|Weeping willow, Mullingar, April 2011|
To start with I would like to talk about spirituality in the form of stories, a special type of story which I shall call wake-up or awareness stories. I am quite deliberately basing these thoughts on the approach of the great Indian Jesuit, Anthony de Mello, S.J., whom the then Cardinal Ratzinger condemned as being heretical. No wonder, indeed, because being a true Master of Meditation his approach can be interpreted at all the three levels of spirituality - agnostic, atheist or theist. Indeed, I remember another late great Jesuit William Johnston saying that all meditators came to his sessions on meditation in Sophia University, Tokyo, atheists, agnostics and believers of every hue. This, to me is real spirituality, the real thrust to connect, to connect, to connect... Can more be said, I ask?
Real Meditation is Awareness
|Rushing water, Mullingar Park, April, 2011|
My Approach Here:
My approach over the next several posts is to distill some of the wake-up stories I have heard over the years and those given by de Mello in the books I have named in my previous posts.
The Story of the Dying Rabbi
This is a story I heard recently from a friend. Once in a small Jewish community a very saintly Rabbi was dying. His disciples all gathered around his bed. Gathered along the side of the bed were also some of his Rabbinical students of that particular year, One young man wanted to hear the Rabbi's dying words as the last words of someone are always wise and profound and most especially those of a dying Rabbi. "Rabbi," he asked, "What are your words of advice to us now?" Eventually the dying Rabbi croaked "Always question your own motivations!"
Wake Up! Wake up! What are my motivations here and now as I sit on this committee? Are they congruent with my own deep beliefs or are they prejudices? Wake up! Wake up! Why am I back-biting here? Wake up, wake up? Why am I gossipping here? Wake up! Wake up! Why am I doing this or that action? Is it out of malice? Am I a dog in the manger? Wake up! Wake up! Live in the Here and Now! Be aware! Why am I expressing a feeling of "sour grapes" here? Wake up! Wake up!