Thursday, March 2, 2017

Love and Compassion

The last few months have been marked by the collective shadow manifested through fear, xenophobia, inequality, lack of protection of the environment, and the absence of understanding for differing viewpoints and lifestyles. The anger and fear are apparent on both sides, both conservative and liberal. The shadow is BIG!

So how do we find our personal and collective center? How do we manifest the feminine principal of collaboration and compromise? There is no quick fix. There is no simple answer or one way for resolution. There is no room for a narcissistic perspective. However we must find a way to bring us through the shadow and into the light of the new age that spiritual leaders and mystics have predicted.

In order for this to happen, each of us must do our own deep work. We cannot lay blame on another person or system. We must ask our self what personal action is appropriate. Some will be called to peaceful demonstration and activism. Others will become prayer warriors, mentors and teachers. But all spiritual actions and solutions come from a commitment to peace. And therein lies the challenge! When we are confronted daily with the elimination of agencies that have protected groups of people and Mother Earth, how do we stay centered? How do we maintain a peaceful heart?

My Ancestors tell me to do my own work. When the shadow arises within it has many faces but I must look in the mirror and see the reflection. What limiting belief is ready to be released now? And how can I release it?

Meditation. Ritual. Prayer. Surrender. I am always guided to these solutions and reminded that this is a path humankind has walked since the beginning of time. Each cycle has a different face but the same issues are always beneath the surface. For humanity to evolve, change and surrender is required. This comes through personal and collective experiences that bring us to our knees, seeking divine guidance.

We are at a crossroad and it is essential that we seek spiritual wisdom. This comes in many forms…there is no one correct pathway. All paths to enlightenment are correct and it is essential that we support one another on that journey.

I’ve been reading The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. These two spiritual leaders explore the nature of true joy and confront the obstacles to joy – fear, stress, anger, grief, illness, and death. Their simple yet profound wisdom brings a new sense of hope to the reader. We are responsible for our reactions to our challenges and experiences. Our reactions and beliefs create the world we live in. Now is the time to become both introspective and reactive, finding our soul’s pathway to peace making.

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu explain why they felt it was so important to write The Book of Joy at this time. The Dalai Lama shares:
“I think the only way really is, as we have said, through education. Education is universal. We must teach people, especially our youth, the source of happiness and satisfaction. We must teach them that the ultimate source of happiness is within themselves. Not machine. Not technology. Not money. Not power.” (page 297)
And Archbishop Tutu adds:
“Dear Child of God, you are loved with a love that nothing can shake, a love that loved you long before you were created, a love that will be there long after everything has disapperared. You are precious, with a preciousness that is totally quite immeasurable. And God wants you to be like God. Filled with life and goodness and laughter – and joy.” (page 298)
The book concludes with the Eight Pillars of Joy: Perspective, Humility, Humor, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Compassion, and Generosity. May each of us consider these aspects of joy and begin to reframe our fearful thinking, opening to embodying them within and without. May we become the change we wish to see in the world!