As people around the world have been individually and collectively processing the results of our recent (2016) US elections, I have been reflecting on the work of spiritual leaders throughout history.
How is it that the Great Ones saw past the dramas of their immediate time and surroundings? Internally, how did they move past their anger, deeper to their underlying fears, past fear to their underlying love... and then lovingly act in this world?
Even in sacrificing their lives the Great Ones as Jesus, Gandhi and Yogananda demonstrated the love of God-realization. Each of those Great Ones had truly overcome fear.
I have heard from many students who are seeking how to process emotions - what do I do with angst... anger... uncertainty... fear - how can I channel my energy constructively?
My response has been:
1) Start the day by choosing what is timeless and beyond the drama of today. Develop a morning practice of connecting to the Infinite in a personal felt sense way. Make a small home altar where only God time happens, and do breathing techniques if you don't know what else to do.
2) Clean up your own mess. Resolve past bad habits. Become a better listener and listen to the fears of others. Hold space for others without needing to change their minds.
3) Choose community involvement around spirituality.
For those of you wanting to have activism, why not get involved in the service missions of a local church or temple? If "progressive" people can start meaningfully participating in God, more "conservative" people will have a safer place to meet them.
In each of you practicing yoga, I see the potential for the reclamation of the word God from those who use it for fear and division. I encourage you to move past the reactionary mindset of a modern rationalist - rejecting the ethnocentric religion of your upbrining - and choose God again. And for those of you confident enough in your own spirituality, consider sharing church time with those whose perspective on religion and God may be more ethnocentric than yours. I have found it is hard to be angry at someone praying and singing next to me, and that after such activity a magical place opens up between us where there can be mutual interest in how to navigate life on this planet.
Each of us experiences fear and uncertainty about life and death... until through commitment to spiritual life we are no longer afraid. No matter who had won the recent US presidential election, we would have been collectively facing the same need for coming together in a less fearful way.
Please consider God time as an option.
Blessed week to you - Pierre