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Twelve Principles of Spiritual Activism

 

Rule 1: All motivation underlying our actions must shift from anger and despair to
compassion and love. The point is to work for love rather than against evil. Our
actions may be the same but our underlying intentions will support love, not
anger, despair, fear, or hate.

Rule 2: To maintain non-attachment to the outcome of our actions because
success is not the purpose of this work.

Rule 3: The integrity of the work acts as its own form of protection. If you work is
grounded in integrity, the negativity can move on.

Rule 4: Working with integrity involves congruence with both the ends and the
means. The process and the product are one.

Rule 5: Do not turn your adversaries into “the enemy". Arrogance only leads to
more arrogance and polarizes everybody involved. If you can train yourself
constantly to entertain alternative points of view, you can move from a position of
arrogance (usually defensive) to a position of inquiry (less hostile). No matter how
much you believe in the rightfulness of your own position, there usually is a small
kernel of truth in you so-called “opponent’s” position.

Rule 6: Love your enemy or at least have compassion for them. This means
learning to see the world not as an us/them dichotomy but as “we”
consciousness. We are no different. “Them” is no other than “us.”

Rule 7: Work for the world rather than for yourself. One’s fulfillment comes from
the privilege of being able to do the work, to plant seeds for a future vision.

Rule 8: It is also true that in selfless service we help and serve ourselves; in
giving we receive. A feeling of gratitude evolves from this position rather than one
of arrogance.

Rule 9: Learn to be open to the pain of the world. As we let the pain in, we
become the vehicle for transformation. If we block the pain, we actually prevent
ourselves from participating in the world’s attempt to heal itself. The pain is the
medicine and by letting the pain in, we become agents for the earth’s healing.
This is hard for our culture because we are taught and programmed to avoid pain
at all costs.

Rule 10: What you attend to and focus on, you become. Focusing on battles
makes us embattled; focusing on love, makes us more loving. We must choose
wisely and be attentive to where to place our attention.

Rule 11: We need to cultivate a deep trust in the unknown and the mysterious,
to recognize that forces are at work that we can trust completely, even though
we do not know the agenda. This kind of trust involves:

a)      Recognize that there are invisible forces afoot.

b)      We can draw upon these forces and ask them for their hel
and support.

c)      We can rely upon universal principles beyond our direct
observation to help us.

d)     This brings great relief knowing we are not ultimately in
control or in charge.

e)      Our “job” is to figure out what our unique role and gift is in
this larger process.

f)       We then must give this gift or skill as generously as
possible.

g)      Trust that the rest will unfold.

Rule 12: Love will create the form. The heart will bridge the gap and fragmentation
that the mind creates. We need to learn how to work from a place of the heart,
not the head. In this way we will develop a kind of effectiveness that is beyond
our normal way of understanding because it doesn’t have anything to do with
thinking. It means learning how to embrace our humanity with an open heart to
serve as hospice workers to a dying culture and as midwives to an emerging new
one. Both tasks are required simultaneously.

Dalai Lama says: “A positive future can never emerge from the mind of anger and
despair.”

*This material has been edited and paraphrased from its original "Twelve Rules of Spiritual
Leadership" in March/April 2002 edition of Timeline, the bimonthly email newsletter of the
Foundation for Global Community, used with their permission.


 
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