I was privileged to become an Elder last year for the first time in Crete, when the International Transpersonal Community met in early October. Spurred on by Tanna, a rare soul who feels for the planet and its peoples, we covered many different topics that evening, sitting in reverence in our circle.
We all know how much time and effort is spent on feeding the body. Making delicious meals we spend hours in the kitchen preparing gourmet dishes. Spending effort and time on the body is equally important. We dress the body in silks and cotton, splashes of color that match our shoes and eyes. All in all we look after the temple we have been given but sometimes forget about the Soul, residing in the temple. To feed the Soul is to acknowledge its importance -- to recognize spirit and the deep connections that we have as a human race, when we focus on what joins us rather than divides us. Often I cannot quite understand why we feel the need to fight over a piece of land or a cup of water. We are all a breathing, living conscious form of light -- vitality -- the spirit of life. Time goes by -- suffering brings us closer to the self, joy brings us closer to the heart and yet we forget so easily to stand in awe of the food on the table and the water in the cup. What about the brilliant mind that can still itself in Mindfulness, emotions that bring the heartbeat closer to the conscious awareness that we have been blessed with, the variety of life forms on this planet, the beauty of the sea and the crisp air; running water in streams and fish that shine as they glide through the reeds? What more can we wish for than the beauty of the land, the setting sun, the moon as it ebbs and wanes, drops of rainwater and the lush foliage of the forest?
This land needs elders. It needs people like you and me who stand and stare -- who are grateful and filled with respect. As Elders we need to listen more deeply to one another; to stand more silent when the sun sets or rises over the mountains; we need to look for what brings us together and overcome the challenges life gives us. To be an elder is to feed not only the soul of humankind but that of the animal and plant kingdom. It is to feed the soul of the universe and to recall how much abundance is alive in it. To feed the soul is to know that economies come and go -- that humans come and go and that every moment in the day counts because it is only in the now that we can change the future. Past is passed and tomorrow has not come. To become an elder is to stand corrected knowing that wisdom is a process and that it never fails to give understanding, when we listen to the deeper call. When we can all become Elders on this land we will return to community living and the space within which is always constantly there -- filled with its extraordinary light because it allows us to choose where we go next.
It is not enough to move technologically through the ages if we do not stop and wonder how far we need to go, to truly understand something about life. We can fly to the moon and become glued to the internet but in the end result, at the end of a long day's work, we need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we have done our best... if we fed the soul and if we can call ourselves Elders of this land that gives so much to us.