During the May 2016 Philander Smith College Commencement Ceremony, Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee spoke. A dynamic speaker who gave the call to "rise and serve". She spoke eloquently about our responsibility as citizens to uphold the values of equality, justice, honor, and respect for all people.
There is a lot going on in the world and when we feel the call to respond then we respond. And yet, at the same time we must be vigilant within ourselves that what we see "out there" that needs to "be fixed" is also within ourselves.
The world abounds in workshops, training programs, activity based retreat centers and other such opportunities to further one’s spiritual quest. However, there comes a time when we wish to find a place of solitude whereby we can withdraw into our own self and sadhana (spiritual practices).
You have heard it said many times before - love the other as yourself, you are to love unconditionally. But oh how we fall short. We wrap our love in the bindings of our beliefs, judgments, expectations, labels and opinions. When will we truly listen to the call of our heart?
Since there is no lack in Oneness what is there to hold back? In our Beingness we can fully give love, compassion, and understanding. When we open to the Oneness that we are we see the other as our self. Therefore, when we give to others we are giving to ourselves.
As a therapist who has a keen interest in human behavior and a desire to help others (and myself) heal and be free from suffering I have spent a great deal of time looking at how we create our own suffering and that of the world we live in.
Many find themselves caught in political and religious debates and conflicts. They hold a stance of seperation and division, determined to cling to their story (point of view) regardless of the suffering it causes them and others. The anger and frustration they feel inside, even if not spoken outwardly, are forms of suffering.
During these times it seems there is very little to be certain of. People are losing their jobs, their homes; families are splitting and living apart in order to survive financially. These challenges are evoking a state of fear. When we are in fear, we are in contraction.
Do you seek the wisdom of the world or Divine wisdom, for I tell you they are not the same? This is a question that anyone wanting a direct experience of the Divine and to cultivate inner peace contemplates.
We live in a fast paced, instant gratification world. We expect perfect service 100% of the time, we expect to receive what we want, when we want it. We expect others to believe what we believe and to do things the way we would do them.
During these times of uncertainty, worry and fear it can be a challenge to feel at peace. How does one go about cultivating peace in oneself and the world? All the teachings point to the same place - we have to go within.