Seminar on the Asking
The seminar lasts one day and participants arrive in the morning.
Ceremony of the Service
First Part – Personal reflection and interchange (1½ hours)
Our first reflection will be of a personal kind, reflecting on our internal growth as we have faced the difficulties of life in recent times. We will take a few minutes to meditate about those difficult moments, and later we will interchange in groups of three.
Second Part – Study (1½ hours)
Ceremony of Well-Being - “Commentaries on Silo’s Message.”
"A third ceremony is known as “Well-Being.” It is carried out at the request of the participants. This ceremony involves adopting a mental position in which participants evoke one or more people, trying to remember as vividly as possible their presence and their most characteristic affective tone. We seek to comprehend, in the most intense possible way, the difficulties they may be experiencing at this moment. From there, we go on to focus on an improvement in their situation so that they can experience a corresponding register of relief.
This ceremony highlights a mechanism of “best wishes” or “good intentions,” with which we often express ourselves almost spontaneously. We say, “Have a good day,” “Happy birthday to you, and many more,” “I hope your test goes well,” or “I hope everything turns out well,” etc. It is clear that in this ceremony the “Asking” is done with a good mental disposition, where the emphasis is on intense affective registers. This “Asking” for benefit for others, performed in the best conditions, places us in a mental position where we are predisposed to give needed help; moreover, it also improves our mental direction, strengthening in us possibilities of communication with others.
A very important point to consider in relation to the “Askings” is to carry them out so that others can overcome their difficulties and reestablish their best possibilities. There should be no confusion about this. Let us consider an example. One might assume that in the case of someone who is dying, an Asking for the recovery of their health is the most appropriate thing, since we are trying to diminish the person’s pain and suffering. But we must be careful how we focus the Asking, because it is not a question of asking for what is best for ourselves, who want to keep that person in good health and close to us. The correct Asking should aim at what is best for the dying person and not what is best for us. In this situation, where we are emotionally attached to that person who is suffering and dying, perhaps we should also consider that the person may wish to leave that situation, reconciled and at peace with him or herself. In this case, the Asking is for “the best for the affected person” and not what is best for me, who wants to hold on to that person at all costs. So, in Asking for others I must consider what is best for them, and not for me.
This ceremony ends with the opportunity, for those present, who so wish, to feel the presence of loved ones who, “although not present here, in our time and in our space,” are related to us, or have related to us, in an experience of love, peace, and warm joy.
Finally, this ceremony attempts to create a current of well-being among all those present, who are oriented in the same direction."
Reading of notes in each group and interchange
Third part – The Asking (2 hours)
For us, the Asking is a transforming attitude and a procedure through which we can clarify our needs and concentrate our energy on the achievement of our aspirations. Obviously, “my needs” are not limited to my own personal situation but also extend to my “world,” including my loved ones and all those whose presence exists within me and who contribute to the shaping of my internal world.
In our Ceremonies there are many instances when we ask explicitly, such as in Well-Being, Protection, the Service, the Laying on of Hands; and there are other Ceremonies where our best wishes for the fulfillment of the aspirations of others are implicit, such as Assistance, Marriage, and Death.
The Asking implies two moments: one in which we meditate on what we truly need, and another moment in which we ask for the fulfillment of these needs.
Silo referred to this first moment of brief meditation in his speech at the dedication of La Reja Park on May 7, 2005:
“…And since in some celebrations people exchange presents, I would like to give you a gift. Then, certainly, it will be up to you to decide whether it merits your acceptance. It consists, in fact, of the easiest and most practical recommendation I am able to offer. It is almost like a recipe from a cookbook, but I trust that you will be able to go beyond simply what is indicated by the words…
In some moment of the day or night inhale a breath of air, and imagine that you bring this air to your heart. Then, ask with strength for yourself and for your loved ones. Ask with strength to move away from all that brings you contradiction; ask for your life to have unity. Don´t take a lot of time with this brief prayer, this brief asking, because it is enough that you interrupt for one brief moment what is happening in your life for this contact with your interior to give clarity to your feelings and your ideas.
To move away from contradiction is the same as to overcome hatred, resentment, and the desire for revenge. To move away from contradiction is to cultivate the desire to reconcile with others and with oneself. To move away from contradiction is to forgive and to make amends twice-over for every wrong that you have inflicted on others.
This is the appropriate attitude to cultivate. Then, in the measure that time passes you will understand that what is most important is achieving a life of internal unity. This will bear fruit when what you think, feel, and do go in the same direction. Life grows thanks to its internal unity and it disintegrates because of contradiction. It happens, then, that what you do does not simply remain inside of you, but also reaches others. Therefore, when you help others to overcome pain and suffering you make your life grow and you contribute to the world. Conversely, when you increase the suffering in others, you cause your own life to disintegrate and you poison the world. And who should you help? First, those who are closest to you – but your action will not end with them.
Learning does not stop with this “recipe.” Rather, it begins. This recipe says that you have to ask – but whom do you ask? That depends on what you believe. It may be your internal god, or your guide, or an inspiring and comforting image. Finally, if you don´t have anyone to ask, you will also have no one to give to, and so my gift will not merit your acceptance.“
Interchange about the text in groups of three
In silence, each of us meditates internally on what we really need. Of course, “what I want” and “what I would like to have happen,” are not the same as “what I truly need.”
Here, the context of the expression “what I truly need” is very clear, and also to whom one asks, and each person carries out this Asking in their own way.
The “procedure” of Asking has to do with concentrating this wish in our heart. It is there, in our heart, where we connect with the Force. That is where the energy is, produced by the strong feelings so intimately intertwined with our real needs and capable of spurring their fulfillment. It is in our hearts that we find the Force capable of meeting our real needs.
Again in Silo’s speech we find the following: “…In some moment of the day or night inhale a breath of air, and imagine that you carry this air to your heart.” How do I bring this breath to my heart? I take in a deep breath of air and I keep concentrating it, pushing the air “toward the inside of my heart.” I can help myself by placing one hand on my heart, feeling it beating. Then, I keep concentrating my Asking, repeating it in my “inner voice” or out loud, concentrating the Asking in my heart. It is recommended that this be done briefly and with the Force.
… My mind is restless (the group repeats)…
(Asking) Take in a deep breath of air, and direct it to your heart...
Repeat the Asking three or four times, without stopping in between.
download: Seminar on the Asking.pdf