Could the solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict be something so simple that it does not demand governments or political treaties? Could it merely be our willingness to sit in a circle on the sacred land, which belongs to both peoples, and breathe together? Breathe the same breath, the same Spirit. Breathe the name of God, "Allah-Elohim."
Not a gathering to argue, but to listen in silence to the Spirit-song, the breath of the heart, cleansing past and future trauma through intense Presence.
When there is conflict, we have three choices. We can ignore the conflict. We can identify with the conflict, taking one side or the other, and fueling the fire. Or we can choose a third way: Embrace the conflict.
When we embrace the conflict, we hold both sides in one light, the light of the heart. Then we become the field of conscious energy that diffuses the polarity.
The choice of the third way is always available. But too often, we don't want to do this work of healing. We choose not to diffuse our violent energy, because our mind is so identified with the conflict that it derives a terrible delicious joy out of hating or blaming the other side, the "enemy." Our anger actually feels "good" to us, feels "right" to us, because we have no sense of what peace feels like.
So even though we have the solution at our fingertips, nearer than our next breath, we pretend to be helpless. We look to governments tor resolve the conflict. But governments will never resolve it, because the conflict is our own mind, and we have chosen to feed it.
At any moment we can choose to breathe peace instead of war. This solution is available in the hearts of ordinary people, not saints. In fact, the conflict can only be solved here, in the heart of an ordinary person. Don't wait for a savior or avatar to do it!
Especially is this true in the conflict of Israel-Palestine, where one generation passes on its pain and anger to the next. If we do not release the trauma through the breath of the heart, the abused tend to become the abusers. Today, Zionists pass on the pain of the Nazi Holocaust to the people of Palestine. Tomorrow, the pain of young Palestinians will traumatize and abuse another generation.
Therefor it is essential to break the cycle now, essential for the whole earth that we resolve this conflict by the practice of the third way: not by ignoring it, not by taking sides, but by the alchemy of breathing.
Some will say this is magical thinking. But magical thinking, like insanity, is doing something over and over again, and expecting a different result. Magical thinking is war and politics. The way of the healing breath has not been tried at all. And it does not depend on thinking at all. It is pure practice.
We gather in healing circles - Jews, Muslims and Christians, Israelis and Palestinians. Gaze into each others' eyes, which is the real confrontation, not hiding behind guns! Breathe in the darkness of each others' trauma. Breathe this pain into our soul and body, tasting its dark, heavy, tortured energy as a living sensation in our very cells. Then offer it, offer the whole mess, on the marble of the heart. Pour the world into the emptiness of despair. Yes, let this very emptiness become the space that receives its own offering: depth crying unto depth, hollow striking spark upon hollow...
From this unconditional embrace of pain, if we have the courage to rest there, light is born. Even if the heart is flint and breath is stone, they strike fire. In dynamic silence we feel the breath consume and dissolve generations of trauma, right down through the molecules of our DNA. This breath heals our ancestors, and bathes our unborn children with forgiveness. Breathe in darkness, let darkness melt into light. This is the natural alchemy of grace. The darkness we breathe in is the precious fertilizer of the light that blossoms in the heart.
In all three Abrahamic religions, Breath and Spirit are the same energy, the same word. The Hebrew word for Breath and Spriit is "Ruach," whose cognate is the Arabic, "Rhu."
Likewise, in these sister Semitic languages, the name of God is also has the same sound. In the Hebrew Bible, God is called "Elohim." This is the plural form of the word "El," God. You will have to ask a Rabbi why the Bible uses the plural. The Hebrew "El' ",is "Al' " in the Koran. Jesus would have used this name for God in Aramaic. He would not have recognized the word "God" because it is Germanic. Jesus would have called the Lord, "Av'allah," Father God. The sounds are crucial. They are mantras. They are the sounds of the breath, enlivened as healing energy in the human nervous system.
The name " El' " or " Al' " is pronounced with two syllables, because it is the sound of exhalation and inhalation. The "Ah" sound begins every alphabet, divine creative energy in the individual body. We breathe out "Ah" from the crown of the head to the throat, the heart, the belly, through the base of the spine, where it's stream of power pours down into the earth. We offer our whole body in this breath, surrendering to the Mother. This is the grounding power of exhalation.
When it has poured all the way out, the "Ah"-breath ends in a deep silence. This silence may seem to last but a moment, yet it is boundless and eternal. It is not the silence of sleep, but the silence of fully awakened awareness without thought. This dynamic void that is the well of healing and new life, the silence before God said, "Let there be light." It is creation's womb.
As exhalation merges with this stillness, our mouth closes and the tongue gently touches the palate. Tongue on palate produces the "L" sound. Thus the sound of "Ah" becomes "La." In the science of Yoga, "La" is the seed syllable of the root chakra, at the base of the spine. In this root, the breath sinks from sky to earth and we offer ourselves to the Mother. Then the breath rises back up through the body, from earth to sky, gently opening the flowering petals of attention in the forehead and crown, where we offer ourselves to the Father. These two movements, sky to ground and ground to sky, unite heaven and earth in the human body, through breathing. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Healing Breath. Through this practice, the human form becomes the Tree of Life at the center of the garden, and the land of Israel-Palestine becomes Eden again.
May Palestinians and
Jews sit together, not in any attempt to
forgive, to justify, or to understand, but merely opening to Presence, gazing and breathing, allowing whatever comes up have its way with the breath, then letting it go. After a little while, close the eyes and continue this healing breath.
Welcome even anger into this breath. Anger becomes precious when we truly feel it, instead acting it out. When we throw our anger into action, we are escaping from it. But when we truly feel the sensation of our anger in our body, it gets transformed into energetic power. The value of anger is that it brings up the stuff we need to let go of. As we let go of it, the anger is replaced by vital healing energy. But if we don't let go of the anger, it becomes toxic. No one was ever healed by holding on to their anger.
So just keep breathing in the pain of the dear earth, and see how, in the temple of your heart, that very pain becomes the healing of the planet, transmuted into light.
This process of transformation is not an accomplishment of thinking. It is not an ideology. It is self-emptying. In self-emptiness, we become truly present. We can return to basic trust, surrendering every breath to the ground of the Great Mother.
When the heart opens, it becomes fearlessness, and when there is fearlessness, there is non-violence. Then we can afford to be generous. Generosity simply means leaving plenty for others by not taking more than one needs. See how the healing breath directly leads to a new political awareness, and new economics, and land reform policies, quite spontaneously? generosity of heart is the basis of a healthy economy. Economy comes from the Greek, "ecos" and "nomos," "home" and "law." The natural law of the home, the healing of the homeland.
Through open-heartedness, releasing trauma through the healing breath, and becoming truly present to one another, Jews and Muslims will discover that they can dwell in the same nation, on the same holy ground, sharing one linguistic tradition, one heritage of story-telling, and one God.
May we all practice this healing. Breathe in the darkness of each others' pain. Let it smoulder and
turn to love in the heart. Then breathe out peace. This work we do for ourselves, and for each
This intimate breath-work we do before any other task - social, political, or economic. This work of the present moment we do wherever we are: yet the radiance of the healing breath fills all time and space.
Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih, Allah Elohim.