I love the phrase " Spiritual activism." It reminds me of the Bodhisattva way of living and relating to others. It is like returning from the mountain to the market. To me active spiritualism is putting into action our basic values into practice, taking a position against social injustice and relating to such conditions and situations with assertive compassion. Practicing such active spiritualism requires clear seeing, empathic understanding and compassionate action.This is my path and I know it is not an easy path.
When we practice active spiritualism, we are going to encounter tough challenges presented by oppositional persons and systems.Our task is how to relate to these conditions without falling into destructive reactive patterns. How to remain cool and connected with what we value and stand for without disconnecting with others and still maintaining connectedness with others.
I encounter such challenges with my close friends who hold a diametrically opposite position regarding climate change. My stance is to be truthful and genuine in expressing my position and at the same time to genuinely listen to my friends' position. I remain mindfully aware of the reactive thoughts and feelings arising in me and create a space within me to listen empathically to what my friend is saying. My intention is not to convert my friend into my position. When I act like this I feel good in myself for being myself and relating to the other non-judgmentally, non-reactively and non-destructively.
Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama have recently demonstrated the power of Spiritual Activism. It is not easy but necessary and worthwhile to practice Active Spiritualism in our family, in our community, in our nation and the world at large.
May we practice and apply "Active Spiritualism" to create and sustain a just society for greater good!
Jagdish P Dave
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