LOTUS OF THE HEART
An Interspiritual-Interfaith Work
of The Lotus Fellowship and
Arem, a vowed, eremitic Contemplative, offers an interspiritual work focusing on cultivating the Heart of Compassion. He integrates wisdom from the major spiritual Paths. To contact Arem, see the email address at the conclusion of this presentation. May you always know you are blessed!
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*Red Stripy Rose..., Plexq, Flickr
I Am Love;
Love I Am.
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NOTE: Pain, in this writing,
is a general term for suffering emotionally.
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When I entered the contemplative Path, over 16 years ago, pain - emotional and physical - was a principal motivation. This pain was inward, mostly unnamed, and began manifesting in powerful physical and emotional symptoms. At one point, I was lying on a floor in my home, alone, having to decide to choose to take my life or to live.
The Path of the last many years has done much to bring healing to my life. Yet, I cannot say there is less experience of pain in my life now than then. I may have more pain now, as you may invite more pain into yourself through your choice to be spiritually transformed to a progressively more intimate experience of Love. So, what has been the positive transformation of Spiritual Devotion, if pain remains?
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Initially, pain is only personal, for the ego, or the sense of a separate self, is the lens through which we experience Life. Pain is personalized, felt and spoken of as "my" pain. Pain, however, in itself is not personal; when we attach to the mental story surrounding the pain, we do not see any other way of knowing the pain but as "my" pain.
Through conversion of Heart, as Grace opens us beyond the individualized interpretation of Life, the ego-sense slowly loses claim on the pain. In this time, we may have moments of a dissolving of pain into a felt-insight into our oneness with the pain of others: not "my" pain, not "their" pain, but "our" pain, or even pain as pain apart from anyone. This latter can occur in the midst of the felt-experience of pain intimately within the Self.
Through Love we keep surrendering inner pain, deciding we no longer want personalized, egoic pain to rule our lives. We know we cannot avoid pain. However, as we surrender the Heart to Grace, pain becomes less about "me" and more about "us," about "everyone" and "everything"; indeed, finally all seen and unseen.
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One means to open up to this transformation from "my" pain to "our" pain is conscious choice when in pain. At some point, we decide that clinging to pain as an individual experience is a suffering we no longer wish to allow to reign in our lives.
For many Christians, the Christ has been an image to join with, consciously choosing to share in His suffering for the world. Then, through this identification with the Cross-Image and the Savior-Image, pain is released from oneself, so that one feels the burden of the personalization of pain removed in Compassion for others. I have found this a powerful practice in devotion to Christ.
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In Mahayana Buddhism, the Bodhisattva identifies with the suffering of all creatures. He or she decides to return to Earth until all beings are free of suffering. This is a lovely example of choosing transformation of personal pain into Universal Compassion.
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Wonderful are the moments we feel deeply pain, pain that may be related to an experience intimate to us, but the pain felt, and maybe even wept over, is spontaneously, effortlessly felt and known intuitively as unable to be constricted back into the "I, me, mine" of the egoic expression of Consciousness.
Pain is inevitable. No amount of spiritual transformation, even as no drugs, can keep us from pain. Blessed is the moment we pray not to be saved from pain, but for the pain to be the means for us consciously to identify inwardly in Compassion with the world.
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The Sacred in Me bows to the Sacred in You
*Photo, Angelito De Luz
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♥ ♥ ♥
* * * CLOSING BLESSING * * *
Arem's book of mystical love poetry, Brian K. Wilcox. An Ache for Union, can be ordered through major booksellers.