"Strive to become the true human being: one who knows love, one who knows pain. Be full, be humble, be utterly silent, be the bowl of wine passed from hand to hand."
"If the deepest ground of my being is love, then in that very love itself and nowhere else will I find myself, and the world, and my brother, and Christ. It is not a question of either / or but all-in-one." -- Thomas Merton
"It is our suffering, our broken heart, that gives us insight into the suffering of others." -- Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
"We must penetrate into the interior of our heart if we are to find the door that opens on Paradise." -- St. Isaac the Syrian
Yeshua the Poet was not a liar. When he said, "I was hungry and you fed me" he was declaring the Holy One's eternal solidarity with all those persons for whom to live means to suffer. He was stating with stark simplicity that the tender and merciful love of the Holy One is always approachable, always humble, and always filled with "pregnant anticipation" of our arrival at the places of the poor, and then the discovery of our own poverty in their hearts... As modern mystic-activists, our vision and steady practice is one of complete identification with the Other, with Every Other... It is not for ourselves that we meditate, it is not for ourselves that we serve free meals, it is not for ourselves that we revere the earth and practice harmlessness as much as possible, it is not for ourselves that we organize for justice and demonstrate for equality and peace, and it is not for ourselves that we enter into the mystery of prayer -- we are the bowl of wine passed from hand to hand... in imitation of the Poet who said "Take this cup, this cup of my broken heart, and drink."
"If change is to come, it will come from the margins... It was the desert, not the temple, that gave us the prophets."
-- Wendell Berry
A Guided Meditation:
As random thoughts enter your mind... gently return your attention to your Sacred Center -- that deep, interior, secret place within your heart -- when calmly centered, recite the Three Jewels of Refuge: I take refuge in the Holy One... I take refuge in Love... I take refuge in Service for Justice and Peace... and for this precious blue Planet... With each breath, love the Universe... love the Holy One, our Beloved Friend... With each breath, cease to exist in separation from any part or particle of the Universe... Only One, Only One, Only One... Let Light radiate outward from your heart-center, into the air about you, expanding to encompass this entire precious blue Planet, outward into the furthest reaches of the Universe, finally to merge with the Original Light, the First Thought: Only One, Only One, Only One...
Hear the whirl of both atoms and time and the endless dance of creation... Only One, Only One, Only One... Surrender into Adoration: One Love, One Love, One Love... Slowly return to everyday consciousness... Breathe in Love, breathe out Blessing... Breathe in Love, Breathe out Blessing upon Everyone and Everything. Become an open channel of blessing upon the world. Rise up and take your Love into the marketplace... Start a revolution... Invite others into the Mystery... Teach: Kiss More... Resist power in all its manifestations... Practice Beauty... Practice Nonviolence... Imagine Paradise... Start a garden... Feed the hungry... Make art... Make love... Remember the children... Write creative new stories of possibilities... Don't wait for someone to lead you... You are the One we've all been waiting for...
"Day and night, be aware
with each breath,
and live there." -- Lalla
"Great knowledge sees all in one.
Small knowledge breaks down into the many." -- Chuang Tzu
"My occupation: love. It's all I do."
-- St. John of the Cross
"All creation is gifted with the
ecstasy of God's light...
Gaze at the beauty of earth's greenings..."
-- Hildegard of Bingen
There Is Only One!
Love Every One!
Feed Every One!
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.