just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

Waking Up

Published on 22/11/16
by randy


We can move unconsciously or consciously. We can wake up or stay asleep. When we move from heart knowing rather than head knowing, compassion, gratitude and forgiveness thrive. When we expand our notions of belonging, breaking the illusion of our separateness, we discover the true motivation to ‘not harm’. In compassion, we discover how our courage to meet another’s suffering is really our awareness to their suffering met as our suffering. Our spiritual mandates are:

1.Forever work to expand your circle of belonging. Where we stop growing these circles is where our violence begins. Violence is the robbing of opportunity. Wherever we oppress or rob another of opportunity, we’re ‘missing the mark’, the definition of sin.
2. Growth is humbling oneself to ’not knowing’, to engage the curious mind, forever open to surprise. The divine is too big to ever think we have all the answers. Yet, the head or conceptualizing mind is continually trying to convince us ‘we know’. Our deepest faith and hope would have us move to a different kind of knowing that’s fed from the heart. It’s a consciousness that will forever have us in an open, curious posture. It recognizes how real learning comes from an open mind that always asks deeper questions. Our ignorance settles in when we move from the ‘I know that’ mind, the mind unwilling to explore. This mind humbles itself in stillness/silence, essentially using the mantra, “I admit the mystery is big and I don’t know everything”.
3. The spiritual journey mandates we surrender in silence to hear the divine. If effect, the Word is found in the gap between the words. The mandate is “Be still and know I am God”. We can function in thought/language or rise above thought. We function in language or go below thought and language with drugs, tv, games, etc., numbing ourselves to the moment of experience. Or, we can go above thought/language, in silence, to that space before thought. This requires resolve to practice.
4. Practice more, speak less. Become more aware of the precious nature of the moment. Increase attention, relax and accept what presents, appreciate by finding the gift in the given, deepen with allowing, and ultimately move to affection as we break the illusion of our division. This is the essence of a centering practice. As with anything, what we put attention to grows stronger. The more we practice, the more aware we become. The more aware we become the more we grow our desire to ease suffering, to minimize the harm we cause. Ironically, many have called this ‘mindfulness’, when in reality, when we go above thought, we’re practicing ‘mind emptiness’. It’s a place of peace and feeling of ‘great fullness’.

The core of any contemplative practice will lead one to the ‘practice of stillness’. The core of movement in the spiritual journey will always ask for surrender to the unknown. Pema Chodron has written a book entitled Embracing Uncertainty which beautifully addresses this. As we progress to consciousness, moving from sleep to awake, we grow our confidence in meeting what comes up. Just as in the Quaker tradition, we speak when the heart has a downloaded message from the divine. We hold silence when our ego is driving our speech from thoughts of ‘knowing’ fed from greed, fear and the illusion of our separateness. The heart knows when to stand up and when to bow down. The growing awareness of this is the center of the spiritual journey.

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