In my first reflections on this subject, I explored the aspects of spiritual inquiry that are most immediately of concern, primarily in our relationship with others in the context of our developing global world. Now I want to explore those aspects of inquiry that are perhaps less obvious but equally important. In our encounters with others, we discover our differences and learn to negotiate those differences in mutually respectful ways. However, self-inquiry requires us to turn inward toward unexplored depths where certainty is less clear, and at times, painfully absent. There is a very profound reason for this absence, which will be revealed if we are courageous enough to fully acknowledge our own lack of insight or understanding, and to recognize our own limits.
Initiated by physicist and environmental leader Vandana Shiva, and compiled and edited by The Global Peace Initiative of Women, Sacred Seed offers contemplative essays from 34 spiritual leaders and practitioners on the sanctity of the seed. “Every seed carries a secret. We will never come to fully know this secret, because it belongs to the mystery of creation. Yet we can learn again what hundreds of generations did before us, namely to live with the secrets, to use them as gifts, and to honour them as a source of life on this planet.”
In the time of Thunderbeings and Underwater Serpents, the humans, animals, and plants conversed and carried on lives of mischief, wonder, and mundane tasks. The prophets told of times ahead, explained the causes of the deluge of past, and predicted the two paths of the future: one scorched and one green, one of which the Anishinaabeg would have to choose.
On Monday, April 22nd, 2013 in honor of Earth Day, Seven Pilliars and The Abode of the Message co-hosted Sister Miriam MacGillis of Genesis Farm in Bliarstown, New Jersey. This sohbet, or heartful and sacred dialogue, took place in the Seven Pillars offices and included approximately 30 members of the local community.
In this excerpt from his book, Apprenticed to Spirit: The Education of a Soul, David Spangler, a Fellow since Lindisfarne’s inception, writes of his initial meeting and soul connection with William Irwin Thompson, founder of the Lindisfarne Association, and the early years of the Fellowship.
The mystery of the human experience is inseparable from our capacity to recognize the multiple fields of awareness that infuse our day-to-day consciousness. This flow of consciousness is the experiential ground of Being and Spirit, and as such this flow is the participatory medium through which our capacity to be “a light unto the world” is actualized.
Do we live actually in a dualistic world, a world of matter and spirit, mind and body? To treat matter as separate already makes it so. Matter, as we know it, is the matter of materialism (egotism, dualism). Yet it really didn’t come into being until Descartes divided the world into res cogitans and res extensa, thinking things—minds—thought of as spiritual, and extended things—bodies—thought of as mechanical.
The practice of presence is no easy task and, spiritually, it is perhaps the most elusive of all practices. Imagine for a moment being fully present to yourself and to your situation. That is, imagine being fully aware of all that passes through and within you and also simultaneously aware of all that impacts you from the surrounding environment—people, places, atmosphere, sensory sensations, integrated with inner thoughts, feelings, memories, and bodily reactions.
Smell is the oldest, most magical sense. In ‘In Search of Past Time,’ Proust tells how, returning home for a visit one cold winter’s day, his mother offered him a cup of lime blossom tea with some plump little cakes, called “madeleines,” molded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. At first, he declined, but then, for no particular reason, he accepted. As the lime-tea-soaked crumbs touched his palate, a strange emotion overcame him. The world stopped, and an exquisite, transcendent pleasure, like the effect of love, filling him with joy, suffused his senses.
The execution of the Mughal crown prince Dara Shikuh by order of his brother Aurangzib was a crime that sent ripples down through the ages. A religious pluralist with a deep commitment to mystical hermeneutics, Dara Shikuh had the makings of a brilliant ‘philosopher king.’ His religious, cultural, and political outlook was profoundly imbued with the legacy of his great-grandfather Akbar, who elevated the Mughal Empire to the status of a premodern superpower by uniting Hindus and Muslims under the principle of sulh-i kull, ‘universal peace.’ As heir apparent, Dara Shikuh awaited the day when he would mount the Peacock Throne and revive Akbar’s syncretic vision.
Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.