Good morning! Welcome to the DKos Sangha weekly open thread.
This is an open thread for members of the DKos Sangha and others who are interested in discussions concerning how we integrate our progressive political activism into our spiritual practice. If you have observations about the political discourse of the week, or about practice, or about anything else related to walking a spiritual path through the political world, if you wish to share, or if you seek support, or if you simply want to say hello, please do; this space is for you.
If you would like to host a weekly open thread, please let me know.
If you care nothing for spiritual practice and only wish to denigrate and disparage, please do so elsewhere, and respect that this is a community diary for the DKos Sangha.
Recently, I met with my teacher; and one of the things that she talked about was noticing when there is a "doer", even in one's practice, and just letting the heart open to what is arising.
This morning for our sangha here, I wanted to see if I could find anything from Papaji related to political activism. H.W.L. Poonja, better known as Papaji here in the US, is widely regarded as one of the most important and most influential advaita teachers of the 20th century. The first thing I came across in my search was on point not only for our topic here of spiritual practice and political engagement, but also ties into what my teacher was sharing with me about "doing". Here are some excerpts ..
Impediments are created by the ego. "I have to do this." "I must not do that." This idea that you are doing something is the impediment. If you act without feeling that you are the doer, there will be no impediments. The supreme power is working through you. It will guide you as the circumstances arise.Each of us has our own unique path which continually unfolds in its own unique way, day by day, moment by moment. And for each of us, our spiritual practice is unique to us, unfolding as it relates to our own karmic momentum; and similarly, how we engage with the world, how we engage politically, how we work for social, economic, and environmental justice, is unique to us as well.
The world is moving towards disaster. We are moving towards the destruction of the human race itself. Atom bombs and chemical weapons are taking us there. This is not the way to go. Let us try instead broadcasting compassion and love towards all human beings and to all other beings. Let us try this. Here in satsang we are making a trial. We are spreading the message of peace and love ... This fire will spread. One day you will see its results ... You will speak to your people, to your friends, and they will find out what is happening. You will see a tremendous change. I am very sure about it. These times are now coming.
We have to learn the lessons that previous destructions have taught us. We have still not forgotten Hiroshima in Japan. People are still suffering there. We can't forget.
We must learn the lesson and spread the message of love ... The flame of love is very powerful. Once it is ignited, it will start a conflagration that cannot be stopped, even by chemical weapons.
Simply meditate alone. You can do it anywhere, even in your own apartment. You will see the results. Keep quiet, send the message of peace, "Let there be peace," all over the world. "Let all beings live happily in peace." [source]
What Papaji is saying here though is very helpful no matter where we are on our path and in our engagement with the world. The degree to which we free ourselves from egoic conditioning, to that degree we are better able to be of benefit to others. Our engagement with the world is part of our practice; we notice when there is a "doer", when "I" must do this, and when "I" don't want to do that. And in that noticing is the opportunity, the invitation, to open the heart.
Each of us will engage politically in our own way, according to how our path unfolds. But our actions are of the most benefit when, in our engagement, we let go of the "I" that does anything, and simply be compassion, love, acceptance.
Enjoy your Sunday!