A Joyful Path, Year Three – Week 20: Brave Love — Story: Hot Winds Cannot Touch You

For Classroom or Home School


Week 20: Winter 

Lesson 16: Brave Love – I see no stranger; I see no enemy.

Getting to the Heart of the Lesson

These are the words of Guru Arjun Dev (1604 CE), the 5th of 10 gurus who shaped Sikh tradition and practice. Centuries later, and also in India, Gandhi, another peace-maker said, “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”

In the pervasive noise around us, messages from every direction can fill us with fear – fear of disease, fear of economic downturns, fear of invasions or attacks from unwanted forces. And still, religious teachings that span thousands of years assert the way forward is to befriend. Befriending, we know, is not always simple. Whether the fence is real or perceived, it can take a lot of courage to reach across differences and meet the “other.”

It can also be a lot of fun! Recall a time when you were invited to an event or gathering where a culture or tradition was being celebrated that was completely new for you. What did you learn from that experience? Think of a cultural practice that you truly admire from a place that is not your home. Notice what you love about it. Maybe there is even some sadness or longing that your family lineage doesn’t include these practices, rituals, etc. Madame Marie Curie said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Back in Lesson 2, we talked about how every creature (animate and inanimate) is full of God. How do our attitudes or actions change when we are curious (bravely loving) toward all creatures, all people – the ones we know and the ones we haven’t yet met? In this lesson, we explore curiosity – in the face of fear – as “brave love.” This is the Love that runs through each of us, and through all life. It is the divine interconnectivity we all share as integral members in life’s web. It

is also called the Body of Christ, the Tree of Life, Indra’s Net, etc.

Teacher Reflection/Activity

Some reading and a 10-20 min exercise (more if you have time and with to take it) so that you are able to experience the teachings offered through this lesson.

Option 1 — Is there a person or issue in your life right now that creates fear for you? In what ways could curiosity be a teacher for you? How could asking some open-ended questions, or doing some additional research help you to feel better informed or more empowered? By applying Brave Love, is it possible you can tap into some compassion about why this issue is happening, or about certain people who are making choices you don’t like? Find some additional encouragement through music!

Musician and Activist, Melanie DeMore’s song, “One-Foot,” is an inspiring way to put Brave Love into our bodies and voices. Listen to Melanie sing it here (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=9w22S8foSbk) and consider teaching the song in class this week.

Sacred Text Quotes

Christian Scriptures. Luke 6:27-28

But here is what I tell you who are listening. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who call down curses on you. And pray for those who treat you badly. ―Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). Isa Upanishad

Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear. ―Sikhism. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p1

There is but one all pervading spirit, and it is called the truth. It exists in all creation, and it has no fear, It does not hate and, it is timeless, universal and self-existent! You will come to know it through the grace of the Guru.

Wisdom Quotes

God and Soul are identical in the same way as Fire and its sparks; fundamentally same as is stated in Guru Granth, “Atam meh Ram, Ram meh Atam”, which means “The Ultimate Eternal reality resides in the Soul and the Soul is contained in Him”. As from one stream, millions of waves arise and yet the waves, made of water, again become water; in the same way all souls have sprung from the Universal Being and would blend again into it. ―Singh, Jagraj Singh, A Complete Guide to Sikhism

We all are so deeply interconnected; we have no option but to love all. Be kind and do good for any one and that will be reflected. The ripples of the kind heart are the highest blessings of the Universe. ― Amit Ray, Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. ― Nelson Mandela

Be sure to click here to download the Teaching Introduction and Instructions.

Review & Commentary