Wisdom invites us to take up the Mindfulness Trainings, because in our moments of heightened awareness, we know that sooner or later we will forget... and in our frequent states of forgetfulness we need "light on our path"... We search out many Sources and they are all true, deep, and good... Yeshua the Poet has stories and counsel, Rumi has poetry for the mid-night soul, Dorothy has a strong hand and a potato-peeler to lend... and Thich Nhat Hahn, through the suffering of war and exile, came to the liberating insight that we are all One: One Reality, One Love: One Circle of Inter-Being: and so first presented, and continues to teach, the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings...
The "Inter-Spirituality" Mindfulness Trainings that will be presented here through the next fourteen burninghand blogs are an outgrowth of thirty years of community formation and experience: both successes and failures. It is our conviction that "Sacred Circle Formation" -- intentional community -- needs a spiritual "common ground" in order to truly thrive. This common ground is especially important now because most intentional communities have members who practice any number of different faith traditions, no tradition, and oftentimes, no specific faith practice at all. These "Inter-Spirituality" Mindfulness Trainings, then, can provide a living, graceful, framework for deep interior work: they are the "scaffolding" for an honest and intentional practice...
Spiritual transformation, if it is genuine, is rooted in daily life and sustainable daily practice -- otherwise it is no transformation at all: we are either becoming more loving or we are probably just spinning our ego wheels. It is the grace and spirit of One Love that will inform the political, economic, religious, and cultural transformation: so we must practice! We must become contemplatives and activists both! By twos and threes, and on into our Sacred Circles, we need to meditate, reflect, organize, work, play, agitate, and imagine together; and in the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings is a very good place to start! Shall we?
Begin by reciting 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." Why "refuge", what does it mean? The meaning of the word reveals the answer. Refuge: 1. Protection or shelter, as from danger or hardship. 2. A place providing protection or shelter; sanctuary. Life is hard for everyone -- should it be any different for the mystic / activist? When doubt assails, when triumph is overwhelmed by tragedy, or simply on those days when getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle, we have a "place of refuge". When our minds are captured by doubt, we can embrace that doubt and shout into every fierce wind a proclamation of our sacred identity: "I will not be turned aside! I take refuge in the Holy One! Kindness and Beauty are what really matters! I take refuge in Love! We are all, every last one of us, all the way down through blood and bone and into naked soul, worth loving! I take refuge in Service for Justice and Peace, and for this precious blue Planet! The blanket of my sacred dream of blessing covering all the Earth is worth my struggle and my every breath!"
In the coming days, each of the Fourteen "Inter-Spirituality" Mindfulness Trainings will be presented for your reflection and your use... check back as you are able to read them as we present them... remember to tell your friends: for the direction of the rEvolution and transformation that we need is through the formation of Sacred Circles and intentional communities deciding, together, to become the change they are working for in the world...
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.