One of the things that became very clear to many of us in the gathering was that change has to begin with me.
Wellbeing abounds. The Earth and all Her creatures are already wholesome. Life is magnificent, miraculous and perfect as it is. It is our own Vison that is flawed. Our own perception that needs healing.
A dear friend called Marilyn Overcast shared with me a few months before the gathering: When you are healed, Wholeness will be revealed” . We do not need to “do” anything really. Just see with new eyes, with a Pure Mind.
One person who kept speaking of this was Sister Ajahn Bodhipala, a Buddhist Nun of the Amravati Forest sangha in the UK. She said that we all needed to work on purifying the mind, bringing out more Compassion in action before we could co-create One Wholesome World.
When we closed our gathering with our commitments for action on Post Its, Sister Ajahn Bodhipala held up a blank Post It before the group. She said she was committing herself to “No Commitment” … to the Pure and Sublime Freedom of the Buddha Nature within all of us. She said that by committing herself to cultivating the wholeness/Love and Compassion that is at the Heart of ALL of life, would she really be making a difference to the world.
Her example touched many of us. I was reminded of what Jaluluddin Rumi had said
“Yesterday I was clever, I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise and I want to change myself”.
Another sage, Lao Tzu , in the same vein said:
“ If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the World, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation”.
Finally, a Sufi Story on the same theme:
An old man sat motionless on his death bed. He knew that his“time” was at hand.. He wanted to share a few words of wisdom with his son. Gathering his last bit of strength he slowly whispered to his son “Son when I was a young man , I set out on a mission to change the world. As time passed I found that the world with all of its problems, was too big for one man to change. So I decided to change our country. As time passed I could not change our country with all of its problems. I changed my focus again and decided to change our city, but the problems of our city were too much for one man to handle. So I decided to just try and change my family and home. Son, as you know there are too many problems in our family and home for me to solve!
Now as I lie on my death bed, I have come to realize that if I would have just set out to change myself, that would have changed our family, which would have had an effect on our neighborhood. The change in our neighborhood would have had an effect on our city. This would have had an effect on our country. Changing our country would have brought forth a change in the world.”
With these final words, the old man took his final breath, closed his eyes, never to open them again. In the Holy Quran Allah has said “Allah does not change the condition of a people until they first change that which is within themselves.”
Love and Light.