Everyone is buying... everyone is selling... something... anything... anyone...
Everyone is hungry... everyone is running... somewhere... anywhere...
With less and less time and space between shootings, between acts of terrorism, between justifications for war, greed, exploitation of the Earth, and oppression of untold millions of "invisible" peoples; what is a person to do?
What is a person to do when it feels as if both body and soul are at the point of an inevitable shredding? What is a person -- a young person -- to do when political leaders and corporate entities turn a blind eye to your future -- to the very future of this precious blue Planet? What is a person to do: sell out? Buy in? Cut and run? Or just wipe out? Is there any action at all that might salvage the remnants of Earth and Soul in a seemingly mad "end time"?
What if there is?
Would you accept that possibility and carry it as far as you can -- perhaps even, to the rest of your life?
Would you listen to one who gave 30 years of his life to a Soup Kitchen and the Homeless? Would those 30 years amount to a hill of beans in your mind's eye?
On the chance that you are reading this: with an affirmation in your mind, I am prepared to tell you that every breath that you breathe is of infinite value... I am here to let you know that these times -- your time -- is truthfully, sacred time: it will never get anymore sacred than right now in fact... I am here to let you know that you are powerful -- perhaps in spite of appearances: so powerful in fact, that the world trembles at your feet! Your power is the power of "Yes": "Yes! I will choose to believe you! And I will tell my friends and together we will form a Sacred Circle for prayer and meditation, for our own transformation and liberation, and while we are working on that, we will be working to change the world! The abuse of power sucks: we will resist. The worship of money sucks: we will build alternatives. The violence around everyone sucks: we will stand for nonviolence in every way. The selling of children for sex sucks: we will free the children. The selling of the Planet for short-term profit sucks: we will work for the preservation and restoration of this precious blue Planet. The oppression of women sucks: we will work for full equality and an end to domination. The bitter reality of continued racial prejudice, LGBT inequality, immigrant bashing, and concentration of privilege and power into fewer and fewer hands sucks: we will work for a complete social transformation... and while we are at all of this, we will also make love, we will practice beauty, we will write poetry, we will garden together, we will create music and works of art, we will build networks of possibilitarians and we will tell everyone that we can have a world with bread and roses for all... Don't sit back and watch us! Join us!"
The most radical act any human being can make is to consciously choose to love in her / his time and place. Looking squarely into the face of power, greed, injustice, exploitation, and violence, to choose to live by the eternal value of love-without-limits is the most radical act you can make. Sure, you could choose instead to "go along to get along"... but we both know that you would never be happy knowing you sold yourself out: selling out will simply mean that you will be swallowed up in the vast sweep of time: but choosing instead to leap from time into the timeless is where meaning, purpose, and your final happiness lies. Do not be afraid! You will be in good company! Your place is right there in the ranks of the revolutionaries and prophets: with Yeshua the Poet and Mary his Companion, with Rumi the Ecstatic, with Francis, Hildegard, Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. Cesar and Dolores, Nelson Mandela, Wangari, Dorothy, and Aung San Suu Kyi -- and crowds of others!
Will you help to stir the Soup?
Last night, perhaps to the consternation of a Facebook friend, I and another of her "friends" tangled in a discussion about feminism -- both of us being men with strong opinions, perhaps said as much as the many words that we wrote. In summary, "Al" insisted that equality was the thing and everything else essentially, in his words (or letters) "BS". I, on the other hand, wrote that to merely acquire equality in the workplace (equal pay and opportunity), while certainly of fundamental importance, it did not really even begin to address the systems in place that guarantee continued exploitation and oppression...
What do you think?
Equal pay and equal opportunity in Detroit or Silicon Valley would be absolutely great for American women! That much is true. But feminism can't be limited to the workplace on American soil: we know from experience that many -- perhaps most -- corporations are wedded to their "bottom lines": at some point, those same corporations think globally in terms of both production and marketing (profit)... and corporation after corporation adopts their "global strategy" which inevitably includes cheaper labor somewhere other than these American shores. Equal pay does not mean very much in Vietnam, Mexico, or Malawi... So feminism also must take a global view, right?
As a white male, I am like most other American white males: my education (or lack of) in feminism is dependent upon the women in my life... and I might read a few books... but how many men have actually experienced sexism first hand? How many men (white men in particular) have experienced the systems that are in place that have institutionalized patriarchy and domination (huh?)? How aware are men of exploitation and oppression -- from the perspective of an African woman (what?)? How many men have felt a call to a vocation to the priesthood in the Catholic Church -- and been denied the opportunity because, specifically, of their gender (Oh, give me a break! It's their Church so they can make the rules!)?
Ah, so in a round-about-way, we have reached the nub of feminism: who made the rules and who is making the rules? With few exceptions, men have made, and are continuing to make, all of the essential rules of life on Planet Earth. Even a middle-school level examination of religion, culture, economics, and politics will find this to be true: which translates into the fact that roughly 50% of the world's population at any given time has little real power: thanks to the struggles of the feminist movement there have been, and continue to be, changes being made.
Attempting to go deeper still, we must consider all of the spiritual / psychological ramifications of what Dr. Riane Eisler calls the "Dominator Paradigm". Unraveling the history of domination: exploitation and oppression: is an aspect of the work of feminism. But even more important than this undertaking is that of the articulation of a new vision for our common humanity. There is no way of knowing -- in absolute terms -- that anything would be different now if "women had been in charge". Nevertheless, we can ponder how our collective psychology / spirituality would be different if never had a woman been burned at the stake for worshipping the Goddess; if never a woman had been raped as the spoils of war; if never economics had disadvantaged women and women of color; if never the decision-making had been made without the active participation of half of our communities. What if no man had ever imagined "Original Sin"? What if no woman had ever been blamed for all of our troubles? And what if a woman had been given by the Goddess as Savior?
I'm curious as to what you might be thinking...
"It is love alone that gives worth to all things." -- St. Teresa of Avila
While it might seem strange to some for a quote from a Christian contemplative-mystic to be aligned with a reproduction of a painting by Klimt: it is to me a perfect companion piece. Why? The original of this painting no longer exists: it was destroyed by the Nazi's as obscene and decadent. In a way, today's conservatives are continuing this aspect of the Nazi's work: everything -- particularly gay love -- is judged through the lens of domination: women are subservient to men, violence is acceptable even if it fails to produce the result one desire's, the earth exists for exploitation, and the privileged and powerful have -- not only the right -- but the "sacred" responsibility to dictate by whatever means necessary the lives of everyone weaker than them. Gay love especially is a flash-point for the dominator's: why again?
The simple answer would be to say that "Holy Scripture" says so: "Thou shalt not..." Some propose to speak for Yeshua-Jesus himself (though there is nothing recorded by him on the topic): again: "Thou shalt not..." And yet, and yet... This preoccupation with a free genital expression of love, delight, and pleasure -- between consenting adults -- is weird: I mean, why not pick a few words that Yeshua-Jesus did say like, "Love one another as I have loved you" or "Whatever you do to the very least of your brothers and sisters, you do to me" or "I was hungry and you fed me" or "Blessed are you poor" and completely focus one's political-religious passion on that instead?
I'll tell you why conservatives won't (almost to a person) take up any of these other words of Yeshua-Jesus instead of focusing on what someone is doing with their genitals: is it sexual repression? Is it fear? Is it...? No: it's trepidation... It's a near-mystical insight: but one that falls short: maybe we got it wrong. Maybe the Love that started all this loving to begin with is really Wild... maybe what we have between our legs are not sins waiting to happen, but sweet miracles wanting to give delight and love... maybe religion is not at all about sins and failings but about surrender and adoration... maybe we are supposed to liberate one another through compassion and kindness... maybe we are, really and truly, each and every one of us, "created by Love, for Love, to become Love"...
Backing away from the expansiveness of this near-mystical insight: we have judgment and religion. We have greed, violence, exploitation, and every other manifestation of the Dominator Paradigm: we have Death. Always and everywhere: where Death dominates, the weakest are marginalized, oppressed, or exterminated: remember, the Nazi's didn't invent death camps. The way forward? Simply sit. Invite the Presence of Spirit into your heart. Accept that Presence as Sacred. The only Realization that awaits: You are Everyone and Everyone is You: Practice Kindness, Compassion, Justice, Gentleness: and like the Master: repeat more than any other words that you speak: "Pass no judgment"... and a brand new world will open before your very eyes as you stand up and walk out into the world: will this make you gay? No, of course not, you silly one you! But it will make you happy! Pass it on...
If there is any possibility for peace and reconciliation among peoples, it will finally come through an in-flow of Sophia-Wisdom... perhaps, we might aid this wisdom of the Divine Feminine by cherishing and living the beauty and radical kindness of these words from St. John of the Cross: "One should first know that God sustains every soul and dwells in it substantially even though it may be that of the greatest sinner in the world. This union between God and creatures always exists." This is the wisdom of the Mother who loves -- no, adores -- each and every one of Her children equally... The soul's journey of Remembrance is through every veil of separation... into the Oneness of Realization: "I am You, You are Me, and We are All Together: One"... The very center of our individualized self is Oneness: the very center of Reality is: Oneness... That is our home... That is the dream of peace and justice that inflames our minds and hearts...
The in-flow of Sophia-Wisdom continues... "The transformation of the soul in God is indescribable. Everything can be expressed in this statement: The soul becomes God from God through participation in him and in his attributes." (St. John of the Cross) In the fluid mystery of Oneness, the Soul and Source, in Love, for love, and by Love, gives possession of Itself to the Other: this exchange is a transformation that re-creates both in Love... This is our destiny! This is also incredibly radical economics, politics, culture, and religion!
There is no greater need than that of our transformation -- through the art of remembrance -- into Love through Oneness. Look around you! Folks with assault rifles slung across their backs walk into supermarkets: it's just a hop, skip, and a jump before they are crazily shooting at "their enemies" just like the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq and Syria... just like the Israelis and Palestinians... just like... and on and on... And yet, and yet, we are all brothers and sisters from the One Source, returning to the very same One Source... And the same goes for the Koch brothers and the rest of the 1% folks: we are all sisters and brothers therefore justice should make evident compassion, mercy, and kindness... We live in a world that celebrates division, that cultivates greed, that fosters disharmony as cultural, religious, and political imperatives: for "me" to be "right" requires that "you" be "wrong"! And yet, we live, move, and have our being in One Love: the transformation that is both possible -- and that we seek -- will naturally follow after our self-emptying: everything goes: opinions, attachments, prejudices, fears, ideas of power, independence, and affluence, etc. And into this now divine vacuum, is an unleashing of Radical Desire: "I care, therefore I am!" The cultivation of Beauty, Kindness, Equality, Justice, and Peace re-directs both personal behavior and the policies and practices of social, political, religious, and economic institutions: "I am You, You are Me, and We are All Together: One": and we will awaken into the New Morning of Transformation...
We do not understand that life is paradise, for it suffices only to wish to understand it, and at once paradise will appear in front of us in all its beauty. -- Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Now, imagine paradise: a world of peace, equality, and justice. Imagine a city in which the marginalized are brought in from the edges into the heart of a community. Imagine each of our individualized lives focused on the daily practice of beauty. What would all of this look like? Imagine: there is no news on the internet, in the newspapers, or on the TV about suicide bombers or terrorists anywhere! They have all been transformed into radical possibilitarians who jump out and surprise us with street theatre and random acts of art and compassion. Imagine: multinational corporations divesting and investing in local cooperatives, family farms, indigenous cultures, and technologies with a "human face". Imagine: religious leaders hightailing it out of their power centers and earning their living among the people and teaching peace by being peacemakers on the streets. Imagine: every political operative and propagandist everywhere suddenly changed into animators of the common good. Imagine: the grand human purpose of creating paradise on earth, with peace and justice for all, inspiring, motivating, and guiding all the days of our lives. So, is your sacred imagination going to make you live with all of your passionate possibilities fully engaged?
A Simple Story
Imagine a Soup Kitchen, a Day Shelter, and the daily gathering of addicts and dealers, the dispossessed and abandoned, a motley crew of volunteers, a few Catholic Workers, on the streets of Chinatown... could be just about anywhere, U.S.A. But it's not anywhere, it's John Steinbeck's East of Eden, his Grapes of Wrath, and Sweet Thursday and Pastures of Heaven all rolled into one in Salinas... still... onto this scene, into this group, there's the hope of a dozen or so of folks waiting / wanting to "Come Home"... There's a Hawaiian kicking bad attitudes and a long hard story... a Philadelphia lonely heart, a couple of drag queens, a few lost souls scrounging around for some dignity, moms who've lost kids, a other men with resentment and anger up the wazoo... well, you get the picture... Now, add to that mix, some children and community volunteers all leaving Chinatown together for a retreat in the Santa Cruz redwoods at the Quaker Center... ah! It should all have been filmed!
It is a misnomer, though, to write of this as a retreat when it was an advance through and through... Fifty miles after leaving town, ump-teen foul words, plus a few threats and bad jokes later, we arrived... rooms were assigned, instructions given... and the week-end began... Imagination did Herself real good that week-end: you know when Imagination has hit a home run when everyone comes to believe the "impossible" is an exciting opportunity to work some magic... just roll up the sleeves of your heart and set to work. Walks, talks, music, yoga, art, cooking, eating, relaxing, and dreaming together... from "homeless" to "welcome home"... List all the possibilities and all the fears and all the histories of smashing defeat... in each other's hearts we discover our secret identities and the truth of "no difference" and "Only One" and into "One Love"... Meditation: and re-birth into miracle... as is our wont, we massaged a meditation into a "Being Home Exercise"...
We gathered in our circle, and we began, and we began, each person within her / his own heart: "May I be happy, May I be safe, May I be healthy, May I be wanted", following the words deep inside... and next, turning to the person on one's left, "Tony", "May you be happy, May you be safe, May you be healthy, May you be wanted"... and then, again, back inside each one, focusing on an "opponent" or "enemy": "May ... be happy, May ... be safe, May ... be healthy, May ... be wanted"... Finally, together again, we bless everyone and this entire precious blue Planet, "May all be happy, May all be safe, May all be healthy, May all be wanted"...
We hope that this simple story will stay with you -- but especially that this "Being Home Exercise" is something that you will practice, share, and teach in every circle to which you belong... and if there is one over-arching theme to these reflections, for us it is "Welcome Home": whatever your grief, your pain, your life experience has been, "welcome home"... whatever you dream of, hunger for, or your life's work has been, "welcome home"... all of our human stories are scripture, sacred scripture, and we bring them all with us, from our acres and acres of desolation and hopelessness, into the deep green goodness of our "welcome home" into the paradise of "Ah! the puzzle pieces do fit!"
Finally, here's the thing: every "other" is another manifestation of the Holy One, the One Love: every LGBT, every "illegal immigrant", every Muslim, every Jew, every minority, every person of "color", every child, every woman, everyone on the margins, is Divinity Incarnate! Every institution must be transformed to serve justice. Every institution or organization is legitimate only to the degree that it serves the full development and liberation of every person. Every person lives under the obligation to work -- to struggle as needed -- to transform their home-life, their work-place, their organization, their neighborhoods, communities and cities, their faith communities, their social clubs, their educational institutions, their cultural associations, their economic policies and practices, and their political institutions in accordance with justice, equality, kindness, compassion, equal opportunity, and equal access to the forums and means of power. This is true faith and genuine religion! This is the love-in-action that thrills the Sacred Heart of the Holy One! This love is the turn-key to direct mystical experience. This love opens the door to a radical interior transformation into identification with the Holy One -- until there is Only One, One Love! This love is the meaning of life! Live! Live! Live fully alive!
The Fourteenth Mindfulness Training
Aware of the graciousness of the sun and of this precious blue Planet and of Her great and abundant life, I will live in gratitude and with enthusiasm for the opportunity to love, to love so profoundly that I might become Love myself. I will honor those on the journey of life with me by my steady practice of kindness and remembrance. I will strive to Kiss More and Laugh Often!
Light upon the path... to where? Where are these Mindfulness Trainings, where are these reflections, leading? Our answer is simple: they are all leading into, deeper and deeper, into the human heart... We have learned from our own brokenness, as from our passions and joys, it is only in our hearts that we will find the possibility of well-being and happiness that we hunger for. These Mindfulness Trainings and reflections are a call to come together in the only "place" that offers the hope of Planetary transformation...
So, this particular reflection is primarily going to focus on the spiritual / political necessity of "embracing our heart / embracing every heart"... herein lies the Path into the future and the transformation we dream...
Enter the Heart
The "awareness" and "awakening" implied -- or promised by the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings is a "quantum shift in consciousness". Nothing less is going to get us moving! The Mindfulness Trainings assume the practitioner has no desire to be spun into oblivion -- but desires, instead, liberation for everyone and all life on this Planet. This is a tall order indeed, but the only one worthy of our humanity and personhood.
The Mindfulness Trainings assume we are making some effort to live with integrity. That is good! Let's dig a little deeper and find the door that opens onto the paradise Dostoevsky wrote of... what does the paradise of your imagination look like? For us, the first thing that comes to mind is harmlessness: a home and garden where safety, respect, kindness, mercy, and compassion are the practice... no fear and never a reason to fear... Next, truthfulness: integrity and honesty... Then, non-possessiveness: realizing that everything is a gift which we cannot steal, manipulate, control, dominate, or even own, we can finally practice our freedom -- and allow others the very same freedom... every need is met in the satisfaction of sufficiency... The well-being of "paradise sufficiency" will come to pervade the entirety of one's consciousness: non-attachment liberates one into the simplicity of a radiant delight: desire and pleasure are no longer ends in themselves (no longer in the service of ego), and so may now take their rightful place in the sacred circle of well-being: in every way, we have been created by Love, for Love, to become Love: the loving gift of delight is core to the fullness of life... Paradise is our awakening into the realization that we have always been, are now, and always will be "individualized units of the One Love Consciousness"...
Mindful yoga, breathing, walking, service, meditation, contemplation, ecstasy, intention, organizing for justice, peace, equality, and environmental reverence and stewardship are each and all ways of making love within the days of your life: by making love we steadily become love, by becoming love we awaken to the fullness of our deepest and truest identity... Each of these attitudes and practices serve as "keys" to unlock and enter the vast realm of our hearts... Of course, every step forward comes with the risk of momentary failure! But contrary to the perspective of fundamentalists, none of this nor life itself, is a "pass or fail" test: it's more like a slow unveiling: under all the "cloth" of our illusions and delusions, there is only the perfect beauty of One Love...
There are three overarching "actions" required for entry into, and then a radical life, in the heart: 1) We need to manifest by thought-word-action the real Reality of Only One, One Love, in our everyday lives. These manifestations will happen (or not) in our homes, our relationships, at work, in recreation, in our diets, in our politics -- in every aspect / part of our lives. Peace, justice, compassion, mercy, equality, gentleness, passion, harmlessness, beauty, service, empathy (you get the drift) are the means for manifesting our love / One Love. We are meant to become the channels and agents of One Love upon this precious blue Planet! 2) We need to clearly, demonstrably, intend towards greatness. Hafiz wrote, at the conclusion of a poem, "Act great"! In other words, we need to fill our minds with the words and images of people like Yeshua the Poet, Rumi, Francis, Gandhi, Hildegard, Mirabai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Dorothy Day, Wangari Maathai, Mandela, Dolores Huerta, Evo Morales, the Berrigans, Julia Butterfly Hill, and such a long list of others: join your name and daily life to this list! Don't settle for what you (or someone else) might think possible -- Act Great! -- and greatness and transformation will follow! 3) Steps one and two will be sustainable only -- or exactly -- to the degree that we practice number three: affirm the truth, beginning with yourself and then flowing out about you and on into the Universe. Our minds are crammed full of crap -- so start with the words of the Shulammite in the Song of Songs: "I am beautiful!" The "average" person has around 65,000 thoughts a day -- we are not going to change the world until we change our minds! It is as simple and clear as that. To clear your head, turn off every advertiser, turn off every divisive political pundit or religious preacher: stop buying all the crap they want you to sell your soul for! You've got to ask the question, "What am I worth?" And then you've got to answer with no ambiguity whatsoever, "I am worth the very best! I am worth Love!" And then the door into your heart will swing open: because you believe that you are worth the very best, that you are worth Love, you are no longer afraid, and you can stand aside and let everyone else enter the Garden of Paradise before you! That's the Key to Transformation: none of this is about you: it is all about the Other: every Other! It is about Every Other receiving a "Welcome Home!" No exceptions, and no one left out. When you have gotten out of the way, the Holy One has room to maneuver! When She starts moving all the furniture in your mind aside, you know She's gonna let loose with One-heck-of-a-free-for-all-passion-dance through all the cells of your mind, ripping and shredding all the way down into only the possibility of "you"... but then "you've" circled back Home to Only One, One Love...
The Thirteenth Mindfulness Training
Aware of the One Love alive in my heart, I commit my life to Beauty and Kindness and to the manifestation of Only One in how I think, speak, and act. I will act great and become an instrument of transformation for everyone and for this incredibly precious blue Planet! This is my joy!
"For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life."
-- President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
What President Kennedy said in 1961 still holds true today -- which is a terribly sad commentary on the decades since his election. "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are not clothed." -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower Clearly though, this is not the just the fault of governments: we are all complicit because we are all involved in every way, especially through economics, through everything that we either buy or sell... It is not our "charities" that define us, rather, it is the sum total of our "political" connections: look at your shoes: where were they made? Consider the food that you eat: how local are the farmers who are working for you? Are all of the workers with whom you are connected being paid a living wage? Do your representatives consider the rights of the Planet and of the children who will be alive seven generations from now?
According to the United Nations approximately 30,000 children under the age of five die of hunger and diseases related to malnutrition every day... While at the very same time, the assets of 3 families, Bill Gates, the Walton's, and the Sultan of Bunei have a combined wealth of around 135 billion dollars -- equaling the income of 600 million people living in the world's poorest countries: yet, each of these 600 million persons are of equal value to the Big Three...
Okay, so we have this Twelfth Mindfulness Training, but what is it that we really want? We very seriously ponder this question... as did Mahatma Gandhi, one example from among many others... Huh? What is it that we really want, we ask again? Only too aware of the subtle power of our Shadows, we must pause before the Altar of Power... Is it here that we secretly, yet truly, wish to kneel? Gandhi, upon the liberation of India could have acquired the Presidency, Prime Minister-ship, or Kingship of his beloved Mother Land. What did he do instead? He fasted for peace, for nonviolence, for reconciliation.. he refused Power, and instead chose Place... the only place for the Lover of the One, for the Servant of All, to stand is in Peace: in the "not yet" of the New Creation, in the only rEvolution that matters... Gandhi walked away from the seductive lure of the Dominator Paradigm and into the Divine Wholeness that is even now, once again, being born upon this precious blue Planet: This Is What We Want!
So the question this Mindfulness Training proposes is how do we get a little bit closer to "there"? Consider this: "Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: 'We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs'... From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says 'Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice'. Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God... In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace." -- Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870 (The original Mother's Day Proclamation) [Note: their was no call for anyone to buy cards or to send flowers: the call was to action for peace!]
Again, we are confronted with the need for the beginning of a Plan for Action... we might begin with these salient points: 1) Practice Beauty -- in a world confronting massive disparities of wealth and power... in a world being crushed by violence and injustice... and in a world failing to confront the haunting specter of global climate change: we desperately need to fashion meaning and purpose through an active reverence for our place... 2) Practice the 'One Love Blessing' daily -- there is no more radical an action than that of blessing everyone and everything and willing the very best for everyone (even one's "enemies")... an activated intention is an open door into creative possibilities... 3) Network and collaborate -- division is the way of domination, exploitation, and oppression: by the practice of unity the world will change... 4) Cultivate a Contemplative Consciousness -- in a world addicted to "entertainment", contemplation is an overt revolt! Garden, slow cook, read and write poetry, learn how to play a musical instrument, practice yoga, meditate... 5) Free Sensuality -- in a world cluttered with sexism and domination: learn how to relax and enjoy your body! Giving and receiving pleasure in the mutuality of dedicated delight is our birthright! 6) Enter Sophia / Wisdom -- in a world serving the Dominator Paradigm: make room for the Divine Feminine! Intuition, service, compassion, kindness, equality, reverence, justice, Earth-centered, and commitment are essential tools of manifesting our Original Blessing of Oneness...
"With the power of motherhood within her, a woman can influence the entire world. The love of awakened motherhood is a love and compassion felt not only toward one's own children, but toward all people, animals and plants, rocks and rivers -- a love extended to all beings. " -- Amma
"Our Mother the Earth needs our help... It is time to gather the women to save the world." -- Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach." -- Clarissa Pinkola Estes
"I give you a large piece of paper, and ask you to fold it over once, and then take that folded paper and fold it over again, and then again, and again, until you have refolded the original paper 50 times. How tall do you think the final stack is going to be?" If it were possible to do, "the stack would be as the distance to the sun. And if you folded it over one more time, the stack would be as high as the distance to the sun and back." The tipping point occurs when a critical number of people embrace a new idea, value, or perception... -- Michael Gladwell
In summary, patriarchy and every aspect of the Dominator Paradigm, is going to be transformed: by you! By us! From the inside out, from the bottom up! This is already happening -- it is happening all around us, everywhere. Sacred Circles have been forming all across and around this precious blue Planet. Women and men are gathering and standing for peace and justice, for the children and for the Earth. We are on the verge of tipping, finally, and returning to where we wanted to be all along... we are just about to the door of our Home...
"Suppose it never, ever comes true, and there is no paradise... well, I'll go on preaching. And yet how simple a matter it is: in one day, in one hour it could all be brought about at once! The chief thing is to love others as oneself, that's the main thing, and that's it -- absolutely nothing more is necessary: you would immediately discover how to bring it about." -- Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
The Twelfth Mindfulness Training
Aware of the failure of the dominator paradigm, I am choosing to write a new story with my life: it will be a story of Divine, and Every kind, of connection. It will be a story of fraternity with this precious blue Planet and with a beautiful future for every child. It will be a story of gratitude, sufficiency, graciousness, and harmony. It will be a story of Beauty and Paradise, wild with passion and infinite possibilities! Watch me!
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.