October 8, 2014
The Tao as a Way of Being
At the beginning of September, a few friends and I started a new interfaith spiritual community: the Self-Realization Community (not to be confused with the Self-Realization Fellowship, which is also wonderful). I am delighted to say that this community, while starting small, is a great blessing, with Sunday morning Celebrations being held alternate weeks in two locations, one in Washington, DC and one in Maryland. Lovely people have been drawn to be a part of it, including children, who add so much to the main goal: embodying Divine Presence individually and together.
One of my challenges as the spiritual leader of the community has been figuring out what to do for readings. As I came out of a background of serving churches as a Christian minister, I was accustomed to having four scriptures from which to select each Sunday, out of what is called the Revised Common Lectionary. For the SRC, I pray to be intuitively guided as to the selection of readings from the many spiritual books I already have. The topics for each Sunday also have to come through intuition, and the leading of the Divine through life events.
Well, I decided for the third topic to be “Divine Will,” but then I had to decide, hopefully led by Spirit, which readings to use. I chose mainly a number of short sayings out of the book: Jesus and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings. I figured that if both of these enlightened teachers agreed on something, then it was definitely a guide for how we are to live our lives.
The only problem was that I could not seem to intuit how to figure out how to express how to discern what divine will is in any given moment. It’s not that ideas haven’t previously come to me; it’s that the ideas and intuitions just weren’t flowing.
Finally, I had a spiritual breakthrough, but only because I had a breakthrough with a seeming blockage in my personal life.
That block in my personal life was income. I had two good-sized income checks, and a check from an inheritance, plus a small income check that were all delayed in coming to me. One day, there were literally four checks that I “should” have already received.
When I realized that even the fourth check was delayed, I finally asked the Divine Universe why these checks were delayed. The answer I received was this: The universe needed to get my attention, to let me know that as long as I delayed becoming who I am meant to be, the blessings from being who I am created to be would be delayed as well.
And then I had an “Ah-ha!” moment. I realized that Divine Will is not about something we do or don’t do; Divine Will is about Being who we are meant to be.
From the Christian tradition, we talk about Divine Will as something we are supposed to do, as well as things we are supposed to avoid doing. As a matter of fact, as I drove to the spiritual community to share this message last Sunday, I saw a church sign which read: “Stop sinning and walk with God.” (In other words, salvation by doing.) The Jewish tradition also focuses on “doing” the Law. On the interfaith spiritual path, we tend to talk about what we are doing on the path, or moving forward on the path, or about what is happening on our spiritual paths. All of that is focused on doing, rather than Being.
But the truth is that the Tao is not about doing; the Tao is about Being.
The Tao is about a way of being. The Tao is about being who we are meant to be.
When we attain a higher state of consciousness that allows us to Be Divine Presence, then we are fully doing the “Will of God.” Our doing flows from our Being.* Being leads to doing, not vice-versa.
Achieving enlightenment or Buddha-Consciousness or Christ-Consciousness is about Being our Higher Selves. The Reign of God is within us because the Reign of God is who we are when we are in alignment with our Higher Selves.
Who we are matters. We are meant to become Self-Realized. We are meant to live as our Higher Selves, rather than as merely our ego selves. Who we are matters; who we are Being, ego self or Higher Self, determines whether or not we are fulfilling Divine Will.
May you be who you are meant to become. May you discover within yourself the Tao of Being.