Many a great structure can be built upon, if it has been built upon a strong foundation. Conversely, if the foundation is weak, many a great-looking structure can easily crumble when subject to even a small tremor. One may posit that the long-term health and viability of families, friendships, communities, societies, countries and planets depends on the quality of their foundations.
From a spiritual perspective, the strength of our foundation can be equated to the sum (or product?) of our values, beliefs and practices.
Our foundational values are often formed by those actions which have ‘risen to the top’ of our attention pyramid over time. These are the actions that attract the best investments of our time and energy. We often look forward to opportunities to sharing time and space with those who strengthen our core values. Conversely, we may find ourselves walking or drifting away from those who negatively affect the health of our foundation. This concept forms the foundation of the idea of sangha or togetherness. Commonality of values infuses joy in our walk together. We learn to find joy in their joy, and they in ours.
The second basis of a strong foundation is an awareness of truth. Where does this awareness come from? It comes from (spiritual) practice. If I regularly walk a particular path in the forest and I see the same white flowers bloom in the same culvert at the same time every year, my direct experience would plant a seed of truth in me. My practice will have thus informed my awareness, which would in turn have established a foundational truth for me.
The beauty of the blooming flower of awareness is that it need not be unique to me. When someone else has the same direct experience of the flower blooming in the forest, it plants a seed of truth in them too. When their seed of truth grows, it attracts my truth, it becomes stronger, and begins to matter. When two people share an awareness that the truth matters, it becomes the foundation for friendship.
Our shared values, beliefs and practices can thus create a basis for joy (ananda), and a shared awareness (chitta) of truth (satya). When we walk in truth, awareness and joy, we can have direct experience of the Oneness that is the foundation of the Universe.
P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering, Sunday January 26th at 9amET / 730pm India. We will share on foundations, friendships and the truths discovered on our walks. Namaste – @AjmaniK