Yeshua bar Alaha is an invitation into a mystic faith that is all about "heart stretching"... If you are comfortable in either the doubt or the certainty of your faith, then it is probable that you've missed something important in the mystery of that very faith. Clinging to a Holy Book and devoutly reciting the definitions of your faith is the beginning: not the end! Following the "rules", likewise, is a beginning... Wasn't it the Dalai Lama who advised, "Learn the rules so you can break them effectively"?
In my imagining, the religion that really matters is the religion of "heart stretching": most of the rest is the "beginning", regardless if it is Jesus / Yeshua, the Buddha, Allah / Mohammed, the Torah, the Divinely Blue Krishna, Shakti, or the Earth Mother... There are at least three keys to this heart stretching: the first is meditation: emptying the mind of all it's flags blowing in the wind of consciousness. The average person has around 65,000 thoughts every day. The bulk of the average person's thoughts tend to be negative: so replacing those blowing flags with a gentle silence and the grace of a "One Thought Prayer" (such as Abba, Amma, Om-Hu) for even twenty minutes a day will get you away from "the beginning of faith" and out upon the Way...
The second key is identification: as with our mind, so too our actions. So long as we are stuck at the beginning point of faith, our actions will tend to be separated entirely from the Divinity we claim to adore. Take Yeshua bar Alaha (Aramaic for Jesus of the One, the language spoken by Jesus) as an example: can anyone really imagine him directing the flight of drones? Can anyone seriously square his teachings on wealth and poverty with global corporate exploitation and greed? Is there really someone who thinks that he would counsel a complete disregard for the well-being of the planet or of women and countenance the destruction of the environment and the oppression of women? And what about the stranger, the prisoner, or the homeless? Identification is the grunt work of transformation: taking the "is" and making of it a "was".
Finally, the third key: solidarity. Now, well on our Way upon the path, we have come to an awakening: "I am You, You are Me, and We are All Together, One". Or, in the words of Jesus / Yeshua, "Whatever you do to the very least person among you or allow to happen to anyone on this precious blue Planet, you do the exact same thing to me". And again, "Love one another just as I have loved you"... and once more, "I was hungry and you fed me". Solidarity is the "get out of jail card": out of the jail of personalities, cultures, religions, economics, and politics: out of the jail of our "small minds and base actions" into the bliss of pursued justice for everyone: it is the bowl of soup, the shelter, the education, the dignified work, the living wage, the equal rights, the reverence for Earth, the nonviolent kindness, the cooperative spirit, the gentle village harmony of simple abundance for all that is the fruit of unlimited "heart stretching"...
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.