Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lord, Make Me An Instrument

We all have had time to reflect and to work on our own personal healing in various ways. But there comes a time on the path, whatever that path may be, where we really strive within to know God and to know the Goddess fully at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances. The way to do this is to take the energy that we used initially to heal ourselves and use it to heal others. Anyone can do this practice and hold the consciousness of light and love. 

The key to inner freedom and liberation is in prayer and practice in the midst of whatever circumstances we may find ourselves. One powerful practice is tonglen from the Buddhist tradition. In this practice you simply take a moment to reflect on someone you know who is suffering, and as you breathe in, you consent to take on or to breathe in their suffering. As you breathe out, you breathe light and healing to them. It takes compassion and courage to do this practice.  It is deeply healing; it is deeply healing.

Compassion is the key to being a loving and kind person without agreeing to the causes of anybody else’s suffering. We do not judge someone else’s suffering at all. It is much more pure and simple than that. There is nothing to fear in this practice. The compassionate heart does not allow you to get lost in any illusion. When you extend your light and love to someone who is suffering, your light becomes their light. If you sustain the practice, and you sustain the prayer, the flower of your heart opens.

One of the most powerful prayers that I know is the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:  Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, / Where there is hatred, let me sow love, /  Where there is injury, pardon, / Where there is doubt, faith, / Where there is despair, hope, / Where there is darkness, light, / And where there is sadness, joy. / Grant that I might not so much seek to be consoled, as to console, / To be understood as to understand, / To be loved, as to love, / For it is in the giving that we receive, / It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, / And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Take this prayer and commit it to memory. Bring your remembrance to this prayer and/or to the practice of tonglen. All the moments of frustration and fear that come to you will dissolve, and you will find yourself in compassion. You will find yourself in love and forgiveness and peace, because you are no longer in your own small, little place. All of a sudden, you are with the presence of someone else, and your heart opens and compassion flows. In that moment, you are in the act of giving. As you breathe out and give your light and love, it is a gift that is given instantly through your intention. It is received, it helps, and it matters.

I’ve been irritated for about 10 days; I’ve been aware of the foolishness of it and surprised by the frequency of it. I can see how, if I’d engaged in these practices toward the people I felt irritated with, the illusion would have gone.

Exactly. Use those irritations in the moment, in the situations with people we feel are causing our discomfort.  This is the grand illusion: blaming someone or something outside of ourselves. Our reaction is about us. We remember God by holding the consciousness of love and using it. God is love. This sounds trite, but it is true! This is not the law of the profane world; it is the universal law of love. And so, yes, right in the moment work with those situations that are irritating to you and do this practice. You could either recite the prayer or do the tonglen practice.  Ultimately, these practices are going to dissolve the barrier of your ego that is creating the separation and irritation you feel. Your prayer is not for their ego or for their enlightenment; let them do what they must do.  The prayer is for you to be able to give yourself freedom in that moment.  This is real freedom.

(July 18, 2007)

Maresha's next blog will be published October 21, 2014.

Messages of Light is published by the Sanctuary of Universal Light on Snow Dragon Mountain in Meredith, New Hampshire. www.snowdragonsanctuary.com