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Dear Students of Enlightenment,
"A Season of INTERFAITH SPIRITUAL PRACTICE"
(April 5 - June 2, 2015)
From EASTER to WESAK, join me for two months in being inspired by both Jesus and Buddha (and Others) to a more dedicated daily spiritual practice of mindful living HERE AND NOW. Let our Enlightenment begin within our own inner lives and ripple out positively for world transformation. AMITABHA and AMEN!! And so it is! :-)
Here are some suggested practices for the next two months:
- A Sabbath Day of Spiritual Retreat once a week (Judaism)
Daily Prayer, Scripture Contemplation, Praise and Worship (Christianity)
Meditation and Chanting at least three times a week (Buddhism)
Weekly Yoga (Hinduism) and Qigong (Taoism)
Peace within, Peace in the community, and Peace in the world (Islam)
Journal-Writing and Nature Walks (Universal)
(P.S. I will be probably be able to come to Sunday 5pm Sangha on April 12, so I hope to see you all then. But please keep practicing together weekly as a community, whether I am present in person or in spirit. This is very important. Thank you!)
Did you know that today, HOLY SATURDAY, is the most neglected holy day in the Christian Holy Week calendar? Why is that?
It is because most people in the modern world rarely take the time to commit to a real regular SABBATH of spiritual practice. The same is true for MEDITATION.
So, today, I encourage everyone to practice at least 20 minutes of Silent and Still MEDITATION, in honor of Holy Saturday, regardless of your religious affiliation.
Good Friday gets some attention (though not as much as Easter Sunday), as this is a day of remembering that our pain and suffering is very real to us, and that the cost of ego-centered living is not worth the price. Even so, Jesus as Christ metaphysically reminds us that God is ever-present with us, even in the darkest of moments, never leaving us alone in our pain and suffering. We are always held in the embrace of Divine Compassion, no matter what.
And Easter Sunday metaphysically reminds us of the hope of healing, the victory of spiritual life over physical death, and the imperturbable audacity of Divine Love in the face of impossible odds. In the end, Love wins. Only Love. And that is a Divine Love with Universal implications that leaves no one out. No one. All are included. Because, in the end, only Love wins. You can call that Universal Salvation, or Deep Grace, or God's Right to Elect Everyone, or God's amazing ability to attract everyone into Grace through Faith, or whatever other theological spin you want to take on it, but the TRUTH is still the same in the end — ONLY LOVE WINS!
So we have Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but what of Holy Saturday? It seems like a rather boring day in comparison to the dramatic sufferings of Good Friday and the resurrection life of Easter Sunday, right? And yet, I believe that the most important aspects of our spiritual life are contained in the symbolic mysteries of Holy Saturday, the SABBATH of our MEDITATION practice.
The metaphysical truths of Holy Saturday point to our need to practice meditation, stillness, and silence (Sabbath) if we are to ever truly travel interiorly from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, from the darkness of our pain and suffering into the light of Resurrection and Enlightenment. Without Holy Saturday (Sabbath), we remain metaphysically in the sorrows of Good Friday indefinitely. Without Holy Saturday (Meditation), we cannot manifest the miracles of Easter Sunday.
We need to practice what Holy Saturday teaches us, which is to go within, to embrace the inner tomb/womb of our Soul, to "be still and know," to patiently practice "waiting upon the Lord," to not run away from the stillness and the silence, to not always be a "busy Martha" but learn to listen and sit at the Master's feet like a "devoted Mary," and to take seriously the practice of regular meditation, spiritual retreat, Sabbath, and quiet times of prayer and communion with God on a daily and weekly (as well as monthly, seasonal and annual) basis. We need to remember that prayer is not just talking to God; prayer is more importantly our conscious opportunities to LISTEN to God, in the silence and stillness of meditation and mindful living, here and now.
Holy Saturday (daily Meditation and weekly Sabbath) is the cocoon which leads the caterpillar into the butterfly life. Holy Saturday is the missing link that will lead us from Good Friday into Easter Sunday. Holy Saturday is the metaphysical space of releasing, letting go, and BEING which transforms our pain and suffering and opens the door to New Life, Hope and Healing.
Thank You, Holy Spirit, for inspiring me to write Your words today, to the spiritual benefit of all my holy brothers and sisters, who are one Christ with me, now and always. And thank You especially for our Elder Brother Jesus who reminds us all of the Divine Unity of our Holy Family. One God, One Christ Community, One Humanity, One World, One Divine Reality. And so it is! AMEN.
(P.S. And thank you, Buddha, too, and all other Elder Brothers and Sisters in Spirit who remind us of the Truth of our One Divine Christ Reality, by whatever name or word we use, regardless of religion, culture or language.)