There are three substances we could argue to be the most indispensible and immeasurable commodities on the planet, and they also happen to be free: love, sunlight and air. I’d add a fourth, less obvious one: enlightened consciousness, which could be considered a highly developed form of love.
Like sunlight and air, enlightened consciousness affects everything we do and how we do it, such as in the form of the role modeling, inspiration and comfort we draw from the examples of highly realized beings throughout history. Like the other items, spiritual realization is challenging to measure, and largely taken for granted, as we simply forget how important it is for us to flourish.
Spiritual realization can happen anywhere, and it’s important that it does, since it’s indispensible everywhere! The teaching I’ve trained in for the last two decades reflects this in its universalist approach: we draw on teachings of awakening from every tradition we encounter.
In order to develop ourselves as agents of a universal realization, we have intentionally removed the boundaries that would more conventionally define us and what we do. We don’t fit well into any particular category, because it’s important that we be able to fit into any category, to support spiritual unfoldment wherever we find ourselves or are called.
My root guru Namgyal Rinpoche once defined intelligence as “the speed and facility with which a being can adapt successfully to changing circumstances.”
I grew up in the Midwest, attended Columbia U in NYC, became immersed in traditional Kyoto culture, studied shamanism in the Brazilian rainforest, and lately have been learning about social entrepreneurship and using grazing management to improve wildlife habitat in the Y2Y corridor. I’ve learned how to take the best elements of each of these environments and adapt and apply them to the others. Adaptability to change can be inherently challenging to measure with traditional metrics, yet both are increasingly important in our world.
As transformative change agents, how skilled are we at adapting to change? We may look to the sun, air, love and enlightened consciousness for inspiration.