Spirituality of Action

March 8, 2021

in In Times Such as These

Markus Spiske on Unsplash

We hope this last month was a good one for all of us here on Gabriola. The winter months have the potential to be bleak, depressing, anxiety provoking, uninspiring. That being said, it also has the potential of bringing joy, calm, quiet and even inspiration. It’s like a continuum with two opposite ends and everything else in between.

We’re excited at GES about our program this month on Zoom with Pandit Tejomaya who will be talking about SPIRITUALITY OF ACTION especially during “Times Such As These”.

In Sanskrit

“ACTION” is defined by the word “KARMA”. The idea here being that whatever we humans want in our lives we must take action and plant the seeds that will manifest that desire. Practically speaking then…if we want an apple tree outside of our window, we need to plant apple seeds. We reap what we sow. How significant it is then to carefully plant the words and actions that lead to goodness in our world and that with each repetitive action ultimately lead us to act with what Tejomaya calls “unconditioned love”.

In Judaism

There is a beautiful prayer called, in Hebrew, “Al Shloshah Dvarim” (On Three Things). It refers to the 3 most important ACTIONS to help us become good people.

  1. “Al Ha Torah”
    consistently learning how we can do good in an ever-changing world.
  2.  “Al HaAvodah”
    setting intention regularly to do the things necessary to help make the world a better place for all.
  3. “Al G’milut Chasadim”
    practicing acts of kindness always ensuring that others around us feel safe, supported and happy.

In the Christian church

This whole month of March is included in the period of Lent, a 40 day preparation for Easter. Pope Francis has written some powerful suggestions regarding ACTIONS that might be taken during Lent.

Fast from hurting words and say kind words
Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude
Fast from anger and be filled with patience
Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope
Fast from worries and have trust in God
Fast from complaints; contemplate simplicity
Fast from pressures and be prayerful
Fast from bitterness; fill your heart with joy
Fast from selfishness and be compassionate
Fast from grudges and be reconciled
Fast from words; be silent and listen

Many of us are realizing with much more clarity than ever before the nature and extent of the impact that our ACTIONS have on everything around us. For example, we are paying much more attention to our personal water use and avoiding wastefulness. We also may be focusing on buying locally sourced food products, with added awareness of the packaging, so we can avoid unnecessary plastics and non compostable materials. The nature of our political rhetoric has also changed with encouragement from our leaders to accept Covid restrictions by saying, “We are in this together” and “Be safe, be supportive, be kind”. On Gabriola especially, the abundance of newly created support groups is more evidence of our impact in helping our elderly, our low-income residents, our sick and suffering neighbours, and just being there for each other through the pandemic experience.

The question now, in times such as these, is how do we do these things? How do we show respect and love for others in a way that is easy to receive and empowers them? How do we change our environmental practices to ensure that our world thrives for our future children and grandchildren? How do we deal with all the information we receive daily in a way that supports and encourages productivity and access to resources for everyone? How can we then ensure that the Karma we share is good Karma?

What Actions have you been sowing this year in times such as these? How have you noticed changes in yourself and how you interact with your own spirit, your own family, your community and your environmental responsibilities? Look in the comments below to read what some others have said and then take the opportunity to offer your own reflections.

Reflections

  1. I am trying to be more thoughtful, and supportive and less judgmental of others, hoping to diminish negative feelings that it might create and encourage others to participate in communal decision making and problem solving, and also to feel comfortable doing it.
  2. Practicing productive or responsible use of our water, air and soil reminds us of the richness of our entire universe and that we have enough to feed and sustain us all if we’re careful. We are reminded that this pandemic is world-wide! That means that every single living thing on this planet is, in one way or another affected by its outcome. What does that mean for us all? For some….water is an answer!
  3. Purchasing foods and items that are packaged in recyclable or compostable materials is necessary for me. Even organic products are often packaged poorly.

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