Life's Wisdom is all around us. We don’t have to look far to find it. Life is constantly bringing us lessons to learn from and teachers to inspire us to greater understanding and purpose. There is a Hindu proverb, "The wise person looks within his heart and finds eternal peace." So with that being said, wisdom is much more than just knowing how to do a lot of different trades. It is more than knowing how to be successful in life, or mastering science, math, language, the arts, etc. Wisdom is understanding that you are a three part being: mind, body and spirit, and honoring the spiritual aspect as an active part of your life. It seems this is the part that is most often left out in modern culture. And sadly, the spiritual aspect is completely left out of our traditional educational system.
We get so caught up in our lives, that we oftentimes neglect one of the most important reasons I believe, for our being on this earth-learning life’s wisdom. Making time for growing in wisdom is one of the most important things we can do. I was just teaching my kids this concept, during our spiritual lesson this morning on "wisdom". I know if I didn't take time everyday to go to my source, I would be living without a lot of passion and inspiration.
Wisdom is understanding your place in the great spectrum of things, your part to play. It is knowing that you are just a small part in the circle of life, but an integral part nonetheless. It is not having all the answers, as no one does, but it is knowing where to go for the answers. Wisdom is knowing you are connected to a life source and that you are only as healthy and strong, as beautiful, as powerful, as creative and intelligent, as is your connection to this source. Wisdom is knowing that all things emanate from a source, and without a source, life wouldn't and couldn't exist. There is a quote from the Bhavagad Gita, one of the sacred Vedas, "I am the divine seed of all that lives. In this world, nothing animate or inanimate exists without me." Wisdom is understanding that you are a piece of the divine. Wisdom is staying close to and connected to your source, going to it everyday for clarity, guidance, support and nourishment. Wisdom is knowing and trusting that this source is guiding and directing your life. Wisdom is saying, "God I know what I want. You know what I need."
Wisdom is honoring the divine mother (mother earth), and taking from the earth what is needed and nothing more. It is understanding your connection to all of life, and honoring the sacredness of "all" life. It is honoring the sacred, spiritual teachings of all cultures, knowing there is much to be learned from all traditions. Wisdom is giving thanks to the creator for each new day, and knowing there is a sacred rhythm to all of life and trying to stay in tune with it. Wisdom is treating your body with respect and reverence, as well as the earth, knowing it is an extension of your body. It is knowing that all things in this world are temporary and impermanent. Wisdom is knowing there is enough of everything in this world for all of us. In fact, there is more than enough to go around, and therefore, no one needs to hoard anything. Wisdom is knowing that what we can see, touch, taste and smell, is only a small portion of reality, that there is a whole other dimension to life beyond the senses-a spiritual dimension.
One final and important point I’d like to make here, is that wisdom is not just walking around with your head in a book, or meditating night and day under a bodhi tree. It is practical, useful and oftentimes simple. I know from experience, that the deeper and deeper I have gotten into yoga and meditation, the more childlike, I have become. There is wisdom in simplicity, generosity, giving to your neighbors and in laughing, rejoicing and being present in the moment.
Copyright Justin Topik 2009