5 Steps to Spiritual Activism (And Less Pissiness)

Candle Flame

I’m feeling pissy, not all the time, just on and off.

There is so much good in my life.  I just spent the first night in our new home and it was uber-cool sleeping on air mattresses in an otherwise empty house.  The bedroom furniture arrives today and everything else tomorrow.

Work is good; picking up new clients and slowly starting to build my business.

My oldest niece is expecting her first child–a boy!– in a matter of days.  Hard to believe she’s old enough to give birth, but there you have it.

So with all the good, why am I feeling pissy?

Because people continue their inhumanity to other people.  Iraq and Iran are blowing up and lives are extinguished by the hundreds, maybe even thousands.  Much of he world detests America and many fear that some form of heinous terrorism on U.S. soil could make 9/11 look tame.

Children pour through the U.S. southern border into Texas and Arizona like drops of water through a sieve.  Children.  Can you imagine using children as pawns in a political chess game?

There is a heroin outbreak infecting children and teenagers from coast-to-coast.  “Hands down,” a friend of mine says, “the girls I admit to my sober living houses are recovering from addiction to their number one drug of choice–heroin.”

The world’s largest elephant–named Satao–was found mutilated and dead in Kenya, presumably a victim of ivory poaching.

Add man’s inhumanity to one of the most magnificent animals on the planet to the long list of atrocities.

I am much too connected to not see and hear these stories, and then absorb them into my heart.

The question becomes, “what are we gonna do about it?”

There’s only one answer

Marianne Williamson writes that just as people afflicted with addiction often hit what’s known as a physical, spiritual and/or emotional bottom, countries often hit bottom.  She claims that the bottoming out process is necessary for a phoenix to rise from the rubble.

In the meantime, we as individuals who love our countries but despise political posturing without effective results, do have power.

We can pray and we can meditate.

Does that sound crazy to you?

From Marianne’s Facebook post yesterday:

A study published in the Yale Journal of Conflict Resolution in 1985 reported on a group of advanced meditators from the Transcendental Meditation Movement who meditated in Jerusalem in 1983 during the height of the Lebanese Civil War. During the summer of 1983, on each day in which there were large numbers of meditators, violence dropped and stayed low for an additional day or so and then went back to its previous levels. The final data revealed that whenever the group of meditators assembled, there was an average of a 76% reduction in war deaths. 

She continues, “War is not just an external event; it is a field of fear-based consciousness that needs to be addressed on internal as well as external levels. And that will take all of our efforts.” Marianne then describes five steps of what she terms spiritual activism:

1) Atone in your heart for your own warlike nature – any thoughts or behavior of judgment or attack — and seek to change your life where necessary.

2) Spend at least five minutes a day in prayer or meditation, knowing you are part of a global field of consciousness at work on the inner plains to bring about world peace.

3) Seek to organize your own community of like-minded individuals to join you in prayer or meditation groups for world peace.

4) If it applies, atone with others for the behavior of your country if it has in the past, or is now, participating in unjust military activity.

5) Practice mercy and compassion towards yourself and others, particularly resisting any temptation to monitor someone else’s journey.

What are your thoughts on embracing prayer and meditation at the level Marianne describes?  For me, as a person in long-term recovery from addiction who has witnessed numerous miracles, I think she’s on to something.

I’m willing to try.  Are you?

Photo courtesy of DarrenHester

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4 Comments

  1. Polly says:

    I am willing, also.

    (Happy your move is behind you!)

    • Beth says:

      Me too, Polly! Now comes the fun part, but at least we can do the unpacking at our own pace! Great to hear from you!

  2. Beth,
    Love Marianne! She inspired me to write my first book when she was on Oprah in the 80’s for the first time.

    Those kids that have been transferred to Rio Rico are only two hours from where I live. I’m praying and wondering what other lesson they bring me.

    Love your writing.

  3. Beth says:

    Thanks, Tess, for your kind words. Means a lot. I’m a huge fan of Marianne’s; she’s really the reason I picked up A Course in Miracles. Her book, A Return to Love should be required reading!

    Praying for the kids and the lessons . . . I’ll join you.

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