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Social Justice

Lectio, Mark 14:22

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Ingegral Spirituality/Psychology, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Nonviolence, Saying the Unsayable, Social Justice, Spirituality | No Comments

“While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take, this is my body” Mark 14:22

As a Christian, I believe that this bread truly became the body of Christ Jesus, and that the bread of the Eucharist is the true body of Christ Jesus. But there are far more bold implications for this sacrament. After all, when we receive the Eucharist, we receive it with the words, “The Body of Christ.” And we say our “Amen” to that reality.

The body of Christ is the whole cosmos, and Christ infinitely fills each and every part of the cosmos in the same way that Christ infinitely fills the bread we receive. To the Christian, this is not merely a symbol but a reality. Every atom in the cosmos is filled infinitely with the infinity of the Christ. Every atom is holographic in nature, containing within itself the infinity of the whole while also being a part of the whole. The Sufis chant, “How could I ever be less by dying. I am the ocean and the ocean is me.”

It is nice to think that there is little relation between the bread of the Eucharist and the cosmos as Eucharist–both being the real presence of Christ. That way, we can go out from our worship and rape the creation and still come back and pay reverance to the Body of Christ in the bread. The split goes right through our heart and through the heart of creation.

Blue Lines

By | Asking the Question, Current Issues, Nonviolence, Poetry, Saying the Unsayable, Social Justice, Spirituality, Uncategorized | No Comments

Seeing the blue line appear under my words
as I type
I wonder who is keeping me in line,
telling me forthrightly I have misspelled a word
Telling me how to say something differently
When maybe what I am saying is how I want to say it.
Can I go on and leave the line there?
Going boldly where no one has gone before
into an unknown future?

Who is seeding the world with this correctness?
Is there a master-mind?
A data collector?
An algorithm?
How many errors will I be allowed before
my Microsoft Word is shutdown
and I am hauled off to sit again in spelling class?
Fingered to be re-grammered?

Blue lines are appearing everywhere,
Not just on my screen,
but on the streets,
dressed in riot gear
holding batons
Faces shielded.
They seem to mean business.

Blue lines have got me wondering.

Some People

By | Current Issues, Ingegral Spirituality/Psychology, Nonviolence, Poetry, Saying the Unsayable, Social Justice, Spirituality, Wisdom/Compassion | No Comments

don’t have a dollar.
Their numbers keep growing.
Some don’t have a job.
Some people have three jobs
And still can’t make ends meet.
Some people have ten dollars.
Some have a hundred stashed in a box
Some have a thousand in the bank
Just trying to save
For a rainy day.
It rains a lot these days.
Some people have a thousand thousand.
That’s a million
Used to be way more than enough
Even for the rich.
Some people have a thousand million
They don’t need a job.
They live off the work of other people.
They get richer and richer
Their numbers keep growing.
The way things are going,
Someday someone’s going to reach
A thousand billion.
Maybe someday soon.
And that still wouldn’t be enough.
There’s more ways than one to be poor.

Living within the Flow

By | Ahimsa, Asking the Question, Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Current Issues, Ingegral Spirituality/Psychology, Mysticism, Nonviolence, Saying the Unsayable, Social Justice | No Comments

To live in the world with wisdom and compassion is the true vocation of every human being. Living with wisdom and compassion, within Big Mind and Big Heart, is indeed a practice. For me now this practice asks of me to live generously. And this truly is my growing edge at this time, to live within and from that mind and heart within me that is non-seeking and non-grasping.

I sense that Jesus exemplified this way of living. He was the embodiment of the mind and heart of the Father whose generosity sustains us moment to moment, a constant flowing forth of God’s own life, given for us as our very existence. This is the example that I realize I need to return to as a reminder of how to be human, which in essence is to be like God to others.

To the extent that I am grasping, my participation in this flowing forth from God of pure generosity is stifled. When I become a taker, but not a giver, what is meant to flow into and out of myself is blocked. Where in this is the fullness of life received and passed on to others?

The small self is hardly up to the task of living within this flow. When we live from our small self, our tendency is to count the cost, to be very cautious. We would like to earn much, gather much, and store it into barns for the future. In doing so, we build a dam in the river, and too many dams eventually destroy any flowing forth at all, so that those who live at the headwaters store the abundance of the water, and those below receive a trickle. Fear, mistrust, anger, envy, resentment abound at every level. This is what happens when we are all living from our small self.

There is risk, then, in living within this flow. It takes faith to give of oneself, whether this giving be in the form of one’s time, talent, or treasure. When we open the spillway of our dam, we must face our fear that we will be the only one doing so and that we will end up with a drained reservoir; taken advantage of, considered a fool and a sucker by ourselves and others.

Yet, the saints tell us that this Living Water takes many forms which can only be experienced when we take the risk of opening the spillway. In essence, we are invited to experience in a personal way how Living Water will reveal its fullness to us. We are invited to participate in an adventure.

As it stands, I have yet to learn all there is to learn about living within this flow, of really participating in it and living the adventure of it, of allowing God to surprise me with God’s own endless generosity.

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Imperial Soldiers

By | Ahimsa, Asking the Question, Contemporary Issues, Current Issues, Nonviolence, Poetry, Saying the Unsayable, Social Justice, War | No Comments

How easy to end up
A soldier in a strange land,
the empire dressed to kill.
Freedom isn’t found like
that. Too late to question,
You only seek to survive.
Those praying for your safe return
go about their business,
While you do the business of those
who have played you.

How many villages must be laid waste?
How many cities rubbled, bridges bombed,
connections severed,
While those who really seek freedom
cry out in pain for a place at the table,
denied them. Cursed as they are to be born
in lands of plenty, and to have none of it.
They keep rising up and are shot down
in their own streets.

How can it be said,
that the empire is fighting for its freedom
When it is only taking
What it wants from others?
Do you see what I mean by asking the question?

In war, the poor keep killing the poor,
With no recognition of common plight.
Those who survive, return home
Dragging their medals. They roam the streets,
Forgotten, empty shell-shocked casings filled with
a story too sad to tell.

We Are What We Seek

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Current Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Nonviolence, Poetry, Social Justice, Spirituality, Wisdom/Compassion | No Comments

Why do we stand outside the temple
wondering what prayers will open the gates?
We have only to say, “Please, open.”
And what is inside will be revealed.

No need to travel to Rome,
Or visit a hundred churches.
The key is in our pocket.
We are what we seek.

Does the divine spend the day
looking around for divinity?
Why would we spend the day any differently?
God sees God everywhere.
Time to look in the mirror
and see God.

Border Crossings

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Social Justice, Spirituality | No Comments

As you go about your work
Look around you.
Here, the trees are flames.
The sky filled with the sound of geese.
Stirrings of autumn.
All this beauty.

But you can stop anywhere,
Attentive

One day you might find yourself
asking, What happened?
Who touched me?

And taking a step in any direction,
Find the divine running toward you,
Already having crossed the border
A hundred times without your knowing.

When we awaken,
we will see;
Not knowing,
we just go on our way.

No One Told Us

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Current Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Social Justice, Spirituality | No Comments

We are millionaires whose bank accounts
have been done in by our own inflation,
out on the street, our life confiscated
by the imperial status quo.

We learned early that rocks were inert
and no harm done in kicking them around.
We sat in obedient rows.
Graduated proficient in math but not in wisdom.

No one told us the universe was made for joy
We never just shoved the desks aside and danced
That would have been too much, the wall flowers
already relegated to remaining alone.

There are those who like things this way,
who benefit from our monotony
They are crocodiles who consume the human
Bring us down to crawling on our bellies

They fear the artists among us
those who see qualities and connection,
who sense that atoms are in relationship
from one end of space to the other.

Memorial Day

By | Ahimsa, Contemplation, Contemporary Issues, Current Issues, Poetry, Social Justice, Spirituality | No Comments

Here we are
Standing at our monuments.
The old sit, bemedaled, in their uniforms,
Listening as the bugle sounds forth
Its haunting solemnity. Strange, how
Fallen comrades often change war’s justification.
The first one dying sets the tone,
Defending holy freedom can become,
In the mind of a soldier, simply revenge.
It gets mean. Tombstones line the hillsides.
In the end our “sacred idols” prevail.

Each personal horror
Dies as each man dies,
Until so few living are left
Even to march in the parade paying homage
To their particular war. Finally, there are
Only children pondering over history books.
Yawning and thinking of recess.

Prophets cry out in the streets,
“War is not the answer.
The way to peace is peace itself.”
A person could get kicked out into the alleyway
For saying that soldiers die in vain.
It is a cruel thing to utter.
If it is the truth, a bitter pill indeed.

There must be some glory in the struggle
to the death. We keep returning to it.
Even as the survivors come back broken
And crazy with pain. Not knowing
What to do with it, all we end up with
Are tears and more wounded sons and daughters.
“When will we ever learn,” the poets sing.

The sun shines down on us all on these days in May.
The lilacs bloom, the apple trees are in blossom.
We the living keep vigil, honor the dead,
Stand ready to do it all over again.
It’s what we know.

The Baby and the Bathwater

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Current Issues, Poetry, Social Justice, Spirituality | No Comments

Children cry
Hoping to be made ready,
Washed, groomed. For some
It’s an inside job
Away from the cold and huddled masses.

Lifted from the basin,
They are dried, robed
Placed in the center of the table
So as never to fall:
The keepers,
Those born to win.

Away the soiled water runs,
Down the drain, carrying the rest
To fates out of sight, out of mind.

And how easy it becomes
For those given to run,
To forget those with little
chance even to walk.