Only justice validates meditation.
Only justice validates religion, politics, economics, and culture! Or, one could say, that every injustice exists as an invalidation of religion, politics, economics, and culture. Justice is to a people, what soul is to the body. Justice is the life-giving force that elevates the suffering of humanity into the cause of humanity.
If you don't or can't feel this in your bones and know it to be true, you have not yet entered into the deepest dimensions of your humanity: without such an engagement, it will be impossible to embrace your essential divinity. Here's the exact point: your life, your religion, your politics, your economics, and your culture is not about you! It is always about the "other". You are never going to be "saved" by yourself or for yourself: that's a phony interpretation of religion: whichever religion! We entertain angels only as we love the "other" in our midst.
None of us enter "grace" by ourselves: there is no "heaven", no bliss, without everyone else sharing in the Banquet: as it is in heaven, so it is on earth. You want to love G-d? Then love the one you're with. You want to love G-d? Then create justice for all. You want to love G-d? Then build equality for all. You want to love G-d? Then nurture compassion for all. There is no way to love G-d without loving in deed, in action, in practice, and in public policy your sister and brother who are your essential, your very, self. There is no meditation for "self-realization" that can avoid this truth and at the same time actualize its purpose.
Does your head touch the ground in surrender to the Divine? Then practice the nonviolence of justice. Do you gather to listen to the Torah? Then practice the nonviolence of justice. Do you sing Gospel hymns? Then practice the nonviolence of justice. Do you receive the Eucharist in adoration? Then practice the nonviolence of justice. Do your feet walk the pagan path? Then practice the nonviolence of justice. Do you think that all this G-d stuff is a bunch of hoo-ee? Then practice the nonviolence of justice. Our humanity is validated by our passion for justice for everyone: leaving no one on the outside looking in: leaving no one hungry, without health care, without meaningful work, without decent housing, without equal pay for equal work, without a basic income, without a living wage, without education, without care for the soil, water, and air, without access to beauty, without leisure and recreation, without quality child care, without ending capital punishment, without ending youth incarceration, without gender reconciliation, without eliminating greed and the lust for profits without limits, without ending male aggression towards women, children, other men, and the planet...
So when you practice yoga, sit on your meditation cushion, chant the Holy Names, pray your rosary: whatever your spiritual practice is, take the entire world with you! Practice so that your heart breaks open and your "little self" with its isolated and fear-based ego leak out all over the place... Practice so that your heart will awaken to the truth and reality of its being: you have been created by love, for love, to become love: your "validation ticket" to enlightenment, to the Beatific Vision, is your love poured out in pursuit of justice...
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.