoughts on mind influencing body, part of the serious work of Discovery has to do with impacting the mind/body connection bringing to it an aspect of spirituality. Now this spirituality has dimensions that may or may not be within the scope of what is commonly called spirituality. Often, we view spirituality and want to call it religion or denominationalism. While it is true that there are varieties of religious experience, not all religious denominations support various religious experiences on an individual basis.

So when I speak about the individual quest for the spiritual I am actually exploring the individual’s experience of the spiritual as an entity in solitude or isolation. It is entirely possible to be deeply spiritual and not be what is called religious. In point of fact, the great majority of people do identify themselves as spiritual and not be members of a religious organization.

All of us working in the area of spiritual development note there are two prongs to spirituality. The first is the individual’s “discovery” of self as a being whose essence is spiritual; the second is “ creation” out of the discovered spiritual-self, this creative _expression is almost always communal or directed into the community.

Or to use the poet, Khalil Gibran’s words from the PROPHET, “ Work is love made visible.” No matter the source of one’s spirituality the proper and appropriate creative _expression of that spirituality is within the larger human community. There is a mindless lack of comprehension of this simple basic fact among people who see the world only as they believe it to be, within such narrow strictures and definitions. Thus they fall into the error of believing the only spirituality is the way theirs is, they have cornered the market on insight and spiritual experience and others spiritual expressions as wrong. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The broader reality is that individuals who seek and find a deep spiritual existence are viritually compelled to seek the company of others for the care and well-being of the larger community. We find persons whose spiritual life is deeply reflected in their work to care for others, while creating the larger mechanisms to bring that care to all. So we find that individuals who are the most caring of the struggles of all human beings, cannot turn a blind eye to politics, social services,protection of the helpless, and care for the nourishing and health of all.

In a recent talk I gave two persons said, “ Keep your politics to yourself,” and, “clean up the corruption in your own states before you blame the government for the failures of Katrina.” All I could do was smile. By very definition of myself as a spiritual being, I MUST enter the body politic to speak against evil, harm, wrong to people… to do less is the same as turning my back on the money changers in the Temple, allowing the corruption and failures of the government to persist! As far as the harm and devastation of Katrina goes, who had a manual for the management of that, certainly no Mayor or Governor has ever had to cope with such a catastrophe. In point of fact, the only manual or handbook for that was developed by FEMA under the direction of President George W. Bush who ordered that agency into his plan for The Department of Homeland Security; placed a croney of his at the helm…and then while everyone was on vacation and doing campaign fund raising… let New Orleans drown, and the Gulf Coast wait for assistance.

In short days after the storm, many caring concerned, spiritual persons came to our aid, only to be turned away, or forced to wait. I have personal knowledge, that a FEMA contractor for feeding stations was told NOT to come to Pass Christian MS, even though that organization was prepared to leave within 24 hours of the storm. It was fully a month before that FEMA feeding station was brought to the area. For one full month this town waited for our government to get food and supplies to it…when it took only days to send the same to tsunami surviors around the world. We waited a month for food.

So for those who tell me clear corruption, or keep my politics out of it, I say: I cannot…I am compelled by my own spirituality to care for others..and I am clearing corruptions where I find it as quickly and mercilessly as I can!

Where then, do we begin in the spiritual quest?

Actually, the answer is very easy: turn inward. Begin first of all with your own mind and heart. If you have been reading these articles then you know I advocate sitting quietly, following the breath, clearing the mind, for 15 minutes in the morning, and another 15 minutes in the evening. Allow yourself time to sit, letting the stillness of your own breath soothe you, calming your heart and mind.

BREATHE, SIMPLY BREATHE.

Thoughts will arise, scary, angry, painful, loving, enticing thoughts will come…and you will notice your body change with the thoughts. Your body will respond to each changing thought. If you struggle with either the thought or the feelings you will trap yourself. Simply allow thoughts and bodily responses to move through you and drift away. Do this for a month…beginning now…and then journal about what happens. Write it down, all of it. At the end of a month, you may be astounded at what you discover…and what you think about creating based on that discovery!

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