A Call to Unity

A plea for harmony in a spiritual community after 9/11

The TM movement has a difficult challenge, the same one faced by those many organizations throughout history that felt they had some special truth that needed to be kept pure, protected from dilution or tarnish or misinterpretation. Unfortunately, this highly conservative agenda can conflict with openness, inclusiveness, and tolerance. In Fairfield over the years, various people have been asked to stop participating in the group practices and gatherings that are the central focus of TM activities here, because they have shown too much interest in spiritual pursuits "outside the fold."
Immediately after 9/11, such divisions in our community — or any community — were especially hard to accept, and hence this short essay in the local paper. (The "capital" mentioned below is the informal name of the office that handles admission to the "golden domes", the large domed structures in which group meditative practice takes place twice daily. A "sidha" is one who practices the advanced TM programs.)

Behold but One in all things;
it is the second that leads you astray.
   - Kabir

In the wake of the recent tragedies, inter-faith prayer services held throughout the country brought together people of all religions and spiritual traditions to give voice to their own wisdom, and the different strands of light wove together into a single vibrant cord that rose from here to the heart of God.

How glorious it would be, what a profound symbol of harmony, if all who have ever been in the domes in Fairfield were simply allowed to return. Let us welcome, with open arms, any sidha who desires to join us. How can we object if the man or woman sitting next to us in meditation has visited other saints or teachers, or has found wisdom in a different form of spiritual expression, or has some different ideas about this or that? All we should ask is a willingness to respect the group coherence by practicing, in the dome, just the program to which the group is dedicated.

As Bush begins to call up the reserves, let us call up our blessed friends and neighbors. And let us contact the capital on behalf of anyone we know that has been excluded and would like to return, or on behalf of all the excluded. Call, write, email the capital and the administration; make the request broad and strong — taking extraordinary care, always, to maintain harmony in all these communications.

Religious divisions have torn apart the family of man for millennia, and probably played a role in the latest terrorist horrors. Let us eliminate even the vestiges of spiritual division here in our own community.

The time demands ever bolder and more generous action. May the doors to the domes become portals into unity, into the embracing harmony that this world so desperately needs.