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Old September 7th, 2012, 19:01   #1 (permalink)
Mati (Offline)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 6
Default Spiritual communities

Hi everyone!
My master once told me...All we need to learn in this life is how to live among each other.

All the rest, that we are already divine, THAT is already enloghtened.
But as human beings, living on earth, itīs a real opportunity and challenge sometimes to learn to live together with others.

So i was wondering is someone is interested and has experience living in spiritual communities and want to share their experiences.

I had the chance to live in many other communities, spiritual (hare kirshna, buddhist) and not spiritual (more hippish or organic farming oriented), and also the REAL blessing to live in a spiritual one with a living master and itīs been such a unique and wonderful experience.
I would love to read about otherīs experiences in spiritual communities.

Thanks and blessings,
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Old September 9th, 2012, 01:21   #2 (permalink)
olmate (Offline)
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 337

Hi Mati,

Your Master was wise it seems when he taught about the idea of being able to live among each other.

A context that has been a core part of the path I walk is to start with self.

Inner peace is hard to find at times of conflict and fear which mounts up through our day-to-day life. I have often found it difficult to sit still when my mind and feelings are in turmoil. It is easy to give up meditation at such times but in reality that is when it is most needed. So I have found that it helps to see that my meditation is not for me alone.

For me, the meaning of contemplation is found in its fruits, especially the love and service of others. When I have inner peace I go out to others in compassion. Lacking it, all my out-going is subject to the ego’s desire, anger and competitiveness. For me tapping the universal Love is what casts out fear in our neighbour because, when I have truly met that love within myself, I can never do my neighbour harm - in any form.

Self-knowledge through my daily meditation practice opened me to the mystery of human uniqueness - unity in diversity. Until I recognized and embraced my own uniqueness I could never relate to the universal. I remained trapped in the prison of egotism. I found my own particular holiness had to be realized before I could know the whole in which my being most truly belonged. The great error that became apparent to me was to pretend to have grasped the universal before I had come to self-knowledge. Trying to grasp the universal, to speak for it, to control it - these are the signs that I had still not been grasped by it but by practicing each day in stillness and silence it did reveal itself.

What does the 'universal' mean? Many traditional teachings express it as the nature of divine love that bestows itself impartially on all that is. Like the sun it shines on good and bad alike. That means that God (or whatever word you wish to place here) is beyond human morality. God never fights on my side against others. Like the rain divine love falls on the innocent and the wicked. That means God's justice is beyond any human attempt to be just. One love unites the persecutor and the victim.

For me the realisation was that I first needed to experience this universality as it bears down on me. It then whittles away the ego. It simplified me. It lifted me above the complexity of my life as it pours into my whole being through the deepest centre. Only then was there an awakening. Then the twin human adventure of discovery and celebration began.

I discovered that the same love is everywhere and embraces all, even those I may not yet be able to love. But at least I can see they are loveable. I also celebrate. I rejoice in the intoxicating beauty that only the eyes of a lover can see. It was only then that I truly made peace with myself and the world.

This awareness also revealed that peace is not achieved by rooting out and destroying evil. When I became aware of my vices - anger, pride, greed, lust - the attempt to destroy them easily degenerated into self-hatred. After all, if I cannot love myself why bother to love others?

So, what has become apparent is better than destroying my faults is to work patiently to implant the virtues - a slower and less dramatic work but far more effective. And by avoiding the dangers of religious hypocrisy and self-righteousness it created a more pleasant working personality. Hidden in all my faults - my capacity for evil (which was always happy to step forward in an instant) - but more importantly there are the seeds of many virtues.

It seems to me the terrorist may have had the seed of justice in him before his anger and the delusion that he is the instrument of God's wrath took him over. I have come to see that when I conduct war against myself I risked huge collateral damage: in the destruction of my own seeds of virtue. It seems to me every kind of violence is a crime against humanity because it deprives the world of unknown goodness.

So this is a dedicated journey now to implanting the virtues that will eventually overpower the vices through dedicated daily practice which for me is akin to a foundational virtue if you like of deep and regular prayer through daily meditation practice. Through this silent rhythm of practice wisdom slowly penetrates my mind and world.

For me Wisdom is the universal power that brings good out of evil. As I have gone back to many traditional texts and teachings I have found a common message - ‘the hope for the salvation of the world lies in the greatest number of wise people.’ The wise know the distinction between self-knowledge and self-fixation, between detachment and hardness of heart, between correction and cruelty. There are no rules for wisdom. Rules are never universal. But virtue is.

Thanks for the opportunity to write this. Your post seemed to have touched something within me ... Thank you.

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Old September 10th, 2012, 13:36   #3 (permalink)
Ramai (Offline)
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 117

Hi Mati,
Not long ago I watched something on TV about the dangers of spiritual communities / cults and the physical and mental trauma inflicted on entire families by those leaders or so called masters.
Take care.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 11:11   #4 (permalink)
GilesC (Offline)
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Location: Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,615

I think one has to be careful not to label all spiritual communities as cults. There are plenty of good people living together in communities who are not cults, but just trying to live with the Earth and live 'green' in a spiritual way.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 18:35   #5 (permalink)
Mati (Offline)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 6

Hi everyone!! thank you for sharing different opinions.
Olmate, thank you for opening and sharing so much. Itīs interesting, before your reply to my post, i read some of other posts in the forum and i enjoyed many of your replies.

One of the cores in the community of Guruji Sri Vast is to explore the divinity of every being. I suppose is a similar way of implanting the virtues as you say, because what Sri Vast explains, is that we normally explore the beauty and love of other people. But to explore them also as sacred beings, it brings a whole new perspective and changes the way you relate to everyone.
I also come from a "path" of starting with the Self. I started with Osho and thanks to him started to get glimpses of meditation and then i came across Advaita and read from gurus such as Ramana, Papapi and Mooji. But still there was and is, sense of separation.
I must say that meeting a live master like Guruji Sri Vast, provoked a lot of confrontation to see clearly if what i had "gained" was real or not. It was a whole new way to get out of my boundaries and still see if i could experience the same freedom.

Rama, i appreciate your comment and care Though i must say that iīve been so lucky, i couldnīt have come across a safer and more freedom oriented community than this place.
Iīm still aware that anything is possible, and there might be some places where people got hurt in some way but definitely not here.

GilesC, thanks for your comment, i agree totally. Actually, this is the first community where i see that spirituality and ecology are not separate.
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