As some of you already know, I had a remarkable spiritual teacher – M. I met him on June 6, 1944, and my life changed from that day forward. I was 21, and today I am living into my 90th year. In all this time I have not once had a doubt concerning him. His teachings have guided me through thick and thin and many ups and downs. Last night I woke up and realized I was tired, and in considerable pain, and perhaps flirting with a potential depression, and realized that I have not shared his formula for this state of mind. It is very simple and it works:
DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEBODY QUICK!
So I am curing myself in this act of sharing! If you think about it, if you feel sorry for yourself, you enclose yourself in a static circle of self-pity. However, if you act on behalf of another, that dynamic opens you to a spiral, and Spirit flows through you in even the humblest gesture toward another person, animal, or even flower. You are no longer trapping the flow of loving concern and appreciation of others.
This idea is present in the spiritual advice of all religions, not just one! It underlies the concept of our common humanity: that to love another as sparks of the same flame is equivalent to loving the Mystery we call Spirit. So here is just one beautiful expression of it:
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
These words were written in the Thirteenth century endure and transcend any religious dogma. They are the words of a mystic and are common to all other mystics. They seem so appropriate to our desperate needs still today, eight centuries later.
May they bring light, love, and life to us as we move towards another Solstice!