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Practice Circle on Transformation – Interspiritual Meditation Course
Practice Circle on Transformation2018-05-15T11:31:31-08:00

Practice Circle on Transformation

The one who does good becomes good,
The one who does evil becomes evil.
One becomes virtuous by virtuous action
And evil by evil action.
But others say that
The human being consists of desire;
As is the desire, so is the intention,
And as is the intention, so is the action.
(Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, IV)

In this step of ISM, we are focussing on our most profound transformative goals for our precious and uncertain life.  Why?  Because the value and quality of our life will be in proportion to our highest and most altruistic goals.

It is perfectly natural for us to become concerned with the mundane goals of life.  We all must focus on our health, happiness, housing, food, safety and our financial ability to care for ourselves and those we love.   But here in this forum, we are allowing ourselves to focus on the highest possibilities for our ‘self-actualization,’ our transcendent wisdom, love, compassion and perhaps enlightenment.

Please share a summary of your present contemplative insights on the step in the practice circle below. Condense your journal writing (into 2,000 characters or less) and post it in a comment box below. Your personal experiences with this step of the meditation will be gifts to everyone.  Please don’t be shy about sharing.


  1. Ed Bastian April 14, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Please share your meditation on transformation in the comment boxes below.

  2. awolfe May 9, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    When I did the class on the Mandala labeled “Inquiry”, I focused on using the spiritual styles of wisdom, and love and compassion (for I scored among the highest on those two) to explore the question of transformation. As I did my research and outside readings for that class, I read in one of the Dalai Lama’s books that what is necessary for enlightenment is wisdom, and love and compassion. I might be on to something, I thought! So I refined my quest into the thought “with the aid of the spiritual styles of wisdom, and love and compassion, may I be transformed INTO wisdom, and love and compassion”. To me this is a high ideal indeed!! With my Christian background, when I get right to the heart of the inquiry, my ideal example that I strive to emulate is Jesus, for in him I see the qualities of openness, inclusiveness, love and compassion, peace and joy, wisdom, and the goal of being of service to all. This I would like to contribute to the world, spreading love and compassion, as I am of service, grounded in peace and joy as I do my best to help make the world a better place! Even at my age I strive to do this – I haven’t given up, and it still seems like an ideal goal, even if it is in a small way. This quest is aided by seeing the world as it is, as well as how it can be, being grateful, being able to let go, and yet still being loyal, devoted and connected. I think I am making progress, for I am working hard at this transformation, and yet I still struggle sometimes. But with the classes I am taking, my reading and reflection, journaling, and conversations with mentors, practice partners and friends, I feel like I am headed in the right direction. Working with meditation, wisdom, quiet, gratitude and surrender and prayer is helpful as well. I find it useful to define what I am trying to achieve through transformation, as I have here, to help me work toward my goals, but in the end I think the real answer is that I want to be transformed into the person that God created me to be, and in this process to achieve union with God. Am I committed to this? Yes, I certainly have the desire to do what it takes to transform into my ideals, and while there may be some fluidity in my thoughts on what I am trying to achieve, I will continue to strive to achieve this goal.

  3. nancy.bray@yahoo.com May 11, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    It seems all this work on transformation is having a profound effect on me. Old blocks that in many ways I have treated as guarded and precious treasure are being brought to the light with a new vantage point. They appear as items that may easily fall to the wayside (out of the way). I am much the active observer in this process, which makes this particularly pleasant and grace-filled. I recognize from what I am learning that I need to actively practice my spiritual program in its entirety to keep this tantalizing transformation process going. I meekly and sweetly feel up to this. Gently and wisely embracing this new way of learning, of stretching, of surrender. I am grateful, I bow to you.

  4. Annamarie May 12, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    A poem I have written expressing the process.

    Being Transformed

    The original blessing is recognized
    The precious little one is now running with open arms
    curious, loving and ready to learn
    grounded and growing in the Mother of all life.

    At first, the invitation is sweet, filled with excitement,
    opportunities, questions, but storms are predicted
    trusting and holding on tight is practiced over and over
    learning how to totally let go and be free.

    Lies and pretense become an irritant in the oyster of life
    while the Sacred watches and protects this human sand
    gradually coating it totally with a divine elegance
    until it’s a pearl quite beautiful.

    In loving gratitude and deep joy, the little one
    celebrates being part of everything.
    Being one leaf on the huge tree of humanity,
    one of its many jewels divinely created.

    Anne M. Picard
    PS. I feel like a child in the mystery of life.

  5. susiej@jetbroadband.com May 13, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Listening again to parts of the teleconference on the Transformation step, about 2/3 of the way through the question was posed in the class sharing to consider the qualities to which we aspire. Seeing this I was reminded of a passage in one of my parents’ favorite books, “The Family of Man”, which was always nearby on the living room bookshelf and often taken down for study. The quote is: “Fill the seats of justice with good men, not so absolute in goodness as to forget what human frailty is.” (Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd) This exemplifies to me the twin virtues of wisdom and compassion, which, as I understand it, are also the twin pillars that Buddhist precepts are built upon. In my spiritual practice, I have come to embrace these two qualities as the overarching aspirations that I direct my study, reading, and meditation towards manifesting.

  6. moses@otyek.com May 13, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    It is amazing how my transformation needs to start on the inside before it projects outside. The gnostic gospel of Thomas portrays is very well with the way it describes it: Two becoming one, inside like the outside and outside like the inside. My journey into the inside is actually the journey to transform the outside. I have realised through the reflective questions that I have already been on that journey, albeit without focus. And I have not acknowledged my own feelings about the experience until now. It is important to understand how I am actually processing the experience, whether I feel happy, encouraged, empowered, or let down, disappointed, unsuccessful. And manage the reaction. I need to appreciate myself more and forgive myself more. I need to treat myself as I would treat another individual.

  7. pahutton May 14, 2018 at 11:38 am

    This song expresses a Christian perspective on transformation. “Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me…”

    I just completed the reading in the ISM book about *Transformation*.

    I had wonderful insights. This process is no quick fix. It takes a lifetime.

    I clearly see the connection with Christianity. The powerful insight was that “We must surrender to a Higher Power”…there is no *middleman* necessary for this process, unlike Catholicism’s requirement to “confess to a priest” (who, incidentally, must be a male). Here is where pitfalls can occur.

    I have been pondering these things:

    * “Hero worship” of position or person requires that person to be “Perfect”. When the false facade of perfection cracks and we see the failings and problems with the hero figure, we blame that person (or the religion) for “ruining our made-up world”. That becomes a stumbling block which may threaten our “commitment” to the process of seeking transformation .

    * Total dependence on another person or a religious system can set us up for disillusionment, which can block our ability to “let go and let God”. We each have within us the capacity to relinquish our addictions. Giving up our false selves and negative behaviors cannot be done, simply by relying on our cognitive processes. We must recognize that inability and look within ourselves for ways to connect with that Higher Power.

    * Twelve-step programs are an excellent example of this process.

  8. hudecl@greenhill.org May 14, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    While transformation may start with me, whether it be through repentance, acceptance or agreement, I’m not the agent of its force or the one who drives its momentum. When I realize this, I’m more open to the potential of transforming, and not limiting God’s power in the process. What a difficult part that is for me, who wants to be an active part of this process – I am just beginning to realize the empowerment in surrendering.

  9. jhinze May 28, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Transformation is a gradual process. Looking back at the way transformation meant to me a few years back it seems that a change happened as I practiced saying this each day. The things that used to be something I wanted to transform somehow seem no longer be something I thought about or needed to transform. I see that things are as they should be and now wish for things in the world to be transformed like children not being separated form their parents or asking for the promises made to Native Americans be kept and not broken.

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