The meditation of May is considered by many to be the high point of the spiritual year when the energies of light, love/wisdom and the will-to-good are at their peak of power and the door opening to the human kingdom from higher worlds is wide open. To make full use of this yearly opportunity we reach up and into our highest spiritual potential, allowing the small problems of the physical and social worlds to fall into their rightful place as insignificant next to the full measure of who we are in essence and in reality: beings of light and love clothed temporarily in flesh and bone and housed in the world of things. Many people live their entire lives in the physical/social worlds and never enter the world of ideas, intelligent creativity or an examined life. This is wasted opportunity. We are energy, pure and simple. Between this energy and the physical and social worlds we can also live in the world of ideas and of creativity; we can live thoughtful and mindful lives. How all of this works out in the world is a dance of interrelated forces, good and bad, past and future, from here and there. Whatever the circumstances, we can choose to act with sublime generosity, wisdom, courage, bravery, strength, kindness, compassion, fortitude, patience, altruism, ethics, simplicity, effort, and endurance. And indeed these are some of the qualities of a bodhisattva, an enlightened being, who has recognized his/her essence of light and revealed something of these qualities of spiritual essence to the world.
Wesak or Vesak, the principal Eastern and Buddhist celebration recognized in this meditation, is on the day of the May full moon; this year it is on Wednesday, May 14th at 7:17 pm GMT. The birth, achievement of nirvana, and subsequent death of Gautama Buddha all came on this same full moon day of May. Some nations have chosen to give it a fixed day in May but the tradition of meditation at the full moon — at all of the full moons — is well established. The Dalai Lama holds his famous Kalachakra meditation for world peace every year in different places but always at the time of a full moon. Beside this ancient meditation tradition, the sun-earth-moon cycle is also a natural cycle, the same for all peoples of planet earth and is different from the business calendar, the birthday calendar, the religious calendar, and so on. Awareness of the heavenly bodies keeps us looking up! It also centers our consciousness in the vast limitless cosmos from which we came and to which we return, making our human problems shrink to their rightful size and giving us a wider perspective on life. We are light and cosmos and beauty in human form, the dignity and worth of which can never be blotted out. The stars return again most every night to remind us of our true nature. As Carl Sagan said, even scientifically 'we are made of starlight.' We are stars, each with our own light, quality and place in the constellations of culture. We each have earth mind, sun mind and cosmic mind, mirrored in nature itself.
Sometimes the dance of cultures turns into the wars of culture with subsequent imputing of evil onto nations, groups, and individuals — always a dangerous thing to do. Hence our world service meditations at the times of the full moon are all made in the service of right human relations with all peoples, groups, and individuals and with the kingdoms of nature and the web of life including the higher forms of intelligence about which humanity is still uncertain or even in the dark of denial. In the meantime we know of human heroes, we can see wisdom, love, excellence and skill in action. Each tradition from the religious to the non-religious secular world has its own pantheon of perfectment or fulfillment of potential showing us our full height and the way we can be as individuals and as citizens of the world, cognizant of our collective footprint and its effect on the planet.
Naming the things we value most in life can give us pointers to our highest qualities trying to work their way out as we live with the common problems of life. What are the three or four things you value most in life and why? The deepest center of our hearts and highest intelligence holds these qualities in archetypal form seeking our recognition and their eventual revelation. This can be part of a good daily meditation. Our monthly meditation, however, is a special time when we join together as one group of world servers — secular, non-religious, scientific, artistic, religious, and spiritual — aligned with our highest natures in service of the planet and its life forms. It is our time to find those archetypal energies trying to work out in our lives, times and in the world, which will lead to the better angels of our nature and their power to direct the will of humanity to serve the common good for ourselves and future generations. This meditation is a sublime opportunity to empower humanity to live up to its highest and huge potential by consciously, willingly opening to the forces of enlightenment made of the energies of light, love/wisdom and power as the will-to-good, and to organize and reorganize in a more just and sustainable way.
Wesak: A Celebration of Buddhist Psychology and Esoteric Ritual
Buddhism has often been called a psychology and philosophy more than a religion, mostly because it is non-theistic. Aldous Huxley, among others, made common the recognition in The Perennial Philosophy that the Western Abrahamic religions focus on God transcendent and that the Eastern Indo-Buddhist religions focus on God immanent. In Buddhism the attributes of wisdom and compassion are said to exist within everyone in their higher nature and may be discovered in a meditation practice and result in liberation and skilful means over time. This knowledge, understanding, meaning, and experience makes us happier people regardless of life's circumstances, such as downturns in the economy, loss of dreams or loved ones, divorce, disease, and old age. Empowering people to find their own true inner self of strength and fortitude helps them to overcome the inevitable pain and suffering that is a part of life for everyone.
The Dalai Lama writes that the causes of suffering are three: pain, change and conditioning, although I doubt that the Buddha had any idea that aversion (hate) 'therapy' would be created with the purpose of negative conditioning! The causes and three antidotes to suffering and unhappiness are named in his book, Kindness, Clarity, and Insight. These come with The Opening of the Wisdom Eye, another important book on the subject of the seed thought or keynote for this meditation, spoken as the soul, 'I see and when the Eye is opened all is light." This is a meditation on the power of love/wisdom and its reception. When the 'third eye' is opened, all it sees is light, lines of light connecting all things in a vast web of interconnected strands and jewels uniting all that is. The night sky or cosmos reflects this vision of reality. As above, so below, the ancient maxim reminds us. The third eye or ajna center in the forehead, "is the centre through which the intelligence aspect of humanity focusses creatively" (Bailey, Esoteric Healing, p. 153) and directs its force for change into the world.
The Legendary Ritual of Wesak
The esoteric and legendary ritual of Wesak describes the sublime moment when the Buddha is said to return annually to bless humanity, which he has done annually, it is said, since his death. It occurs mainly on invisible formless levels of meditation, especially this year when the Chinese have closed Mt. Kailas to the yearly pilgrimages so important to Tibetans. This calls us to make even more concerted effort to keep the subjective link clear and open within the deep silence of listening intuition. A video called Wesak, describing this annual return of the Buddha to bless the world, is available on the Lucis website and information on the 12 meditations is available from them and on Facebook.
This meditation of power and purpose (carrying 1st ray energies) stems from the divine will as "unavoidable directed purpose," Bailey writes (Esoteric Astrology, p. 195), through the Plan of light as increasing consciousness and understanding, through love as increasing awareness of interrelationship and interconnectedness (we all breath the same air) and through evolution from animal to human to superhuman as actualized God-seed, bodhisattva or immanent Christ consciousness. "The sublime Plan of Deity is what light reveals," Bailey writes (ibid, p. 376).
A Changing World
The world is changing in many ways but in two noticeably polar ways: one is the recognition of our oneness in a physical environment on a small blue planet and the other is the recognition of our differences in culture, language and the groups that make up the rich tapestry of art and creativity. Renegotiating and reorganizing our world to accommodate these two basic facts will occupy humanity for some time. In the meantime a return to an old oligarchic structure on a global level and away from equality and social justice is apparent. The recent history of this is traced by French author Thomas Picketty in the book Capital in the 21st Century. It's past time for the corporate bottom line to recognize the top line of the whole. It will do much to improve their self-esteem, especially for the oil companies. Another trend seems to be the falling apart of the arbitrary national lines drawn by the British and French after WWI. Greater unity in the EU and disunity in wealth, accompanied by natural ethnic and cultural identifications and groupings, on the other are both changing the directions of our social and economic worlds. Recognition and appreciation of the creative contributions of each culture focus us on beauty and away from the terrible conflicts resulting in the destruction of architecture, museums and artifacts, the creative gifts of a culture.
The energy of intuition and direct perception, free of the lesser designs of the present and past, free from karmic embroilments, real or imagined, projected or internalized, can open us as a group of world servers and points of light to the way ahead out of our more dangerous practices and into a sustainable and harmonious world for today and the future.
May the light from the wisdom eye open in all world servers in this meditation for human good and may it guide your life and intelligent creativity,
Joann S. Bakula
P.S. A streaming video-on-demand of Vesak 2011 from representatives of the U.N.'s 16 Buddhist nations is available at: http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2011/05/10th-session-of-un-permanent-forum-on-indigenous-issues-opening.html. Watching this video is a good way to recognize the tremendous influence that Buddhism has had on the United Nations from the beginning and continues to have on its ethics and direction. Watching the Wesak video from Lucis Trust is a way to prepare for the esoteric ritual in meditation and the annual blessing of humanity by the Buddha during real time at the moment of the full moon.