Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yoga of Befriending All Beings

The Practice of Heartfulness
 in theYoga of Befriending All Beings-
Compassionate Life in the Communion Paradigm
"The Tao gives birth to all beings,
nourishes them, maintains them,
cares for them, comforts them, protects them,
takes them back to itself,
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.
that is why the love of the Tao
is in the very nature of things." -Lao-Tzu (6th c. - B.C.E.)

Charter for Compassion
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.”  

( )

Unitive Life-The Great mystics and sages of human history have proclaimed, as Lao-Tzu, that there is single Life, an Ultimate ground of Being in which all existence, all beings find their belonging, their birth, their arising, and their completion. These same Wisdom teachers and practitioners have also taught that human consciousness can be so awakened as to perceive and live within this One Life, in a conscious and intentional way.  This is where the spiritual path takes us, a merging, a joining, a “yoga” of total identification with the One Self that is the Unified Field of Life. The same heart resonance we experience in our spiritual practice of befriending our soul friends deepens and extends into an experience and a practice (actualization) of heart resonance with the Heart of the Universe as the singular force of love and purpose in our lives.

Quantum Cosmology gives us the same view stated in terms of theoretical physics, describing all existence as a unified field which arises from a Quantum Emptiness to take on form and become all things and all possibilities. This view also states that the essence of this unified field is Consciousness itself, where every aspect of existence, every being every particle participates in this field of Consciousness, each affecting and affected by the whole.  We are not alone. We are intimately connected with all of life and existence. What we do to another we do to our Self. The Golden Rule of ethics is rooted in the very pattern and substance of existence. Hence the compassionate life is not just an ideal to be lived up to, but a Truth rooted in existence itself. 

Global Ethic- The Golden Rule and a Charter for Compassion
Author and spiritual teacher, Karen Armstrong has articulated this truth of Compassion and our intimate connection with the entire universe in her project  and book on a Charter for Compassion based on the Golden Rule of mutuality of respect and loving kindness as a basis for a Global Ethic that all peoples can uphold and revere. In this journey in life we then encounter beings and fields of compassionate resonance. As we grow in our capacity to listen to the Heartbeat of the Universe that resonance expands exponentially, and we befriend all beings, all things, all that is, in this infinite Circle of compassionate resonance. That is how and why the personal journey of being a spiritual being on a human journey leads us within and then beyond our individual self into the Greater Self that includes all life, all existence, and all Consciousness.  Compassionate loving kindness is the fruit of the spiritual life.  We attune ourselves to a deep listening to the Heartbeat of the Divine Anam Cara.  We befriend and are befriended by the Universe.

Deep Listening-the Path of Awakening, the Path of Relational Healing
To be on the path of awakening, to be on the path of spirit, is to listen deeply. We listen deeply, not superficially, as we learn to turn our attention from the voices of the culture and the voices of the separate self ego-mind that have penetrated and too often polluted our consciousness. And we listen to the heartbeat of the Universe in our own heart. This deep listening happens as we cultivate an interior silence in our formal meditation practice. We lay our cheek on the breast of the Divine Beloved and there we find our home. There we hear the heartbeat of the One Life in our own life. This is the Higher Power that we can trust beyond any human power. This is home. 

Listening to the Song of Our Companions
The deep listening doesn't stop there. It extends into the every moment. We turn our deep listening to Higher Power, to the Divine Beloved in our human beloveds, listening for that same heartbeat in them, in the every-moment of every day. The daily practice of interior quiet and deep listening we have cultivated now is brought into the relational life and interaction with our love companions, our families, our children, our friends, our community and our world. And even more so, the challenge of deep listening is to listen in the interior silence and spaciousness of the Heart, beneath the busy and reactive mind, beneath the wounded psyche and emotional residue that circulates in our consciousness. A Deeper Voice calls to us, saying, "Be still, my love, and listen to the song I sing to you, in your lover, in your children, in your friend. For I am the Life that lives in all, and in Me you can rest your soul."

The Inner Quiet Communion of Listening
To listen this deeply means from the time of early morning when we sit in quiet, we bring our attention and our will, our heart presence and our offering of self, home to the Heart, the inner sanctuary of the Beloved. We return again and again, anchoring in our breathing, in our meditation word-sound to the interior quiet of the Heart, like a homing pigeon. This becomes our singular orientation in the every moment, the every day. This is the medicine of healing for the soul that has been too much with the toxins of the world, this is how we move from living in the Domination Paradigm to living in the Communion Paradigm. In the Communion Paradigm our connection to our deepest Self, our connection to each other, to our human and non-human beloveds is the singular reality. We can live this reality. 

How do we do this? We do it, as mystic Julian of Norwich says, by ‘seeking rest where there is rest.’ We will find no rest in our ego-mind. We will find only the division, within and without that comes from seeking refuge and rest in our ideas and ideals, in our agenda for the others in our life, and for the world. That is the world of the Domination Paradigm, the world of competition and conflict. We spend so much time and energy seeking control where there is none, rather than seeking the Home where we are truly home, where we can rest our soul. 

The Communion Encounter
In the every-moment life happens. We encounter each other. Too often we encounter each other in the reactive ego-mind and its wounds from the past, and its agenda for the future. And the repetition of the past, the conflict of competing agendas, the wounding of misunderstanding and conflict happens. Or we can encounter each other in the present, resting where there is rest, on the breast of the Beloved, sinking into our inner being as we listen, attend, and commune with the heart to the deeper presence of our human beloveds. Sometimes harsh words, insistent agendas, the surfacing of unconscious fears and desires will pull us off. When the disturbance arises, recognize it. Bow deeply again in recognition of who you truly are, who the person in front of you is, and make an offering of your deepest Self.  Return to the inner quiet and spaciousness of just being there, just being present, listening deeply, and dropping the agenda, the insistence, the emotional reactivity of the ego-mind. A pause to breathe deeply, to anchor in your meditation word and breath, will help you return to deep listening, rest where there is Rest. We can ask for that permission and return when we are ready to listen deeply and abide in the Heart when we encounter our beloved.

Ceaseless Bowing and Ceaseless Offering
This interior movement may be summed up in two simple sacred gestures, bowing with the namaste gesture of hands folded, and offering with the hands open and extended. We bow in the recognition of coming home to deep listening to the Beloved before us in our human beloved, in pure presence. In our open hands extended, we offer the best of ourselves to the one we encounter. We release from our identification as "me" in the thoughts, emotions, and agendas for control that are coursing through our consciousness, and in our open hands we receive the self-offering of the one before us. In this way relational life is simple, not easy, but simple. It is deep listening; it is deep reverence; it is deep love and communion. And our soul finds its rest and healing.

The Secret Garden of the Spirit - Doorway into the Universal Circle of our Belonging.
We live in a time where the small and falsely constructed circles of tribe, religion, ethnicity, and nation are breaking down. We also live in a time of rebirth of the ancient teaching of the perennial wisdom that our soul’s journey is a healing of the soul into our true spirit within, and therein into the Universal Spirit that lives and breathes and loves through us.  This healing was foretold in this vision by the Lakota Sioux Shaman, Black Elk, at the age of nine, even before the terrible suffering and devastation wrought in the invasion of European peoples to his land. 

 “Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like One Being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one Circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy." ( Black Elk Speaks )

No comments:

Post a Comment