Good morning! Welcome to the DKos Sangha weekly open thread.
This is an open thread for members of the DKos Sangha and others who are interested in discussions concerning how we integrate our progressive political activism into our spiritual practice. If you have observations about the political discourse of the week, or about practice, or about anything else related to walking a spiritual path through the political world, if you wish to share, or if you seek support, or if you simply want to say hello, please do; this space is for you.
If you would like to write a diary for the DKos Sangha, please let me know.
If you care nothing for spiritual practice and only wish to denigrate and disparage, please do so elsewhere, and respect that this is a community diary for the DKos Sangha.
The crisis in Syria has me thinking about karma this morning. The word karma is used in different ways by various teachers and traditions. I find it useful to use the word karma to mean the flow of events, the flow of cause and effect, the unfolding of things. And it is useful to look at karma on micro and macro levels, to see the flow of events from a variety of perspectives.
All of the events in my life have brought me to where I am now; this is my karma. There has been a flow to the unfolding of the events that brought me here. My interactions with my parents, childhood playmates, school teachers, tv programs, books, all of it, every person met, every event experienced, every thought that passes through the head, contributes to the unfolding of events in one's life.
And when we meet others, we are causes that effect the unfolding of their lives. And the relationships we have with others, each relationship has its own flow, its karma; each time you meet with for instance a brother whom you see a few times a year, the flow of all your past meetings is carried into the present meeting.
And karmas differ in their energy and momentum; the karma that is carried into a meeting with your brother has much more energy and momentum than the karma that is carried into a meeting with someone you've only met once before.
It is sometimes useful to some degree to see karma as a river or stream. The flow of a small stream might be changed easily, whereas the flow of a great river carries much more energy and momentum.
Similarly, communities have their karma; neighborhoods, cities, countries, and our global community all have their own flow, their own momentum. And similarly, relationships between peoples, nations, etc, have their karma.
There is much more that can be said about karma, how we carry unresolved karma with us, and how meeting that unresolved karma with compassion helps to dissipate it.
But my purpose in mentioning karma this morning is to suggest that looking at the situation in Syria, looking at our President's actions, looking at our own reactions, in the light of karma can be helpful.
The office of the President has its own karma; there is a flow of events through that office that moves from one President to the next. And of course there is the flow of the President's own life, and that of each of his advisers. And there are flows with their own momentums moving through groups of people throughout the world. The phenomenon referred to as the Arab Spring has its own momentum. And then of course there is each of us.
The flow of events that has brought you to this point is unique. And the flow of events that has brought those whose views you disagree with to this point is unique to each of them as well. The momentum of events that moves through Assad, through the militant extremists, through the suffering people of Syria, through Putin, Obama, etc, etc, each is unique.
There is an unfolding of the universe, and there is an unfolding of each of our lives. When we see clearly, we see what is to be done next; when we see clearly, our actions, our unfolding, is harmonious with that unfolding of the universe; we are in harmony with the tao, with the way of things.
When our vision is clouded by egoic conditioning, by separation, by mistrust, fear, hatred, revenge, by unresolved karmas, traumas, etc, the way forward is unclear, our actions are not in harmony with the tao, and suffering results.
Be present. Open your heart. Breathe. Move out of your head and into your heart. Have compassion for yourself; have compassion for all beings.
For each of us, the path we have traveled to this point has been unique, and there is a momentum and energy that moves through us into the next step we take. Our spiritual practice lifts the cloud of egoic conditioning and helps us to see more clearly where the next step is, to see more clearly how our path is in harmony with the way of things.
May you find peace in this day.