Remembrance is a meditation that awakens us to an everlasting reality. Remembrance brings us into a spiritual life. Maintaining a focus on what really matters most in our lives actually serves to expand our view of the world – and our role in it. Through remembrance, we learn to better understand the conflicts that arise in our lives, to distinguish between the endless pairs of opposites that appear, to make wiser choices, and to carry out our actions in service to others. Remembrance leads us to spiritual transformation.
Through our various spiritual traditions, we have a variety of practices designed to keep us focused on a deeper awareness of the pervasive sacred: the Eightfold Path, the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the Five Pillars, and many other rituals and ceremonies that involve regular ways to draw our attention to the sacred.
At the heart of most spiritual practice, what is left when we move beyond form and language, is simply remembering. Remember who you are. Remember what you love. Remember what is sacred. Remember what is true. Remember that you will die, and that this day is a gift. Remember how you wish to live, and that you will return to where you came from.
Remembrance is a meditation that creates gratitude, gratefulness, and strength of faith; and these qualities are necessary for spiritual transformation. Our greatest lessons of spiritual transformation come directly from the real lives of the prophets, from Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, and from Baha’u’llah. We nurture our own spiritual lives by remembering the lives of the prophets, the wondrous attributes and qualities they expressed, and the tremendous struggles and hardships they endured. This helps us remember our own spiritual essence and potential, and that we will experience similar motifs of joy and sorrow, crisis and victory, and light and shadow in our lives, too.
The mystic traditions all exist to help us remember what we forgot about our own true origin and destiny. The soul’s greatest challenge, not surprisingly, is with the physical body it is connected to on its journey through this world. The constant pull between the physical and spiritual realms creates ongoing challenges for both the body and the soul. Being present, and conscious, in the world makes this our training ground. Not escape from the world, but work in the world is our real goal. Our remembrance of where we came from and where we are going will fundamentally change us and transform all our relationships into relationships of authenticity, respect, and compassion.