I received a call from an old friend the other evening. He was triggered and railing about the pandemic, and the impact it was having on him, the possible impact to his health and his small business. True concerns. But the victimhood and railing went on, and on, and on.
Eventually, I began to feel as though he was attacking me and I became defensive. I was now clearly triggered. This only added fuel to the fire. The call did not end well, and I was left shaking.
I woke up the next morning from a fitful sleep thinking aboutThe Four Agreementsby Don Miguel Ruiz.
Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
Always do your best.
I asked myself, “How am I showing up in the world today. How could I be showing up? What is mine to do?
I found my answers in this video clip I created a few years ago. It reminded me that when I sit still and go within, I already have the answers.
It is better to speak the same language of the heart than speaking the same tongue. – Rumi
According to Ethnologue, an online resource on world languages, there are more than 7,000 living languages. Some are spoken by hundreds of millions of people, some by much smaller communities. Twenty-three languages account for more than half of the world’s population. All of them have the same goal and function: To communicate thoughts, meanings and feelings between humans. In the extremely diverse world of languages, we express our ideas and feelings and say something to ourselves and other human beings. We state the meaning of our actions through words and sentences. Ideally, we resolve our differences through rational communication. But can speaking the same language always allow us to express our ideas properly?
There are instances where speaking the same language does not help overcome clashes and conflicts. This is where we need more than linguistic capability to reach the minds and hearts of our fellow human beings. This is where Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi enters in when he says, “It is better to speak the same language of the heart than speaking the same tongue.” Meaningful thoughts, expressed through language, make sense when they reach not just the minds but also the hearts of our interlocutors. They have an effect on our souls and minds when communicated through the language of the heart.
Words spoken through the language of the heart can be heard only when they come from another heart. This means that we have to train our hearts to speak to other hearts. Rumi believes that all human beings are endowed with the capacity to speak this language. As a matter of fact, the Islamic intellectual tradition holds that the heart is an epistemic organ as important as the mind and the intellect. The heart is not just the abode of feelings and emotions. It is also a depository of thoughts, ideas and meanings. One of the costly mistakes of modern philosophy was to turn the human heart, the seat of blissful and realized knowledge, into a purely sentimental and psychological faculty. cont’d
Sometimes people look for the quick fix–that one thing that will suddenly change their life. More times than not, the more we look for that one quick fix the less often we find it; or the quick fix turns out to be a traumatic life-changing event that is not what we had hoped for.
What would the result be if we were to lift our trajectory by just one degree? We did this 7-years ago when we started the Men’s Fellowship Network. Today, we have collectively invested over 20,000 man-hours in contemplative conversations on male spirituality and I would venture to say our lives are transforming.
Over time we have witnessed several transformations within our circle. One beautiful example is our brother, Kevin Wood, who has created and produced his first album in several years. It reflects his heartwarming journey of transformation.
I sat together with a friend one night within the dark night of his soul. I held for him a greater truth, the essence of which he could not see. I held it until he was eventually able to shed enough of what no longer served him, and was able to see the spark of light that had been within him all along. It was the spark of his true spirit; his goodness and his gifts. It gave me pause. I later realized that sitting with him was his gift to me and it inspired me to produce this short video about holding sacred space. After I finished making this video and put the music to it I realized the title of the guitar piece was “Diagonal” by Richard Crandell. Perhaps a touch of Divine order at play here… Clay Boykin
I invite you to set your phone to chime every day at 11:11am. Then, at that time pause a few seconds to energetically, mentally or spiritually, send a good thought to someone, or send a text, or give them a call.
This tradition was started a few years back in our men’s circle and has since begun spreading throughout Austin, Tx. Imagine the effect if everyone in Austin were to do it! Imagine if this went viral and the wave of good that would ripple around the world if all people were to do it.
According to numerology, the number 11 is a “master number” which signifies intuition, insight, and enlightenment. Seeing 11 11 is a good sign! An energetic doorway is being opened in which you will experience spiritual growth. – In World War I, on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 the armistice took effect. – This year has additional importance in that 2018 adds to the number 11, so it is the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of a year that signifies eleven”
Circles of Men – “A wake-up up call for men who believe they can go it alone.” – Don Frick
Mandalas take on countless sizes, shapes and forms and are a tool for gaining perspective, expanding thought and relaxing the mind. This excerpt from The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell provides an excellent description of how a mandala works.
Excerpt from the Power of Myth:
CAMPBELL: “Mandala” is the Sanskrit word for “circle,” but a circle that is coordinated or symbolically designed so that it has the meaning of a cosmic order. When composing mandalas, you are trying to coordinate your personal circle with the universal circle. In a very elaborate Buddhist mandala, for example, you have the deity in the center as the power source, the illumination source. The peripheral images would be manifestations or aspects of the deity’s radiance.
In working out a mandala for yourself, you draw a circle and then think of the different impulse systems and value systems in your life. Then you compose them and try to find out where your center is. Making a mandala is a discipline for pulling all those scattered aspects of your life together, for finding a center and ordering yourself to it. You try to coordinate your circle with the universal circle.
MOYERS: To be at the center?
CAMPBELL: At the center, yes….
My personal mandala has been evolving over the past few years. It is the place I can go at any time to pause and reflect, to pray, to meditate, or just sit in quiet contemplation in an empty space between the lines for a while. – Clay Boykin