Can you tell me What is Wisdom while standing on one leg? This was the challenge put to a rabbi of old.
King Solomon said that wisdom was the knowledge and judgment to know right from wrong. He received his vaunted wisdom from God in a dream; would that we too had such dreams!
"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for he is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold."
-- Proverbs 3:13
The Talmud says that the wisest among men is he who learns from all. My father's view on the subject was that it would be wise if I did what he said and didn't say what he did. Wisdom is as wisdom does.
Wisdom is an endangered natural resource today in our Over-Information Age, where knowledge is rising and genuine sagacity increasingly rare. If we wish to become wiser and more sane, we'd do well exploit and develop our own innate natural resources for a change while furthering the sustainability of our planet and civilization. For example, time too is a natural resource; though we seem to live in a time-starved era, I personally believe that it's not time we lack but focus and prioritization. This is an inside job. The evergreen subject of how to live our lives is the very purview of wisdom and the necessary cultivation of self-knowledge and awareness. Perspicacious wisdom is the highest form of sanity.
There was a time when wisdom, as the pinnacle of human insight and understanding, was prized above anything else. Knowledge looks around, wisdom sees deeper. Wisdom is available within each and every one of us, a combination of clear vision--seeing things as they are, not as we might like them to be--combined with understanding how things are interconnected and function. Truth or reality is things as they are, just as they are--stripped of concepts, preconceptions and judgment -- and not as we are, heavily conditioned by projections and interpretations.
MetaWisdom is that overarching, underlying, timeless yet timely discriminating awareness which sees clearly and acts accordingly, in tune with how things are and need to be. It is transconceptual, intuitive knowing which groks the essence of things in their essential true nature as well as clearly comprehending how they fit together, work and function. Ignorance giving rise to the illusions of separation and egotism is the root of all evil; nonsectarian wisdom is the panacea and antidote to what ails us. This is why my thought leader colleague, the change agent Kevin Buck, and I are launching our metaWisdom initiative, metaWisdom Dialogues and mW website, a place for people to come together and collaborate wisely in co-creating a better world and better life.
The task of radically transforming what exists today into the sustainable, equitable, and integral world of tomorrow is a daunting one, and is likely to be accomplished only through actions that arise from wisdom. What seems to be called for is profound understanding. Wisdom themes include self-knowledge, discernment, detachment, cooperation, integration and transcendence.
To know the world, and others, is knowledge. To know oneself is wisdom. Self-knowledge gained through introspection and self-observation is the key to life wisdom. When I right my ship, the whole world comes aright. Awakening myself helps awaken the world. When I am awake, everything becomes clearer; I don't necessarily see different things, but I definitely see everything differently.
An old Tibetan lama I knew once said: "The whole problem with Westerners is that you think your happiness and difficulties come from outside, from circumstances and conditions. True happiness is not found there." This is Buddhist wisdom, in a nutshell.
Let me share something very personal with you. Over the last four decades of my quest, I have heard, talked with, studied and sat at the feet of many of the wisest gurus, sages, saints, masters, experts and leaders of this world. I now have the audacity to feel that I can go to my inner guru and my own meditation for the answers I need. You too could do this. We may feel far from truth, god and reality--whatever you call it, it's still as sweet-- but let me assure you that it is never far from us.
Knowledge comes from acquiring and grasping facts. Wisdom comes from reflecting on and digesting experiences, learning their lessons, gaining insights and developing guiding life-principles: reflection, meditation and skillful action. I find that those who are wise have a good sense about things, and their inner wisdom manifests as an uncommon common sense. Wisdom is like truth, hard to define but recognizable. Truth without love is barren, sterile, cold; love without truth or wisdom is crippled and blind.
The Bhagavad Gita says:
"Humility, unostentatiousness, noninjuring,
Forgiveness, simplicity, purity, steadfastness,
Self-control; this is wisdom,
Which is opposed to ignorance."
If we look around with a discerning eye and sincere interest we might find wise mentors and exemplars we can learn from and even apprentice ourselves to in the pursuit of deepest wisdom.
Would you like to rub shoulders with some of the greatest sages and mighty spiritual minds of our world, and imbibe some of what they have to offer? Read and ponder some of the wisest thoughts and maxims. Take up and ponder as daily homework a little of Lao Tsu's classic Tao te Ching, the Third Zen Patriarch's "Trust in Heart" long poem, or Ecclesiastes in the Good Book. Wisdom can be caught more than taught, and rubbing shoulders with those who embody it remains among the very best methods for catching this healthy perennial bug. The wise student of truth and reality reads both books and life itself.
Wisdom is not merely a matter of belief, doctrine, dogma, scripture, or received knowledge from previous generations. Nor is it necessarily the result of old age. Age is no guarantor of wisdom; we must strive to become wise elders rather than jaded old fools, through reflecting upon and extracting the essence of our experiences as we go through life rather than just stumbling forward on the treadmill of events without reflecting and learning very much. We can and even must develop body wisdom, emotional wisdom, intuition, relational awareness, spiritual sensitivity, equanimity, balance and other inner intelligences beyond mere mental knowledge if we wish to get the most out of metaWisdom's ageing and sage-ing process.
What is wisdom, and how to acquire it? Who has wisdom today? Where is wisdom to found, except within the treasure trove of our own spiritual consciousness and innately radiant nature of mind? I think it's incumbent upon each of us, as wise and responsible adults and stewards of society and this planet, to gather what we can of the wisdom of experience and pass it on to the future generations, for the ongoing benefit of one and all.
Wise leaders of the world, awaken and unite! Throw off your conceptual chains, your prejudices and opinions and join us in helping usher in a new, ever-arising day ... The dawn of divine wisdom, that life-giving sun of awakened awareness which never sets.
Are you still balancing on one leg? You can relax now. Wisdom-knowledge is above all a great relief. For it is thru wisdom that we can discern the real from the unreal, the true from the false, gold from mere brass. To me, wisdom is knowing how to live and flourish, alone and with others. This includes both practical wisdom and discernment now, and also that transcendental wisdom, self-realization and divine knowledge good for both now and later.
Knowledge comes from acquiring and grasping facts. Wisdom comes from reflecting on and digesting experiences, learning their lessons, gaining insights and developing guiding life-principles. The 11th century Islamic poet and philosopher Ibn Gabriol says: "In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth -- teaching others."
World Labyrinth Day Walk as One Labyrinth Walk and Workshop
Scarritt Bennett Center, Front Porch Gift Shop and Gallery F.
1000 19th Ave. South, Corner of Grand Ave. and 19th
May 1, 2010, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Workshop “The Labyrinth as a Tool for Self Discovery”
1 p.m. - Walk as One Labyrinth Walk
You may come only for the walk, or walk any Labyrinth near you at 1 p.m.
Free, Pre-registration appreciated
Sarah Cherry - 615 794-6918, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring a sack lunch, good walking shoes and paper and pen for journaling if you wish. Rain or shine!
Sarah Cherry, Veriditas-Trained Labyrinth Facilitator, will lead a workshop prior to the walk from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. entitled “The Labyrinth as Tool for Self-Discovery.” This workshop will give you a chance to explore the Labyrinth from a personal level. We will briefly explore the Labyrinth and how it can be used as a meditative tool for self-discovery. We will walk the Labyrinth before we break for lunch and reconvene at the Labyrinth at 12:30 to participate in the “Walk as One” event at 1 p.m. Please call or write Sarah for more information on this workshop.
While at Scarritt-Bennett, you will have time to visit gallery F.’s amazing exhibit of Native American artists from Choctaw, Zapotec, Cherokee, Wichita and Chickasaw tribes, as well as the opportunity to browse The Front Porch for unique gifts, books and coffee.
World Labyrinth Day, sponsored by the Labyrinth Society-- an international organization founded in 1998, is celebrated around the world the first Saturday in May. Everyone will begin this walk at 1 p.m. in their time zone, with the intent of raising the energy of Peace and Brotherhood. These walks will stimulate a rolling wave of energy circulating throughout the globe as each time zone completes its walk with the intentions of peace. While large group events are planned, no event is too small. Individuals who wish to participate may use a finger labyrinth in the comfort of their home. This event is celebrated around the world in countries including the United States, England, New Zealand, China South Africa and Australia.
About The Labyrinth Society (TLS)
The Labyrinth Society is one of the foremost groups responsible for promoting the current international labyrinth movement. The Labyrinth Society is an international organization whose mission is to support all those who create, maintain and use labyrinths, and to serve the global community by providing education, networking, and opportunities to experience transformation. Since its inception, more than 1500 people have joined TLS. One of The Labyrinth Society’s greatest contributions has been helping to establish The World Wide Labyrinth Locator.
About the Facilitator:
Sarah is a life-long student of Metaphysics and Sacred Geometry. She builds labryinths and designs and draws in accordance with the sacred geometry specific to the place on the earth. By this method, the structure is in harmony with the earth, solar system, and stars, and can thus having a most beneficial effect on the human energy system to calm the mind and heal the body. Using these methods as well as the latest modern technology, she also offers home balancing and mitigation of spiritual influences, geopathic stress and electronic smog. She is also a Veriditas-Trained Labyrinth Facilitator and is available to work with individuals and groups introducing them to the Labyrinth as a tool for self-reflection self-healing or group dynamics exploration.
Sarah is a Certified Medical Qigong Therapist currently in the Master's Program at the International Institute of Medical Qigong (IIMQ). She teaches Medical Qigong posture classes in the Franklin area, substitute teaches at the Middle Tennessee Branch of the IIMQ, and holds a clinical practice. She is also a Reiki Master. She has studied in China with Daoist Abess Zhang Ming Xin. Sarah is also a licensed minister and consecrated in the order of the Free Priesthood.
**This short video was created not long after Tanya's and Maribeth's weekend retreat with Gary Zukav and Linda Francis at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Denver. I hope you enjoy this brief talk as much as we enjoyed the entire seminar!
Every year A Circle of Friends enjoys practicing silent group walking meditation at Radnor Lake.
This coming Tuesday, April 27, we will meet in the Radnor Lake parking lot for walking meditation. We will meet at 5:15 and begin promptly at 5:30.
If you arrive late, please catch up with us in the park. There are two entrances to the park. We will meet on the Granny White Market side. You can find directions here.
When we walk, we stay together. We walk as a group, stopping at the sitting areas along the way, enjoying the lake views together, in silence. Please watch the video above for instructions. It is still pretty cool at times out at the park, so plan to bring a light jacket. Children and friends are welcome!
Keep in mind that one never knows when they may have the opportunity to view the rare deer stick -- our yearly nod to Marjie! See you Tuesday!