Spirit of Life
In these days of shifting perceptions, dawning awakening and the recognition that we as a species are wrapped in the midst of sweeping change, many of us worry about making rent next month, about paying the heating bill, about putting nourishing food on the table. News headlines are filled with portents of doom — something we’ve grown accustomed to over a lifetime of increasingly pervasive media, but also something that takes a hidden toll on our coping abilities.

So this morning during my devotions, I came to the twelfth chapter of Luke, where Master Jesus (like Master Buddha, with whom we check in below) reminds us to step back from the drama and to remember the Source of life itself.

Luke 12:22 He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, don’t be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear.
Luke 12:23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: they don’t sow, they don’t reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds!
Luke 12:25 Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height?
Luke 12:26 If then you aren’t able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest?

My conditioning says that this is a quaint set of sayings, but that I can’t really believe them because I live in the “real world” and I have “responsibilities” and I wouldn’t want to “fall through the cracks.”

My knowingness, however, understands that what the Master says here is absolutely true — that all my paycheck-to-paycheck jobs down through the years were nothing but props, that my sense of security was NEVER derived from a so-called “steady job,” but, rather, from the One Life that expresses through me every moment of my life.

Luke 12:27 Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Luke 12:28 But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith?
Luke 12:29 Don’t seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious.
Luke 12:30 For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things

If I assume that the Master is not telling me to sit around doing nothing, expecting manna to fall from the heavens… then, what?

Luke 12:31 But seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.
Luke 12:32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.

Ah — seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.

But what does that mean, to seek God’s Kingdom?

Luke 17:20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation;
Luke 17:21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”

The Master teaches us that true security is never found through external means, but is always located within — beneath the surface illusion brought about by our belief that we are the body.

I believe that the Master taught us to trust in the still, small voice inside, which is our connection with the Creator — our tether to Truth. We are to derive our sense of well-being from the God within — the Spirit of Life that is always the same, never wavers, animates our every moment from cradle to grave. We are to hand over our problems and troubles to the Spirit, to talk to the Spirit, to pour our souls out onto the Spirit… and to the extent that we maintain a habit of doing this, we will see our external reality transform into conformity with this ever-strengthening Union.

Luke 12:32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.
Luke 12:33 Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys.
Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The Buddha, of course, spoke of this Union with Spirit in terms of jhana/samadhi, which is literally an absorption in the blissful Spirit of Life of which we speak here. Here is are some typical pointers from the Buddha about the need to form this Union:

Aranavibhanga Sutta, MN 139

9.”Here bhikkhus, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enter upon and resides in the first (absorption) jhana”… (through 4th jhana). “This is called the bliss of renunciation, the bliss of seclusion, the bliss of peace, the bliss of enlightenment. I say of this kind of pleasure that it should be pursued, that it should be developed, that it should be cultivated, and that it should not be feared.”

Just as Jesus says to “Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys…,” the Buddha encourages us to go “all in” with the Spirit of Life (jhana/samadhi), and to know that this is the ground for wondrous outcomes beyond our limited ability to desire.

It is true that the Buddha goes more deeply into the mechanics of how this works, but I believe that he and Jesus are talking about one and the same thing — and that Jesus assures us that, if we give our trust to the Spirit, if we rely on the Spirit to unfold all good things in Life… we will encounter the bliss, joy and ecstasy of perfect security, perfect peace, perfect Union.

There’s no worry here, no stress, no dread, no belief one way or the other.

Just a direct connection with the Source, which is our eternal Home.

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