Wednesday, 18 May 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…


“One of the keys is participation in life – not thinking about it, looking at it, or standing outside of it, but being in it.

Spirituality is not what we think about God or theology, it’s participation. That’s all it is.

Anne Wilson Schaef


Personal Wisdom:

Where do you participate in life?

Where do you NOT participate?

How is your personal spiritual life “participation”? How is it not?

Societal Wisdom:

Many societies have a deep and participative spiritual life. Public rituals, activities and commemorations are a regular part of the society’s life. What is the participative spirituality of your society?

a Moment with Sharif…


Participation. Spiritual participation. A key to life…

Many of us talk about “spirituality” as though it were something separate and apart from “Life”. We talk about spirituality as though it were a separate code, a secret language only for certain select initiates – the “in” group.

Spirituality is not something separate from our existence.  Our participation in life – not just reading books or attending special meetings – is our spirituality.

In our country, we have confused the Constitutional separation of “Church” and “State” with being against spirituality. When, in fact, the institution of “religion” is not synonymous with “spirituality”. I can be deeply spiritual (which I think I am) without advocating for ANY religion. If I think of “spirituality” as the practice of Transcendent values – values that did not start with “me” and don’t end with “me” – I recognize that I can (and should!) practice
these values EVERYWHERE.  Including on the job and in the Congress.

I am being “spiritual” when I sit in meditation every morning.  I am also being “spiritual” when I am in traffic, driving as though the people all around me matter.  Or when I pause to make eye contact with the person asking me for spare change – regardless of whether or not I give them any money.

Sometimes I forget this. Which simply means that I have that much more to practice on!




All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.


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3 Responses to Wednesday, 18 May 2011

  1. Sharon Williams says:

    For the past year or so, I have been running from my life – kind of like a train-wreck in slow motion. I am in therapy right now but, it is not helping very much. I am making mistakes in every aspect of my life. I am pretty much moving unmindfully through my life crashing into other people and situations because I am so unmindful.

    • Chuck Willis says:

      Hi Sharon,

      Thank you so much for your honest and courageous sharing!

      Recently, I became aware of the influence of certain “lines” (there are six) on the expression of our individual personality characteristics. This ancient wisdom emanates from the 64-character I Ching and Taoism. The 3rd line relates strongly to what you have shared.

      The 3rd line of “Trial and Error” or “Adaption” expresses as experiencing life by finding out what does NOT work, from which we grow and adapt. The gift of this walk is that it really helps us to acquire wisdom and to clearly establish effective boundaries around our experience of life. Unfortunately, those expressing the 3rd line often feel that their life is full of “mistakes and failure”, but this is not true. It is simply the way that they learn and grow. When this is understood, humor (i.e., the ability to laugh at ourself) can be a great way to relax and allow our experiences to unfold gently and with ease.

      Of course, I don’t know if you are living your life out of the 3rd line or not, but I hope that this sharing helps you to relax, open to, and enjoy your life experiences just as they are with ease and grace!

      Bless You My Sister!


    • admin says:

      I hear you. And, I hear the frustration that lies at the base of your words.

      I know that “therapy” is very helpful for many people — to a point. But, because it is based on concepts (words), it is helpful when the imbalances are conceptual. When the imbalance lies at a soul-level, there are no words that can express the imbalance and therefore no words that can correct it.

      I also know that pharmaceuticals are helpful, for those who are experiencing a chemical imbalance in their brains that triggers emotional/psychic issues. But again, when the issues are at the soul-level, no amount of Prozac will help. (Or, the drugs can mask the symptoms, but not fix them.)

      The one thing that I know for sure — you are not alone. There is something happening, especially in this country, that is creating this situation. The food we eat? Being constantly bombarded by electromagnetic frequencies (radio, television, cellphones…)? The cumulative effect of the chemicals we regularly ingest? Whatever it is, it is reaching EPIDEMIC proportions… and our entire society is being affected.

      And, whatever the cause, I know that women are being affected at a higher rate than men.

      I think the solution to this issue is to be found among indigenous societies and perhaps with indigenous women. In recent weeks, I have been talking with my Native American friends about this. I’ll let you know if and when we come up with something…

      Thanks again for being courageous enough to share these thoughts.



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