The Yoga teacher and author Michael Stone powerfully articulates the importance of bearing witness to the world we live in with all its injustice, suffering and corruption, as well as its magic and majesty. He describes in detail how spiritual life includes taking responsibility for our participation as a member of this planet.
I believe our spiritual practice is much more potent when seen in the context of the condition of our world, our communities and our homes. Everyday choices, as well as our long term goals, take on new relevance when we realize that each action and every focused thought is a tangible contribution to the collective consciousness of our planet.
Our science oriented culture does not appreciate the power of the subtle energies we generate in our hearts and minds. Yet how many times has a gesture of generosity had a ripple effect that touched many hearts. How many prayers for healing have brought soothing relief to someone who is suffering?
Each time we disengage ourselves from the grip of habitual ego-driven thought, we bring a greater awareness into presence. Each time we pray for peace in the world, as we do in Integral Yoga at the end of each class, we send profound energies out into our world. Even though we may not see its effect, each instance of mindfulness, every act of kindness, is a significant act in co-creating our reality.
On a larger scale, we are systematically destroying our home, mother earth, and our response to this crisis is a crucial element of spiritual life. Thus, spiritual action can also include promoting green energy, conserving water, and taking concrete steps to withdraw our support of the wasteful culture of consumption we live in, as well as the mass production of harmful chemicals that pollute our environment.
Every choice we make, everything we do, can be guided by either a ‘me’-centered or ‘we’-centered mindset. Understanding how our daily actions are the moment to moment expression of our ultimate purpose can transform our lives, bringing meaning to every aspect of it. May we all learn to see how awakening our inner Light and bringing that Light into our world is actually the same thing.