In the ancient days
when the Earth was Mother of Life,
there was balance visible everywhere --
this balance ruled the affairs of the human community
as the seasons ruled the lives of all the creatures...
The ancients knew the virtue of patience --
anxiety never hastened the time of the rising sun.
The ancients knew the virtue of honesty --
a lie could never heal someone who was hurt.
The ancients knew the virtue of hospitality --
and so were always prepared to share
with a stranger, a neighbor, or a god.
The ancients knew the virtue of kindness --
and so could welcome their days with anticipation.
The ancients knew the virtue of conversation --
listening deeply to the dreams, fears, and stories
of family, friends, neighbors, and strangers
they arrived at the core of community
and could welcome everyone home.
The way of the simpleton
is the steady practice of the five virtues --
and so she arrives one day, quite unexpectedly,
at the door of the Infinite...
Compassion is the key to the life that you truly dream of: to love and to be loved. Every core practice of the mystic path, from mindfulness to social action, from invocation to meditation, from gathering in sacred circles to street organizing, have the power to effect personal or social transformation to the exact degree that they are inspired and informed by compassion. Nothing alters this basic orientation of the Universe: for the act of creation itself began as a movement of compassion: Love hungered for love: Love created out of the compassionate need to give and give and give: to give endlessly... We mirror Love when we respond to life -- to the moments as they occur -- with love-in-action: compassion. Compassion is the essence of the Holy One: "Boundlessly Compassionate, Boundlessly Merciful": without end, without limits... The mystic-activist intuits / experiences this great truth and makes it the centerpiece of her / his new life of radiance: compassion becomes her religion, compassion becomes his politics... Compassion is the "bridge" spanning the gulf of the isolated self to the Paradise of Unity with all beings, with all creation, and with the Holy One in all Her Beauty, Mystery, and Majesty...
In the final analysis, all that will have mattered about our lives are those moments in which we ceased to exist in ourselves and lived only for another... so if you are still breathing, you still have time...
Awareness can sort of creep up and surprise you when on a long walk surrounded by river sounds, bird songs, and humble beauty... mindfulness is breathing in reverence and breathing out adoration... this gentle movement brings delight to the soul...
Cultivating adoration for the moments of your life is the source of serenity and bliss... when adoration becomes your secret identity, every breath becomes a kiss: and then "kiss more" seduces your mind onto the path of descent: you descend deeper and deeper into the essence, the mystic experience, of atoms and Universes whirling in the infinite delight of Only One... One Love...
Being in Only One is the Invitation you receive with your every breath... and with your last breath, still the same... mindfulness is really a "saturation exercise": every breath: Only One: from this Source: Beauty... Justice... Compassion... Kindness... Mercy... Harmlessness... Only One is the rEvolution birthing transfiguration: the Path of Delight... take off your shoes, feel the earth between your toes... place your mind (like a ball) on the ground in front of you... give it one swift kick... start walking...
Choices! A young woman in Egypt posted on facebook something like: "I, a girl, am going to the Square. I will stand." One girl started a revolution -- and like every revolution, one still in the making. A group of young women in Russia recognized the many injustices in their country -- and having no power, chose to mock the "power" of the agents of the dominator paradigm running both Church and State. Arrested, shackled, jailed, and "tried" -- sentenced to two years in a Russian prison -- they are nevertheless heroic figures now all around the world... while Putin will be mocked forever... How many times was Gandhi jailed? How many times was Martin Luther King, Jr. jailed? How many times was Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Dorothy Day, and Daniel Berrigan jailed? How many years did Nelson Mandela "enjoy the hospitality" of South African prisons? How many years did Aung San Suu Kyi spend in house arrest in Burma? Each one of these many heroic figures chose to act as free women and men -- each in their own way challenging the "power" of the systems and agents of the dominator paradigm. Each will be remembered and cherished as co-creators of the Beloved Community that will inherit the Earth.
Choices! We each possess the power of our lives, of our voices, of our collective wills to become activated for global transformation. We may not be given the responsibility / opportunity to suffer jail for our conviction that a new world is possible -- but we are required to use our voices and our votes! It is imperative that the power-agents behind Romney/Ryan not be victorious at the polls. If you value the dream of equality and justice for all -- no Republican should be elected to any office anywhere -- not that Democrats are the bees-knees -- but if Romney gets a couple of appointments to the Supreme Court it might be a generation before the possibility of change presents itself again.
Choices! The most important choice of all is the choice to gather with others in small "sacred circles" to organize, to build communities of radiance and mindfulness, to activate compassion and explore dynamic possibilities for the emerging culture of reverence, adoration, and peace! I imagine these sacred circles encircling this entire precious blue Planet and networking to deepen our collective awakening... I'm in! Where are you? Together Towards One Love!
Glancing at the news again... everywhere there is endless pain, suffering, and misery... much, if not most, caused by human action / inaction... even our precious blue Planet is crying out in an all-consuming grief... can you hear these groans of exhausting anguish?
And yet... and yet...
Even the terror of our collective suffering can not drown the sighs of love that are also everywhere... everywhere the flowers still tremble at the touch of bee or butterfly... everywhere the flight of birds still ripple the symphonic tendencies of breezing atoms... everywhere minds are opening to the possibilities of compassion... everywhere hands are opening in the gift of sacred action... Soup is on the stove and demonstrators are in the streets... In this very moment: all is lost... and all is found: in your courage to open... to surrender... to serve... to adore... to take root in every possibility for Love... this is exactly where hope resides: in you.
So, when next you glance at the news, tell someone, tell anyone, that hope is assured... good is assured... kindness is assured... justice is assured... because you are here... Beauty will save the world... and One Love Blessing is coursing about this precious blue Planet: because you are...
What were you made for? Is there a purpose to your being? What are you living for? What value do you place on others / on every other / on the Possibility of The One? These are a few of the core questions which indicate the movement of consciousness within a person! How we answer (or not) these questions indicate not only the movement of consciousness, but the stirring possibility of an evolutionary leap taking place within one person -- for all of humanity!
While fundamentalists of every stripe busy themselves with mindlessness and conservatism, the vangard of the new humanity engage in an active pursuit of mindfulness and engagement: mindfulness is evidenced by a re-orientation from "it's about my salvation" to "it's about our solidarity"; and engagement is evidenced by significant steps away from "it's about my success" to "it's about our liberation and full development". Politics and religion have become a vast field of "play for me, and play for power" -- to the sad detriment of both humanity and this precious blue Planet. But all is not yet lost!
There is a Planetary movement taking place at this very moment: it begins with women: full equality in every way with men (especially in religion, politics, and economics) is no longer an option: it is the future. Secondly, awareness of the inter-connectedness between our Planet, all of life, all of the support systems necessary for life, and of humanity is growing rapidly all around the world. Climate change is spurring this awareness, but of equal importance to environmentalism, is the third great sign of this Planetary movement: the burgeoning interest in the Divine Feminine. The old male-dominated religions are aghast at the return of the Divine Mother -- they thought they had killed her off thousands of years ago! This Planetary movement is being nurtured by the personal commitment of untold millions of "sacred activists" who are gathering into "circles" of mutual aid, intentional community, service and activism -- that these circles are not pursuing elected office sustains the illusion that they have no significant power to effect social change... but they are the invisible yeast working from within to create a sustainable and radical transformation... steadily advancing towards the inevitable "tipping point" where sudden and rapid change will be manifested everywhere in many incredible ways!
The Tea Partiers are aiming to take over Congress... the Sacred Activists are aiming to re-direct the course of human history... the first will become a blip on the screen of our story... the second is going to set about writing a brand new book!
Now, where do you stand?
The way of the simpleton
is like the way of water -- always going down...
this essential movement is a great virtue --
and the beginning of wisdom...
This way really isn't a secret
although it can seem so because it is mostly hidden from the view of those in a hurry "up"...
Sometimes in ages past, the ancients would say,
"You must become as a water-strider. Watch and
learn how to rest in the flow and how to move
only when the moment is right... become one with
the water: breathe as it breathes, serve as it serves." This is how the ancients viewed
the Universe... Why should you bother reading this? I could say because I know you are not satisfied, but really, it is for a much better reason...
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.