You may (or may not) be surprised to know that our monks don’t have the best track record with vehicles. We seem to be in and out of the mechanics every couple of weeks. As I patiently waited for a tyre change on Monday, I began thinking of how a spiritual movement is just like a car.
Spiritual Inspiration (fuel) – just as cars need juice, the impetus for a movement comes from vibrancy of spirituality. Only when members are feeling inspired, nourished and happy, can the movement push forward and impact the world. To give life, we ourselves have to be alive.
Organisation & Structure (machinery) – if the mechanics are suspect, the car will constantly start and stop; lots of frustration and very little progress. Similarly, a movement can only stride forward when proper systems are in place to focus, channel and sustain the momentum. Even spirit needs to be managed.
Culture & Ethos (steering) – cars need navigation through the urban landscape. Inattentive steering will damage the car, injure the passengers and wreak havoc for everyone else. In the same way, only when a movement is grounded in the culture of respect, and human dealings are conducted in a saintly manner, can we pass through conflicts, issues and obstacles and without inflicting permanent damage.
Good cars with able drivers can’t move without fuel.
Mechanically suspect cars will invariably breakdown.
Bad drivers crash even the best cars.
Fuel, machinery and steering: all three are essential to reach the top gear.