Is a radiant life really possible -- or are we just fooling ourselves? Is there genuine reason for hope -- or are our shadows going to grow and overwhelm us and everyone on this precious blue Planet? Will the brilliant sun of justice and peace ever shine through us -- that we might finally create a Paradise on Earth? Or will the "principalities and powers" that dominate the political, economic, and cultural life upon this Planet have the final word -- and render our Home inhabitable?
Ah, these are questions that circle through my consciousness nearly everyday -- are you different from me? These questions seem to have more meaning than many others I could settle upon... but I don't linger any longer than necessary with them! "Power Questions" are vital reminders and motivators for intentional practice -- if it is true that enlightenment is always about the "other" and not a personal, isolated, self-realized ego...
I understand that many folks are tempted -- because of the stunning seriousness of power questions -- to seek to avoid thinking: and so they look for a savior, a leader, a new sexual encounter, a new car, a cold beer... anything that will give pause to thought... and the personal necessity for responsibility and action... But I also understand that avoidance is not life! Life lived to the fullest -- not in the simple attempt to accumulate pleasurable memories -- but in the passionate pursuit of the good and the beautiful for everyone, and this precious blue Planet as well, is the Key to radiance. Life lived as close to the core of "Only One" as possible -- is the Way of Yeshua, of Rumi, of Lalla, of Lao Tzu, and of all the great teachers throughout all of time. Action for social transformation is sustainable to the degree that our daily practice is one of honest intention: to become the change we are working for: to become the face of love and kindness: to become the voice for equality and justice: to become the sacred builders of the Paradise that is truly possible. Meditation, affirmation, dialogue, organizing -- using all of the tools available for a life of radiance gives birth to a radiant life... ah, and then finding your place among friends in community, building together, practicing together: the dark clouds of the dominator paradigm have had their day; through you, the Sun is going to shine...
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.