SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the need to go much deeper than religion or politics to arrive at how we participate in our own conditioning? Can you share a personal story of a time you were able to go beyond your own prejudice, no matter how noble it felt, and be in relationship? What helps you see beyond division and arrive at wholeness?
I really enjoyed this passage, and the awakin circle discussion around it last night. Here is a recent story to add to the mix:
Last weekend I found myself in a frustrated moment--by back bike wheel has been stolen couple days prior, and the bus driver had just denied my entry onto the bus, which I was planning to take to a community bike shop to fix it up. Definitely plenty of separateness in that moment, you could say. :) As I trudged down the street with my bike, thinking over plan B and C, a little flash of realization occured: that this thinking feels myopic. Yes I want to take care of my bike somehow, but I don't want to do it whilst curling into a discontented shell within myself and forgetting the world around me.
As it happens, the sounds of some folks yelling at each other caught my attention as I walked by a small street that was one-way blocked off to cars adjacent to the bigger street I was walking on. It took me a moment to make senes of the scene: a young-ish couple, man and a woman, were unloading their small pickup truck and placing large pieces of junk--old boxspring, tattered couch, etc--on the street, tucked up against the one-way road block signs; and pursuing them angrily was an older man, maybe 60s, expressing his thorough discontent, "Don't dump your stuff (not exact words) on my street!" Huh! Not something you see everyday.
I approached the two men just as things were startig to get heated, with the older man getting angrier as they would not heed his warnings, and the younger man stepping defensively in between this man and his wife. I'm generally fairly soft-spoken, so my first attempt to reason with the two men--"Hey guys, I'm sure you're both decent people; this is a sticky situation, but we don't need to escalate it like this"--got their attention for all of .5 seconds before they were back in each other's faces, with the older man beginning to make mild gestures to hold them back.
Longer story short, the yelling started bordering on physical aggressiveness, and the young couple, now done unloading, was getting back into their truck to take off. It was clear no resolution was going to come in this moment, yet the older man, now more frustrated, continued yelling at the young couple (after the young man expressed in his own frustration how that approach "made him care even less").
Calm words weren't working, and physical intervention didn't seem like a good idea (nor would anyone recommend that for me ;))...I decided to yell myself. (And though I didn't think it through fully consciousy in that moment, in retrospect I think it was out of caring, for all of them, not out of negativity.) I raised my voice, directing it at the older man, saying that's enough, this is not cool, you may have a point but this is not the way to convey it (in a yelling voice, that is). It seemed to reach the older man just enough to stun him out of the moment, at least briefly. The young couple pulled away in the truck. And then it was the older man and myself, looking at each other from across a gap the width of a truck. Huh...now what? Will his anger spill over to me? Is this the part where we awkwardly scratch the back of our heads and kind of shuffle away? Will we take a moment to debrief what in humanity just occured here?
Thankfully it turned out to be the latter. "Phew. Maybe you're right; I did get a bit heated there," said the older man. "Yea, you were running pretty hot..." I agreed. "But isn't that outrageous?! Dumping their dumpstuff (again not exact words) like that?!" his frustration returning. "I mean, what would you do??" I echoed the inquiry, "Yea, what *can* you do when trying to confront a wrong?" [or an apparent one] We held the question together, and I ended up empathizing with my own situation--my one-wheeled bike still slung over my shoulder that whole time--sharing the experience of processing an unfortunate situation and wondering what to do next.
And this is where the passage talking about relationships as a bedrock, and moving towards wholeness struck a chord for this microcosm story. All of a sudden the older man snaps his fingers and says, "Come with me! I think I have an extra wheel in my shed." How striking and almost graceful it was, his shift from venting to helping. Part of me was hesitant, but another part recognized his positive intentions and felt good about supporting them. Plus, I did need a wheel. We walked towards his shed and kept talking through this thread of inquiry.
The story with him went on, including the wheel, connecting around the same professional field that had just retired from and I'm just entering, further reflecting on human nature & relationships and each of our subconscious blind spots, etc. Part of the story was certainly relationships leading the way towards wholeness (my bike regained wholeness too! after some days and couple more shop visits). At the same time fragmentation still remains, even from this microcosm--not being able to connect with this younger couple, the seeming chasm of understanding between folks coming from different places, just to name a couple. I'll leave it there for now; thank you for your attention.
"There are no perfect people or institutions, only the struggle to be whole." Richard Rohr
If we can seek Divine LOVE (God by any other name), we may be enabled to rise above the brokenness and begin The Journey toward wholeness and Home. }:- â¤ï¸
"The Spirit of Truth can produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (from a letter to Galatia, a "moosage version")
It is increasingly sad how in this secular age we try to explain goodness aside from (God) Divine LOVE. As if broken humanity has the capacity for goodness aside from inner healing by LOVE. Yet, I do understand as religion has done much harm in the world. }:- ð>â¤ï¸
How can we end our separateness, divisiveness, conflicts, and suffering caused by igonrance? This has been a Big Question for all of us in our everyday living.According to my understanding the first important step is to be silent and attend to thughts arising in my mind without judging them and without getting stuck with them.My thoughts lead to my actions.I become what I think.Such mindfulness meditative practice of minding the mind increses and deepens my awareness of the truth that deep down we are all connected. As J Krishnamurti puts it: it is a process of healing the wounds that separate us. Divisivness ends and wholeness emerges.
Yesterday, I was leading a three- hour workshop on Mindfulness Meditation. There were 25 participants of different races, ages and religious oreientations. When we went throuh twenty minutes of Mindfulness Meditation being silent and attentive, some deeply felt a sense of oneness, intra- and- interpersoanl connectedness- no division between "I" and "you", "us" and "them", "good", and "evil"-no boundary experience, no seperation between experirnce and experiencer.
For me this is an ongoing practice and I happy to notice the expanding and deepening of my awreness.
May we expand and deepen our awreness to heal the wounds of divisiveness and expereince wholeness and oneness.
Jagdish P Dave
I love what Krisnamurti wrote in this essay. Religion and politics have gotten very caught up in dualistic separatist thinking, so we need to get beyond where they are to get to unitive thinking, to realize that everything is related and we really are cocreators in our own conditioning, and until we realize that the best we’ll get to is to blame religion and politics and paint ourselves to be victims of them. I was full of certitude and arrogance regarding the religion I was born into, and I guess I had enough open mindedness to I hope see what is. Openness and good fortune help me see beyond. Wholeness and truth are satisfying and are their own reward.
This is a beautiful passage. Really resonate with the statement "Meditation is a process of healing the wounds of fragmentation". Indeed, our life's work is to 'stay with' our fragmentation and move beyond it, so that wholeness emerges on it own, unasked.
I have been living in a new country now for two years. I am wowed at how many things though different, are the same.
I am from the San Francisco Bay Area and I am living in another 'bay area' in South East China in Zhejiang province - there's a bay and a harbor, and commerce, but it's different. As I move about my city, there are many plants that are the same and though I'm in a different place, the familiarity makes my new city feel friendlier. As I enjoy the different food here in China, I am wowed at the spices and ingredients of which many are the same that I have cooked with back home, yet the culinary outcome is different.
I am a teacher here in China and I see families that love and care for their kids. I observe families enrolling kids in activities, mom's and aunties and grannies picking up and dropping kids off, just like back home in the bay area where we love our kids and want to give them what we think they need to be successful.
The recognition of so many similarities, of so much 'same-ness' really gives way to empathy, to learning to let go of the differences and to simply accept and welcome others in to my life. This recognition and living in community in this new city, is also teaching me that for all our differences, we are more the same than imagined.