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Social Justice

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.