The Owl's Perch

Spiritual Warriors Respond to Spiritual Crises

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Have you noticed you’re shaking your head more lately? I have. It seems that the events of the last six months or so have been so polarizing, so unbelievable to me that instead of rising in protest or anger, I notice I’m kind of checking out and just shaking my head. What’s that about and is it ok?

First, I don’t know if it’s ok. But I do recall from history that when a well-meaning public checked out, an apparently well-meaning leader took more control. Things often didn’t go well for much of the public from that point. I don’t want to be part of a silent acquiescence to the absurdity. How do I know what to do now?

Nearly a decade ago I began hearing the phrase, “spiritual warriorship” more often. My introduction to the idea was inspired by Choygam Trungpa’s book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior and participating in Peacemaking Circle work. I’m inspired by the very active work of the modern-day spiritual warrior to affect change – sometimes outwardly, always inwardly.

If I characterize the current state of things as a spiritual crisis, begging the question, “who are we?” then the only sane answer I can find comes after adorning myself with my spiritual warrior battle gear. By that, I mean a rigorous discipline of mental clarity (often through meditation), deep personal gentleness and bravery to meet “what is” with insight and compassion.

Spiritual warrior meets spiritual crisis. I’m at the front edge of figuring out what this means day to day and moment to moment. But I’m not just shaking my head now – I’m leaning into my better nature, or what Trungpa calls my basic goodness, and actively watching my thoughts for inward and outward judgment, criticism and blame. That’s where I’m starting anyway. I’m curious how others are responding these days?


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