Wednesday, October 5, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 281

This is the daily exploration for Friday, October 7, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF HEAVENLINESS



+ This is the first post on the style of The Way of Relationships as we continue to explore Heavenliness through the lens of the 12 styles of the Mandala process created by Edward Bastian.  There is 1 more Mandala style to explore after this one: Wisdom. After that, we move on to the 9 Attributes of Heaven.

+ Here are the questions Ed wants us to ponder as we consider the spiritual style of Relationships:
·         Do you gain wisdom primarily through being in relationship with others?
·         Do you prefer being in the company of others more than being in solitude?
·         Do you like to help others to learn, solve problems and increase their happiness?
·         Do you enjoy being involved in community projects for the welfare of others?
·         How will you harness the Way of Relationships to create your spiritual path?

+ And here is the beginning of Ed’s chapter on this style:

The Mentsch learns most naturally and expresses spirituality through compassionate interaction with others, gaining deep satisfaction thereby.

FROM THE MOMENT of our conception until we take our final breath, we are constantly in relationship with others. It is through relationships that we learn to apply that which we have learned. For some of us, relationships are the primary vehicle for learning, while others may prefer a more solitary absorption in such the intellect or meditation. Every profession and relationship provides equal opportunity for manifesting our inner values and insights. Whether one is a lawyer, a soldier, a minister, a politician, a health care professional or a businessperson, one can be in relationship with others in ways that can meet our highest ethical standards.

Relationships are our constant joy and challenge. Through relationships, we see reflections of ourselves and experience our shared human condition, as reflected in the lives of others. Relationships are the stage and playground for love and hatred, compassion and narcissism, wisdom and ignorance. Relationships are the basis for a life-long ethical experiment—the living laboratory for testing if and how generosity actually generates personal happiness, and if and how selfishness generates sadness.

+ I decided to look further into what it means to be a mentsch since Ed likes this description for one who excels in relationships. Mentsch has come to mean an ideal person in the Yiddish tradition of Judaism.  So I found a web page devoted to being a mentsch > http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/148221/jewish/Be-a-Mentsch.htm

On that web page, Rabbi M.M. Schneerson defines a mentsch as “someone who respects the needs and wishes of others—especially the desires of those in his care.”

For some of us, this comes easily.  For others, it is a life-long challenge.  I fall into the latter category.  I have had and continue to have some wonderful relationships with people and other things but I can do better.  It is that second question Ed asks which is my problem: “Do you prefer being in the company of others more than being in solitude?”  There is no doubt in my mind that my answer is solitude and that can be an obstacle to developing relationships.  Solitude is underlined here in the Word document and it will be highlighted when it appears on the blog since it is one of the twelve spiritual practices we are exploring.  I do believe solitude is an essential spiritual practice.  But it is not intended to be a barrier to loving and compassionate relationships.  I have known that for a long time and I pray that I have made progress at tearing down this barrier and can continue to do so.

I have collected quite a few quotes on this style and I anticipate at least 7 more posts on this style.


+ The 7 steps of InterSpiritual Meditation by Edward Bastian are listed in SE21 and SE213. They are described fully in his book, InterSpiritual Meditation

+ To get inspired and illuminated by Ed Bastian, I invite you to set aside some time for these videos:  Seven Steps of InterSpiritual Meditation (11 minutes) | 15 minute introduction to InterSpiritual Meditation and the Mandala Process | 2 hour lecture & conversation

+ Spirituality & Practice offers abundant resources on the practices of Love & Compassion: The Practice of Love | The 12s Gallery on Love | The Practice of Compassion | The 12s Gallery on Compassion

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Heavenliness page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Heavenliness” or “Love” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

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