Saturday, August 6, 2011

Teaching, Life, and the Potential of Love

My approach to "teaching " is founded in living life as example and sharing life as it is lived, day to day. This no doubt has arisen, in part, from my having written the Rule for the Religious Community my partner and I founded.

Writing a Religious Community Rule is very much different than composing spiritual prose or doctrine. It has to be more than words, because these are words that need to be lived out. While I followed loosely the Rule of St. Benedict , and a style suggested by "Rule for a new Brother ", by Rogel voor een nieuwe broder of the Brackkenstine Community of Blessed Sacrament Fathers, Holland, much of the Rule was based on my life together with my Partner.

Our life together had involved middle class beginnings, but quickly found us living in less than modest surroundings. Our downtown Tenderloin experiences however, became a classroom of acceptance and sacrifice. Prior to that, both my Partner and I had experienced youthful years of Psychiatric treatment and torment. By the time it came to write the rule, much life had passed this way.

I was not so much concerned in the Rule in shaping another's spirituality, but to shape a life around which the spirit could shape it's own way. "Meetings", and meals were set aside as places to "communicate". Meetings based on a little bit of "group therapy" in a "family meeting" kind of setting. Quite sharing during meals. These all need to be part of Community where Brothers and Sisters can not only get along in Joy, but grow in spirit.

Spirituality is a very personal thing. It is the great recognition of Oneness. There is nothing more "personal " or "universal " that that. But earnestness, devotion and Love call for a life, not just for some "space" to be made in it. This is why I teach. Not that I posses a great secret, though I might. Not that I am "realized ", though I might be. But because I call you to a life. Not an idea, a philosophy or a religion, but a life. It involves eating sandwiches and talking on the phone. It involves sitting up with sick parents and children, and cleaning up puke and urine. It involves becoming lost in a child's laugh and the best sunset of your life. It is life, and it giggles through the tears.

That's what I "teach". After 44 years with one Partner, years of psychiatric inquiry, bubbles of magic "happenings " enchanting my life on a regular basis, I feel called to "teach ", "teach" that; life is what there is, in all it's wonders and sadness. I was reminded by a cloud, like a thoughtfully silly child, that I am Love. My whole "purpose " is to tell you that. I can not explain this to you, as it is beyond words, and you know all this stuff anyway.

All I can do is live my life before you. Knowing I am watched, I must accept the pains and joys and fail again and again. For I am no example if I only win. Our life may not seem like a satsang or spiritual gathering on the surface, but it is. Every smile, gesture, sigh or tear is an expression of the One; the Love that we live in. When our lives become a continual gesture of worship, devotion, and silence, the ground is prepared for the growth of potential; the potential of Love.


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