One of the greatest things that I have ever learned was from some of the most meek people in the world… monks.
Again and again like the waves lapping against the shore of my mind, I am awakened over and over to the all-encompassing human condition of every human who’s feet tread the soil of this grand planet. Like the rising sun at every dawn, my eyes are opened over and over and will continue to do so until reality finally stays with me at every waking moment of my life.
My spiritual practice is not bound by the walls of any synagogue, church or mosque. Nor by any weekend or summer camp. Every pulsating second of my existance is another opportunity to live as I believe. Every hour should be lived as my last because in that mindset I cannot lie and I cannot neglect the condition of my soul nor the soul of every person I meet.
There is, however, a price to pay for this choice. By choosing to live like this I have opened a door to greater suffering, pain, misery, obsession, at times loneliness and yet also joy of all things. By opening my mind to the global soul I am inviting in all the pain and hurt the world knows and yet all the beauty and joy it can manifest.
My heart beats the world over and every echo carries every scream and every laugh, every tear and every smile. Every feeling in your soul is felt in mine because that is what it means to connect to the global soul and that’s the greatest thing that I have ever learned.
I once wrote:
“…Every morning I awaken knowing that thousands of people will die as I complete my routine of mediocre every-day life. As the sun rises above the horizen and bleeds into the sky of dawn, I ponder the horrors that it bears witness to. When shaving is the most physically painful activity of my day, I think about the savage murders taking place all around the world and the pain those people must be feeling. I stare into the mirror and I question the right I have to live here and now, for the most part, free of these things, alone I cry for people I have never met.
Through the eyes that I bear and from beyond the bars to the prison that is my mind, I bear the guilt of knowing the freedom I have. The waking hours of my life, spent in disregard of how lucky I am and the shame of knowing I have the power within me to create one more stone on the road of human destiny that leads to the door of a greater understanding of human compassion. One pulse, one chance to change the life of every child waiting to inherit a world far darker than the nightmares that petrify them. Far darker because this world is reality, a life far more fragile, here and now, than one conceived in any dream.
In every moment of silence throughout my day, the things that people endure passes through my mind. Like photos in an album, slides in a projector, a vision of the legacy that we will leave behind us…”
I will never agree with all the teachings of Buddhism, but had I not struck an interest in it more than five years ago I don’t know where I would be today. I recall my first real experience with the principle of self-awareness some years ago when I was preparing myself for a then upcoming surgery and especially afterwards during my recovery. To this day I still swear that just raising my level of awareness to my physical condition and everything around me sped up my healing time.
Some time after that experience I began studying different methods of meditation to further increase my ability to be self-aware and not only of my thoughts, but also of my physical surroundings. I can distinctly remember a time when I could focus my attention on drinking a bottle of water and nothing else. The sheer euphoria of that experience, of just enjoying the water and being able to literally feel it rehydrate me was profound. The realization that a person could live every moment of their life in that way is amazing to contemplate.
Awareness is everything. This is what I learned from Buddhism above all else. From that lesson forward I expanded my knowledge and experience and I still continue to do so. This is what the global soul is all about. I write all the time about the universal language, the heart and soul of all mankind. All of these things are essentially the same, they are a global awareness of the condition of every human being. What can a person do with this type of awareness? Quite remarkably you can start changing the world one person at a time. It all balls down to compassion, that’s pretty much what this awareness leads to. We become more aware of the things that make us humans the same and forget all the things that make us different like color, shape, size, orientation, gender and whatever else divides the human race.
Compassion doesn’t require people to believe in the same things, eat or drink the same things, read or even teach the same things. Compassion requires only one thing and that one thing is of course love. This is the formula for bridging the rift of the global soul. It all begins with awareness, then compassion and eventually peace. The trouble is that not everyone wants to be at peace with everyone else. Some people don’t want to accept those who are different, they don’t see a reason to.
A lot of people, especially atheists, like to blame religion and spirituality for global problems, mainly war. To be honest, they make a good point. But those things don’t always have to be a cause of war, they can also be the cure to it. I can tell you right now with every essence of my being that you and I cannot and will not change the world. Not today and never in our lives will we be able to do that ourselves. Our children on the other hand can. What we can do is begin that process for them today. I once wrote that children are the life blood of all faiths and that much will remain true for all eternity. Teaching religious tolerance to the children of the world is the only way to reduce the hatred that we see among people’s of multiple religious beliefs. Diversity is not a bad thing, it’s a fragile thing, but a beautiful one.
Children are the beams that will support the bridge across the rift of the global soul. We must mold them and teach them today so that they can be aware enough and compassionate enough for what lay ahead of them tomorrow.