Sunday, 22 February 2009

I finally understand.....the Buddhist concept of Avidya or ignorance

What an amazingly powerful weekend I have just returned from. This weekend was the global team management and communication programme and present were Tel Aviv, Amsterdam and London. I was so moved by the fact that everyone of us there has the aim of bringing about a peaceful and harmonious world through communication. Everything can be resolved in communication, in being authentic and in taking responsibility for how we communicate. The new model of communication that I am being trained in is about having integrity and generosity and responsibility in all of my communications so that I create love and affinity from me to others, from others to me and from others to others. At the start of each quarter all of the regions meet together as a global team and share the results of what they produced that quarter. The results are in terms of the number of people who registered to get trained in the new model of communication. It is not about the numbers, the numbers reflect how much communication is being transformed out there in the world.

Last quarter Tel Aviv came in as high performing. This means that as a region it was highly successful in inspiring others to get the distinctions from the new model of communication for themselves. London came in as effective and Amsterdam similar. I had spent this quarter thinking that once again Tel Aviv would come in as high performing and I would get an insight into what worked and what didn't. However this time as a region - Europe and the Middle East we all did pretty poorly. In order to begin a new quarter the old one must be completed. This involves taking a hard look at the results, not in terms of good or bad, right or wrong, but in terms of what was missing in who we were being that people did not feel inspired to seek out the model of communication for themselves. Each team leader from the region declared what was missing. I was rocked to my core when the team leader for Israel said 'we stopped playing' and in this quarter there was war'. That really shocked me. I don't know if it is true or not, that when Tel Aviv stopped speaking about the power of new model of communication for bringing about peace and harmony that the fragile peace that had been maintained was shattered. But it has really made me think, what if that resistance I feel towards sharing myself and making myself really vulnerable is the conversation that will bring about world peace, how can I not push through the fear of not looking good and not wanting to step up if me speaking out might make the difference. These few words from the Israeli team leader shifted the context within which I speak about the power of the communication curriculum.

Something else was said that for me was very interesting. I have often spoken in this blog of the spiritual journey being about the game being played between the ego identity and the soul. The game is that the identity will never be weak enough for the Soul or possibility to shine through to begin to be a co-creator with the Divine. Not only do our own individual identities fight and resist this continuously but when someone steps up to be a leader the identity will conspire to bring the leader down so that it can continue to remain small. In one of the teams there was a breakdown with one of the team leaders. A member of team declared that this was done intentionally so that this person could be the team leader. When I heard this I was shocked but then realised that this is the nature of human being, it is the fight by the identity not to allow greatness in the world and its a fight to the end of life as we know it for a human.

This weekend I realised what the Buddhist concept of Avidya or ignorance is truly about. Avidya is not the usual kind of ignorance of not knowing. It is an ignorance that distorts the nature of reality. It makes reality appear as it is not. When we are young we form a point of view about ourselves and the world. This point of view then gives us the life that matches that point of view. It's usually put in place the first time an event happens to a child and they say something like I said 'I'm not loved, I'm alone'. Then from then on until the point of view is distinguished it gives me my world. It is as a result of me distinguishing my point of view and wanting to have control over it that I made the move to return to college and live in another city. For a few weeks now I was an under-study for a play that we were doing. I felt close and related to everyone in the play and they to me. On Friday night the person who I was an under-study for returned and I left. Nobody said 'wait' or 'where are you going to be later'. As a result I left with my point of view very strongly in existence 'I'm not loved, I'm alone', with 'I'm rejected and don't belong' thrown in for additional drama! What I got to see so plainly the next morning was that it was my point of view that created those people as not wanting me, it isn't the truth because I know each of them and know that this is not how they see me. But my point of view was straight in there and created these people to be that way for me. This I assert is what the Buddhists mean by Avidya, it is a nasty distortion of reality. It is done by the identity that uses the point of view whenever it senses that there is a weakness or a loss of possibility or an empowering context.

The identity means business and it will use every means most of them foul not to have us experience and be the greatness that is within all of us. As a result of this weekend I am so much more aware of my point of view and of how it not only gives me the life I have but also how others occur to me. None of this is the truth and this is why it distorts reality. It was a tough but incredibly valuable insight I got this weekend. From this trainig I am really gaining first hand experience of how the identity operates and just how ruthless it is. It is not openly ruthless everything operates at such a subtle level and it requires vigilance and alertness to be able to see when it is at play. The only way to cut down on its effectiveness is to always have a possibility which is realm of being that you generate and an empowering context and to keep these alive at all times. The identity cannot co-exist in a space of possibility and empowering context.

I've returned from this weekend quietly determined to make a difference in the lives of those I speak to. I am committed that everyone has what they want in their lives with freedom and ease. I believe that this is possible through this training because it is a training and study into what it means to be a human being and what stops us from being the powerful human beings we are designed to be. I come back again to the game, there is only THE ONE playing the game and I must remember that when I'm going a bit too gung-ho for the identity with its ego which then gives the personality. It is only a game. I just wish more people would win it........what does it mean to win the understand, realize and experience that the identity is not who we are.....

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