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At 4 a.m., nerve pain in my foot, a recent symptom, roused me from this dream:

It is afternoon, in the city of St. Louis. I happen to meet a woman who I’ve not seen in a long time. She greets me with enthusiasm and tells me about her black friend and their participation in MSM, located in the county. She advises me to join them, that it will change my life as it has theirs.

This daylight dream suggests a new endeavor to add to my already more than full days. The urgency in the woman’s tone of voice compels me to look up MSM; its initials stand for the Mark Slay Ministries. In 1997, he had founded the Miracle Revival Church in Kirkwood, Missouri, an interdenominational Gospel community, still holding services on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The dream also references two women, a dyad in Jungian psychology. They stand united in their transforming experience and wish the same for me.

Further mulling over the dream prompts me to return to the study of Scriptures, usually experienced during Gloucester retreats where I could give full vent to Spirit and not get too carried away. It is about finding Jesus, afresh, in my present circumstances.

As I used to do in my room in Gloucester, I’ll sit by Joseph’s well (John 4: 1 -26) and see who joins me.

 

From the beginnings of recorded history, murderous invasions have crazed the global community from which relatively few have emerged unscathed. Yet from such mayhem, some, through meditation, have forged fresh paradigms of leadership.

Such has been the case in our time. Two stand apart: Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, and Desmond Tutu, the Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa. The 1959 Chinese invasion of Tibet and the decades-long apartheid in South Africa scored these men with indescribable angst but did not vanquish them. With wisdom and compassion, both still shepherded their people: one toward the relocation of Tibetan Buddhism in India’s upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and the other toward the elimination of apartheid with the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela’s government.

In 2015, Desmond Tutu chose to honor the Dalai Lama’s eightieth birthday by visiting him in exile. In his company was Douglas Abrams, his literary agent. For five days, the octogenarians shared, their faces crinkled with mirth as they quipped, held hands, and opened their hearts to each other.

Fortunately for us, their dialogue fills the pages of The Book of Joy – Lasting Happiness in a Changing World (2016), a book to be savored, not read. Their lifelong practice of daily meditation, though coming from differing spiritual traditions, fills them with abounding joy. A final chapter includes such practices—A tonic for whatever troubles us.

Surrendering to the Stillness within empowers us to listen for direction and take action, thereby becoming spiritual warriors in a world sorely in need of truth.

 

 

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