Love is Love... the world is waking up.
It feels really good to sit down and commence writing my blog once more. The activities and efforts of raising money for the Rise As One (RAO) project kept me from this beloved activity. But if there was anything worth the distraction from writing, RAO would be it. Collectively we raised over $14,000 and the whole project got close to $90,000! So we will be changing a lot of lives and I’m just so grateful for all of your help.
But with that now done I find myself sitting at an organic cafe in Bali (after THE best sleep I’ve had in such a long time) and contemplating what this blog offering will be. I think RAO has brought to my attention one very powerful and important thing — that although the world at present may look like it’s slipping quickly into the fiery pits of hell, we are actually waking up. All around the globe people are ‘coming to’. We are coming out of the illusion of separation and suffering and starting to become aware of our interconnectedness. We are cultivating a desire to know ourselves in a more rich and vibrant way and what naturally stems from this, which we witnessed with RAO, is a desire to help others.
I recently watched a lecture from a tantric meditation teacher that I absolutely love and will be studying with next year, Paul Muller-Ortega. He was speaking about the yogic age called Kali Yuga, which is a time of spiritual decline and darkness. If this sounds familiar it’s because we are presently in this time of moral decay. But before you get all gloomy about it, there are two things to consider. Firstly, when we know that this is the situation we’re dealing with we can stop being confused and sitting in judgement and get on with the work of bringing more light. And secondly, as mentioned, we ARE waking up out of this. We are sitting in a time of great transformation and growth. We are still in the darkness, but it’s like when you get up really early and you can just start to see the light coming up on the horizon. It's actually a very exciting time to be alive, in the midst of all this great change and powerful evolution.
If we look at Australia at present, we are all coming together over a common theme and mantra which is, love is love. There’s really no higher mantra (in English) than that. We, as a nation, are waking up to the equal rights of all its people. And maybe this is not totally conscious yet but we are also waking up to the fact that it’s actually the mental constructs that we live by (that are just made up and not a true reflection of reality) that cause the most suffering and disconnection. What is happening in our country right now is a really powerful example of the awakening that is happening everywhere.
In many spiritual traditions, the symbol for awakening is the lotus flower. It is a flower of extraordinary beauty but it grows in the murkiest, stinkiest, most filthy water. In fact, that’s where it has most of its growth. We are, as a collective, in the dark and stinky water and we are, as a collective, getting sick and tired of it. We are starting to hope for a better world; a world where all beings are honoured and treated equally. So our challenge is to not curse the darkness — because that essentially just adds more fuel to the ‘we are living in the fiery pits of hell’ theory — but to actively become the light that the world needs right now. Because we can all be more kind, we can all be more compassionate, and we can all live more from the light in our hearts.
A few weeks ago in class I chanted my favourite mantra, the Gayatri. If there was ever a mantra for you to learn this would be it. It is a meditation on spiritual light and is unrivalled in its ability to awaken the practitioner to their true nature. But the mantra doesn’t bring in light from some unknown realm in the universe; it wakes us up to the light that is already here, the light that we’ve forgotten that we all already are, deep within. Kali Yuga is an age of living in the distorted illusion of the mind, having forgotten the light of our hearts.
This time is an invitation for all of us to contemplate… Do we honestly think that we, as single individual beings, hold within our minds the absolute truth of how the world really is? The absolute reality of all that is? (that’s pretty big y’all). Because a product of Kali Yuga is that all of us, to varying degrees, think we do. That our view is the right view. And we fight, and fight hard, to maintain the illusion that we are right.
I don’t think any one of us would like to think of ourselves as slaves to anything. But the suffering and turmoil in our world is showing us that something is very wrong with our present world view. When we wake up to this we can begin to stop the madness. First port of call in this process would be to question every thought we have, the way we view the world, and the way we are living our lives. And are those thoughts and ways of being moving us closer to, or away from, LOVE. Because if we want to truly be free, it’s going to take this kind of awareness and tenacity.
Undoubtedly the most heroic thing we can do in our lifetime is wake up spiritually. That takes some serious courage and guts — to face the way that we bind ourselves to our own suffering, and to take action to free ourselves of this bondage. More challenging still; when we do that, we will start to live in dramatic opposition to the state of the world right now and what is perceived to be ‘normal’. Like I said, that takes guts.
But the beauty is, from that more aware place we can start to appreciate that it’s not enough to say, “Well this is how the world is” and just shrug our shoulders. That it isn’t enough to just look after ourselves and our loved ones and say, “Well I’ve got mine”. And that it’s simply not enough to stay in the illusion of separation when freedom is possible — and well within our personal power to achieve.
In short, it's from that more aware place that we will burst out of the darkness and into the light.
I’ll soon to be travelling to Rishikesh in India where the Beatles hung out with the Maharishi Mahesh and got their yoga on. So I thought I’d finish with some potent words from one of their songs because they just nail it. And if you press the picture above you can listen to the song itself… It's pretty groovy.
WITHIN YOU AND WITHOUT YOU
We were talking about the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth, then it’s far too late, when they pass away
We were talking about the love we all could share
When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love
with our love, we could save the world, if only they knew
To try to realise it’s all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows within you and without you
We were talking about the love that’s gone so cold
And the people who gain the world and lose their soul
They don’t know, they can’t see, are you one of them?
When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you.
Yours in yoga,