Creative Imagination

Necessary Imagination: See It, Be It

What does it take for us to live a divine life and contribute to a just and merciful world? Discover three steps for embracing the highest good for your life and our world.

 

WATCH VIDEO

LISTEN TO AUDIO

This message is the second one in the Imagine! series, exploring how we can light the way forward with intuition, heart knowledge, and insight.

What does it take for us to meet this moment in the highest way—to live a divine life and contribute to a just and merciful world?

Today we’ll explore three steps we can take. I’ll offer a practice for opening to possibility, and the supportive influence of divine grace, as we embrace the highest good.

Let’s begin with the verse from the Mahanarayana Upanishad (1.11) that inspires this series:

The form of that One is not to be seen.
No one sees it with the eyes.
Only one who has opened the heart,
the thoughts, and the mind [may see it].

Last week’s message focused on the importance of “letting the mind sink into the heart”—letting our restless thoughts settle and anchoring our awareness in our essence of being.

Being still is the foundation for intentional living; it’s how we open to inspiration, higher guidance, possibility, and supportive grace. It’s always important, and it’s particularly crucial now as the pandemic situation continues to change and we enter back into work, relationships, and activities.

I also introduced the principle of Rta—the Sanskrit word that indicates Divine Cosmic Order, the emanation or working out of Truth in action, the way of harmony. This divine harmony pervades, enlivens, and runs the universe, and we can learn to cooperate with it. Getting still is where it starts.

Here’s a favorite story about that. Once upon a time, a village was experiencing a severe drought. The villagers tried everything they knew to do to conserve the water they had and plant drought-resistant crops, but conditions became dire.

Someone told them about a healer from a distant village who could influence the elements. A rainmaker! They had their doubts about that. But they were desperate, so they sent for him.

When he arrived, they asked him what he needed. He said he would like a hut on the outskirts of the village and wanted to be completely undisturbed. They found a spot for him and, as requested, left him alone. Each day someone came around to check on him, but there was no sign of him, no activity they could see from outside his hut. Then, on the third day, it began to rain. First a drizzle, then a downpour.

The villagers ran to his hut and began to dance, sing, and shout his praises in the now muddy road. They called him to come out. What did you do? What did you do? They asked him.

He replied, “Nothing. I was just getting settled.”

Once we “get settled,” we can see more clearly. We can see what is before us, and also, with insight, intuition, and imagination, we can begin to see what is possible. We can see through fractured, broken, or challenging conditions to the wholeness that undergirds it all. Then we can cooperate with the rising of truth in our lives and our world.

Study the natural order of things and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistance. Nature provides everything without requiring payment or thanks. It does so without discrimination…If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop “trying,” if we stop putting in so much extra effort, if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be revealed. [1]

(From Toinette Lippe’s introduction to Gia-fu Feng’s translation of the Tao te Ching)

Three Steps for Embracing the Highest Good

Here are the three steps to use our imagination to open the portal to divine order, guidance, and support.

First, before step one:

Get settled.

Meditate.

Let your thoughts settle and allow awareness of your essence of being, your divine Self, to expand.

Then:

1. use your clarified awareness to see how things are,

2. open your mind and imagine a higher possibility, and

3. become receptive to the divine grace that is already present. You wouldn’t even have the vision if grace were not already operant in your life.

As you go through the three steps of this process, it is helpful to write them down. Then come back to them from time to time to review, update, or celebrate. Choose a focus to begin—an area of your life where you are ready to cooperate with the Infinite.

  • Step One: See clearly how things are right now. Be with what is, without resistance or pushing it away. Name the situation; describe it fully. Notice and describe how it feels and how it impacts you and others. What is it like right now? Besides the literal description of how things are, you can also take a quiet, reflective moment to be receptive to an image, a sound, or a feeling that encapsulates the whole thing for you.
  • Step Two: Open to possibility. Use your mind’s eye, your imagination, to vision the rising of the highest truth in action. What is the greatest good, or the divine possibility, you can imagine for this situation? How would it look? How would it feel? How would it serve and contribute to well-being? Is there a word, image, sound, or feeling that describes it?
  • Step Three: Let go with faith and follow the lighted path. Have confidence in the Infinite and your direct connection to it. Have faith in the vision you received and know that the steps for bringing it forth will be revealed. Take each step that appears.

How does this work?

Imagination allows the mind to see through obstacles: where there is discord, we can imagine harmony, and where there are barriers, openings. The key is to stay focused on the solution. Keep the higher vision in mind, not the problem or the obstacles.

Now, let’s go back to the brick wall—a continuation of last week’s story. I saw the brick wall with fresh eyes. I had a vision of possibility (really an imperative) that it was time to let in more light. Where there was a wall of bricks in the temple, we needed windows of light. However, that brick wall was a load-bearing wall, and we did not have a budget for such a massive temple renovation. It did not seem possible. But there was a vision. Stay with the vision.

Ask essential questions related to the vision. How will it serve? What is the possibility? As we held the vision and sought guidance for how it could unfold, the steps began to be revealed. Enter David Rhodes, a spiritually awake, divine friend and architect in our midst. I asked him. “How do we get more light through a brick wall?”

The answer to my question about how to get more light resonates for any situation where we need more light, more divine guidance: you find a way to open to it.

In our case, that meant installing an array of tubular skylights that respond to and bring in natural light throughout the day.

In conclusion, let’s hear from Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural poem for the Country: The Hill We Climb. This is the closing stanza of a poem to be read again and again.

When day comes, we step out of the shade,
Aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it,
For there is always light,
If only we’re brave enough to see it,
If only we’re brave enough to be it. [2]

 


[1] Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English with Toinette Lippe, (Vintage Books: New York, 1972) third Vintage Books Edition, October 2011, p. vi.

[2] Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country, (Viking: New York, 2021), 29.

 

divider

 

STUDY WITH YOGACHARYA

ONLINE SUNDAY SATSANG

Imagine! Light the Way Forward With Intuition, Heart Knowledge, and Insight

As human beings, the ability we have to use our imagination to see and know beyond what the senses can perceive is our doorway to the Infinite. Not only can we experience the vastness beyond time and space through this portal, but we can (and must) make use of it to cultivate heaven on earth.

creative imagination

 

KRIYA YOGA MEDITATION RETREAT

Join Yogacharya O'Brian for this opportunity to be immersed in spiritual practices that illumine the mind, balance the body, support well-being and offer the life-enhancing keys to Self- and God-realization.

 

ONLINE COURSE ON DHARMIC LIVING

Live your higher purpose with heart and meaning. Every day.

dharma 365

 

 

 

Leave a Reply