Last month, in the first of the three major Spiritual Festivals, many Christian communities around the world celebrated the Easter resurrection of the Christ. This month many Buddhist communities will be celebrating the Wesak Festival, honoring the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha. We can't say that all Christians observed Easter on the Aries full moon because the eastern Orthodox communities follow the Julian calendar and they will be celebrating Easter this full moon when the sun is in Taurus. In a similar way not all Asian countries follow the same calendar — so this year most parts of South and Southeast Asia will be celebrating Wesak on the May full moon, in China and Japan Wesak was observed in April, and in Thailand and Tibet this year Wesak will be on the Gemini full moon.
What all this means is that throughout the period of the Three Major festivals of Easter, Wesak and Goodwill the aspirations, devotions, rituals, prayers and meditations of millions of human beings rise to a peak — a point of tension in the mass mind and heart. Our work as a global meditating group is to work with that tension, focusing it into a clear invocative cry to the point of light within the mind of God, the point of love within the heart of God and the center where the will of God is known. Take the often unspoken, deep human quest to manage and direct our lives in accord with the highest principles we sense within: oneness, love, service, truth, goodness and beauty. We are living at a time when these principles and our apparent inability to live in accord with them as individuals, nations and a global community are highlighted in issues like climate change, economic and social inequality, health and well-being. So our meditation work is to hold the often unspoken invocative cry of the human heart in the light, and to lift it up to a point of clear concentrated focus directed to the Great Powers of Light and Love and Purpose. We need, as individuals communities and nations, an inflow of healing, illuminating, empowering energy from these Great Powers — from the Buddha, from the Christ — and from all the Great Ones named and known in all the traditions of transcendent mystery.
In this Wesak meditation our attention is focused on the Lord Buddha as a living being, a presence, One who is destined to walk again on earth as the Maitreya Buddha, whose appearance is also expected as the Second Coming of Christ. Remember we are not approaching this great being as individuals, but as a group field of mind and heart sensitive to the aspirations of our fellow human beings. As a group our task is to lift the cry of humanity to that inner place of Being where it will be heard by the Buddha and by his great brother, the Christ.
It seems to me that what matters here is not so much that we, as a planetary group of meditators, will be focusing on our role in this process, and on our own importance in this work. Our job is to forget ourselves, as a group — and to be absorbed in the human aspiration being lifted into the aura of the Buddha and the Christ. It is almost as if we need to viscerally feel the cry of humanity and, having felt the anguish of this cry, to imagine this cry being heard by the Buddha and the future Buddha, the Maitreya, producing an outpouring of compassion and wisdom. Above all we can imagine an outpouring of the energy that drives our will power. To grow in our ability to love takes persistence; the work of building right relations with the Earth, between peoples and between all the dimensions of our own being takes our whole lives. It involves an empowerment of purpose.
I was especially struck this year, in preparing for Wesak, by a passage from the Alice Bailey book, Esoteric Psychology Vol. II [pages 687-8] that has been highlighted in an email Newsletter from Lucis Trust. In this passage DK is describing the five-day period of the full moon rhythm. During the first two days, described as 'days of renunciation and detachment' we are asked to: hold the attitude of dedication and service and seek to assume that attitude of receptivity to that which our soul will impart which will make us of use to the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy works through groups of souls, and the potency of this group work is to be tested out. So the work of the first two days of the cycle is to be open to soul impression and to remember that our soul functions and is absorbed in a group identity.
The last two days, after the day of the full moon, the 'days of distribution' our focus is to shift away from the interior subjective planes to the outer world. Our work is to pass on, or to pass through, that measure of spiritual energy that may have been contacted.
But the piece that especially struck me was the reference to what is called the 'day of safeguarding', the actual day of the full moon itself. We are to regard ourselves as the recipients of, or the custodians of, as much of that inflowing spiritual force as we can possibly hold. As channels, we must be prepared to forget ourselves in the service of touching, containing and holding force for the rest of humanity. We must regard the Festival itself as a day of silence (I refer to an inner peace and silent solemnity that can be preserved unbroken though the individual may be serving through speech and spoken interest), a day of service carried forward entirely on esoteric levels, and of complete self-forgetfulness in the remembrance of humanity and its need. During that period, two thoughts only will hold our constant attention-the need of humanity and the necessity of providing a group channel whereby the spiritual forces can be poured through the body of humanity under the expert guidance of the chosen members of the Hierarchy.
And so, friends, as we prepare for meditation, let us direct our attention to the Buddha, and to the future Buddha, the Maitreya, the Christ. And let us remember Buddha's call to his disciples to train their mind so that they would be a lamp unto themselves and others, finding the sources of Truth within. Regardless of what others thought about them or spoke about them, he reminded his disciples:
Our minds should remain unsullied. Neither should evil words escape our lips. Kind and compassionate will we ever remain, loving of heart, not harbouring secret hate. And we will bathe them with the unfailing stream of loving thought. And proceeding further we will embrace and flood the whole wide world with constant thoughts of loving kindness, wide, ample, expanding, immeasurable as the world, free from enmity, free from ill-will. Thus my disciples must you train yourselves.