I have just completed a seven-day silent retreat in a Tibetan Buddhist form of meditation called Dzogchen. I told the small group of fellow practitioners as we said our farewells that I wanted to bottle the heart-mind energy that had been created during that week and bring it to the social change organizations that Hidden Leaf funds, and through these organizations to all the people they touch. A friend patted me on the chest and told me it was bottled right here.
There is a formless energy dwelling within all of us that we can access when we intentionally turn our gaze inward. This energy is more likely to take form and become manifest in our work in the world when we nurture it. That is the mission of Hidden Leaf Foundation . . . to assist organizations doing good work in the world to access this power that is hidden in all of us.
For me intentionally “turning my gaze inward” means I sit on a cushion, still my body and mind, and wait and watch as I settle into expansive awareness. Over time, mind clears, my personal issues pass through and hopefully disperse, and a more spacious awareness opens. From this space of awareness, I am much more capable of tending to my life responsibilities in my roles as father, spouse, team mate, businessman, board member, and change agent in the social justice community.
We all have different ways and forms that assist us in “turning our gaze inward.” Although these methods are engaged collectively in many of the world’s religions and ethnic communities, many of them are intensely personal and are intentionally aimed at transforming the individual. Whether it is a mystical dance, a form of yoga, singing in a church choir or, as for me, sitting in meditation, there needs to be an intentionality directed at self transformation. When that happens — when the self is transformed — the outer world, within which that self operates, will be transformed. Our inner state always manifests in our outer action in the world.
That is the energy that is bottled up in my heart/mind that is finding a way of manifesting in this letter. That is the passion that motivates Hidden Leaf toward the most radical change that an individual or a society can effect . . . to change the attitudinal foundation that often limits and always motivates each of our actions.
May it be so,
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
— Mahatma Gandhi