Honoring 9/11 through Spiritual Practice
Seventeen years have passed since 9/11.
There is an entire generation that doesn’t know what it was like to bring a diet coke on the airplane and walk through a metal detector with their shoes on. Terrorism is part of the new generation’s vocabulary; which wasn’t part of mine as a kid. According to 247wallst.com there are 15 ways that our country has changed since 9/11: 1. tightened security at the airport, 2. increased national security measures (Patriot Act, Department of Homeland Security formed), 3. increased government surveillance, 4. the perception of public gatherings shifting into “hot spots” of concern, 5. America entered a constant state of war, 6. US immigration policies changed, 7. hate crimes increased against Muslims, 8. building codes shifted toward community safety, 9. US military strategies shifted from fighting countries to groups, 10. cybersecurity became a priority, 11. politics have become polarized, 12. conspiracy theories increased, 13. treatment of prisoners has been scrutinized and debated, 14. money tracking systems changed, and 15. efforts to keep 9/11 in the forefront of American’s mind has led to incorporating the topic into school curriculum and building public memorials.
The country today is remembering 9/11 in all of its horror and beauty. We remember witnessing the love which arose from deep tragedy and the courage demonstrated by firefighters and citizens in the midst of destruction. Each story has multiple points of view and in aggregate, our country and each person in it was somehow impacted. The spiritual path is to be awake to the impacts and to allow all of it to open our heart more fully and to listen more keenly for Soul guidance.
As a spiritual practitioner, we are called to be in the world but not of it. We practice mediation, prayer, giving, study, community, and service that we may be a physical location in the world that disseminates Light. Reading the list of 15 ways our country has changed in outward form since 9/11, we are reminded today to look within ourselves and decide how we are going to show up in the world and from where we receive our messaging. Do we listen to the news? To our heart? Or to the news with our heart open? Does our guidance and faith come from circumstances or is it a direct receiving from The One/Only?
I continue to play with how I show up in the midst of “other” or “opposition” energy. “Other” is the bedrock out of which the energy of opposition emerges. A worldview needs to include “othering” in order to set up right/wrong warring factions. And this energy is actively alive in the world at this moment. However, it has never been alive in the Soul. The Soul refuses to pit and demean; its sight is higher and inclusive. This is where the only way known to change hate (belief in bad other) is through Love.
Over the decades I’ve returned to Ken Wilbur’s work who acknowledges the different levels of consciousness within the world and the different operating systems within each consciousness. For example, a warring consciousness has a different way it behaves than does a community-service consciousness. What do I do with all of this information? I like to take Wilbur’s work and ask the questions he poses of my own being. Where within myself am I warring and acting out other? Where am I doing this in the world? Where am I of service and behaving as a community builder? Where is my predominate home of being within myself?
Today I want to close with a prayer celebrating The Presence of Go(o)d being right where I am and you are (you might want to read it out loud):
I begin with the recognization of the Allness and Wholeness of God.
Ever Present, Ever Loving, Ever Living.
This Presence IS.
It is the very breath that I take, the air that I breathe, the body I inhabit.
God Is All, and as such, I am presenced by the Presence.
Right where I am — God is. I need not die to know God. It is here right now and active in my affairs.
I need not be different in order to access the Presence; it cannot go anywhere, as it is All There Is.
God is. I am.
As this is True of me, it is True of each and every living thing. God is the breath, the life, the presence within and as each individual.
As such, I know that every person who lost someone they loved in 9/11 — right where they are; God is. Love is.
I know that each and every child born after 9/11 sits, walks, and moves in the Love/Light of God.
There is no exception — the Isness of God is Omnipresent.
And so I rest. I give my heart permission to open and remain open. As God is Its Source, Protection, and very Life.
I allow myself to be a space for Light to disseminate and Love to be spoken.
I bless everyone I have the privilege to serve. I bless everyone who thinks they like me or thinks they hate me. It matters not. Blessings abound. Love reigns.
Today is a Go(od) day.