Greetings, dear Friends of Silence. Each leaf of a tree is an entity unto itself, yet could not exist alone. Each leaf, though separate and individual, is part of the one tree. So each of us is unique, with our own special traits, innate abilities and interests. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like you or me; we are each one of a kind. Yet we are all part of the One, the Whole, the All of creation; we are all one as well as unique individuals. When one is hurt, all of us suffer in some way. When one is demeaned, we are all shamed. And when one of us gains understanding, each of us receives a little more light. Each of us contributes to the growth of all as we work toward our own spiritual maturity. In the Silence, may we continue to gain understanding and evolve as individual parts of the Whole, knowing our oneness with the All.
. . . as I move out into the world, I live out my uniqueness, but when I dare to look into my core, I come upon the one common center where all lives begin. In that center, we are one and the same. In this way, we live out the paradox of being both unique and the same. For mysteriously and powerfully, when I look deep enough into you, I find me, and when you dare to hear my fear in the recess of your heart, you recognize it as your secret that you thought no one else knew. And that unexpected wholeness that is more than each of us, but common to all—that moment of unity is the atom of God.
All this is simply to say that all life is interrelated. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality; tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. As long as there is poverty in this world, no one can be totally rich even with a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people cannot expect to live more than twenty or thirty years, no one can be totally healthy, even with a clean bill of health from the finest clinic in America. Strangely enough, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way the world is made.
A powerful meditation when contemplating the oneness of everything is to find something's unique qualities. For example, observing an island's wholeness and then focusing upon the uniqueness of a single stone. . . . this meditation is simple but powerful. . . . Other examples to meditate upon (other than an individual stone on the island beach) are faces in a crowd or a leaf on a tree. Each person (in the crowd) is unique and yet (at that very moment) part of the whole. The same is true for leaves on the trees. Practicing this deceptively easy meditation helps each of us to see reality.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Happy in the morning I open my cottage door; A clear breeze blowing Comes straight in. The first sun Lights the leafy trees; The shadows it casts Are crystal clear. Serene, In accord with my heart, Everything merges In one harmony . . .
. . for the world's well-being and for our own individual well-being, we need to know that all things are interwoven and that each strand in the tapestry is holy. We need to know that our distinct races, our countless species, our many wisdom traditions, our children, and the men and women of every nation are wonderful "outbursts of singularity," each carrying within them the life of the One.
When will we once again be one? Perhaps galaxy by galaxy, solar system by solar system, planet by planet, all creation must be redeemed. Where were we when the morning stars sang together, and all the children of God shouted for joy?
The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
God is a glimpse into the meaning of the totality of human experiences, where we recognize that we are part of an ultimate grasping after a universal consciousness with which we are one and in which we are whole. . . . God is present whenever a person transcends human boundaries and sees the portrait of unity, not separation. God is the journey beyond the fear of loneliness into a new wholeness . . .
~ from ETERNAL LIFE: A NEW VISION by John Shelby Spong
Springtime greetings, dear friends. Even though there may still be some cold days, we've come around again to the time of year when nature outdoes herself, gloriously bursting forth with the burgeoning life that has lain dormant and hidden during the cold months of winter. Even the most pragmatic among us might feel like waxing poetic when in all directions we see only the beauty of the earth and feel again the soft, gentle air of spring. Surely the presence and glory of God are never more obvious than during a beautiful spring! It's time for us to grow and bloom as well., for we are part of nature; as new life bursts forth in nature, so it does in us when we allow it. Happy Springtime, friends!
I believe we are part of the universal rhythmic process because we're all a part of nature--we are in it and of it. So like the ingoing and outgoing waves, we breathe in a similar way--we flow. Cosmic creativity and creative evolution are always going on. Everything is always singing.
Nature's intent is neither food, nor drink, nor clothing, nor comfort, nor anything else in which God is left out. Whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not, secretly nature seeks, hunts, tries to ferret out the track on which God may be found. . .
No matter what the weather looks like outside the window, life is warming up. Something in nature knows what it is doing; even if from time to time winter icily touches the napes of our necks with its cold fingers. . . . Woods will fill with black-birds and grackles, and swollen buds will cling like small birds to wet branches. . . . Old oaks sleep as long as they can, while the rest of creation exhibits an aching restlessness to move on. As everything begins to move, an almost forgotten song plays in our chests, the music of beginning again. The early small birds flit here and there on the rising winds; a lone, red-winged blackbird sits unmoving in the empty cherry tree . . . waiting . . . To live is to change, to move through one transition after another, to reinvent one's life, as needed. . . .
~ from AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles
The need is for the connection to nature within ourselves; only then can we understand how to act toward nature outside ourselves. Along with the obvious crimes our culture is committing against the natural world, we would be wise to remember that the main crimes are the crimes against our inner nature. From these inner crimes all the outer evil arises. This is the teaching of wisdom.
Magic birds were dancing in the mystic marsh. The grass swayed with them, and the shallow waters, and the earth fluttered under them. The earth was dancing with the cranes, and the low sun, and the wind and sky.