Monday, March 29, 2010

Of Bullies and Moguls

After watching the political and financial dramas of our time I find my self looking backward to childhood, for those same old patterns are repeated anew in our adult lives. Many of us had to deal with those other kids who would bully us; attack us; torment us; control us. And though we have escaped the pain of these experiences their scars still run deep.

But we must pity those who bully. We must pity that mogul, or that over-bearing politician. For their desire to gain is not based on a desire to have or to access those things they gain. Rather, they are such frightened people that they must control everything around them, lest it all controls them. This greed, of money, power, and influence, is based on extreme fear. And so we never hear of their happiness at their prosperity. Oftentimes we only hear of their sorrows.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Acts Of Worship

Worship is an integral part of spirituality. Yet people often seem to think that it consists largely of talking and praying and singing. In worse cases people believe it consists mainly of groveling!

Worship is an act of faith -- a "payback" to that which we revere -- a fulfillment of our pledge to the Divine. Worship is how we do our duty to the Divine -- trying to live the way our God wants us to. Do we really believe that God wants us to sing and grovel and sermonize? Perhaps we should instead concentrate on those "little things" of the Spirit which give meaning to life.

We should worship by lying in the grass; by helping the lady to her car with her groceries; by helping someone who's hurting; by simply listening to someone who needs to talk. We should worship from our hearts, and not from our mouths. We should worship through the acts of the Spirit, not the expectations of the mind!

Doing good things is an act of worship. Do good things not because you think you should, but because you feel you should. Worship should be a spontaneous act, not rehearsed -- it should flow freely from the heart. How we live our lives should be a Holy Sacrament. And everything we do should reflect the Sacredness within us!

A Kind Word...

Our world is so screwed up today. Each day, as our world gets smaller, we build walls between ourselves. We hurry off to our workplaces in a mad competition. We focus only on the things which make our lives unpleasant. We lash out at strangers on the street -- and the ones we love!

Our mindset is based on the belief that we are the separate beings we appear to be. And yet this is far from the case.

Spiritual teachers have been trying to teach us for millenia that the Divine -- that is, that God -- is to be found within each of us. From the Hindu teaching of "That Art Thou!", to the words from the Holy Q'uran: "everywhere you turn, there is the face of God!", to the teaching of Empedocles: "The nature of God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere!", -- and from many other teachings -- we learn that God is everywhere we turn, even in the face of a stranger, even in the face of the mirror. If we could simply embrace God wherever we turn we could learn that we are all a part of that much greater Divine Power.

A smile. A kind word. A thoughtless gesture. Giving what little we have, or even giving a little of what we have. So long as our actions come from the heart perhaps we can put an end to this senselessness!