Embodied Warriorship

Comprehension in a state of quiescence, accomplishment without striving, knowing without seeing- this is the sense and response of the Transformative Tao.  Comprehension in a state of quiescence can comprehend anything, accomplishment without striving can accomplish anything, knowing without seeing can know anything.

                                                                                    -Book of Balance and Harmony

       Several questions continue to provoke me to consider the state of the world and what my place in it might be. These threads of thought are the result of years of curiosity, subsequent confusion, and succeeding clarity. It is my hope that we, as a global citizenry, commune around similar inquiries, challenging ourselves by pushing into the limits of what we do not understand, thus shaking ourselves free of some of the ties that bind us. 

How do I act in the world, informed by the texture of existence, while maintaining equanimity? How do I live and work with things I patently don’t understand? How do I act out of Love, with no attachment to the outcome?

       In a world of increasing complex problems, we need simple and elegant solutions—easy to say, difficult to embody.  Paradoxically, it is tricky to embody the grace that is our very nature.  It requires great surrender and great effort.  It appears still more challenging to create a social container of embodied and strategic action, yet the impulse to create innovative ways of addressing our universal interdependence is happening.  It is a result of necessity.  Simultaneously, we continue to repeat patterns of the past, thus many of our solutions remain band-aids on samurai cuts.  It is in this way that our ability to contemplate existence is mirrored in the world.  Action seems to be sourced from the way in which we regard ourselves. In a world torn with confusion and ambiguity, we desire clarity of purpose and meaning.

How do we see through the seemingly opaque? How do we act skillfully in a world that defies conception? Is it enough to simply “be” spiritual? Or must we “do” spiritual?

       I find myself amidst a world of pain and suffering. Hearts closed off and minds checked out.  I look around me and see many people talking the talk, but not walking the walk. I look myself in the mirror and wonder if I am the same. Talks loud, says nothing.  And I ask myself, what is the point?

       In my experience, it seems necessary to embody the principles of Compassion and Wisdom to the best of my ability.  Indeed, experiences of interconnection serve to shatter our perception of who we are and what we are doing.  We must become soft again. We must open to the experience of the stunning situation of ourselves in the world.  We must also realize the reactionary impulse to “fix” arises as the same mechanism that continues the wheel of samsara, being dependent upon the illusion of separation.  We must dig deeper.  We must ask difficult questions.  We must listen quietly and carefully. From this silence might arise clarity of action and purpose.     

What is skillful action? How do we begin to embody this Unity, transmuting and reconciling seeming opposites?  How do we fully engage our beauty, creativity, and potential in the world in such a way that the light of our truth ignites others to engage their own unique being?  How are we a vehicle for transformation within ourselves, with others, and with the world? 

       If we agree that separation is an illusion, and therefore all things depend on other things to give rise to anything, than certainly the solutions to our global problems (and consequently, our individual problems) are not linear.  Ultimately, there may be no direct causation, but there do seem to be processes of causation.  In this way “solutions” are not found by tracking the patterns of the past, nor are they found by forecasting into the future.  They exist right now, in this very moment as all things.

       How might we as individuals and as a society transform our solutions to meet the challenges that face us in this moment, while remaining open to shift our strategy the very next moment?  We are invited to stay in the present, and from here we begin to meet each circumstance with spaciousness and instantaneous resolve. We may recall within us a spirit of curiosity as we take refuge in the wisdom passed down through many generations.  It is a tremendous leap to acknowledge the collective intelligence residing within us.  We must be fearless as we dance the play of Lila, the illusion called Maya.  We must be joyful in a world of pain, untold atrocities, and squandered potential.  We must soak up the beauty that surrounds us in all of its forms. This is the world in which we live, and within which we are called to contribute.  Let us descend into the cavernous depths of our hearts.  Let us unify our spirits in skillful and wise action.  Let us support and challenge one another to become more fully what we already are. Type your submission here. Or you can copy and paste from a word processing program or text editor.