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The Value of Oneness, ‘Eachness’ and ‘Suchness’

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is feather-cloud-with-sundog.jpg
Feather cloud with sun dog, over labyrinth near Carlsborg, WA

“Wholeness experienced first hand is infinite in its diversity and finds itself mirrored and embedded in each particular, like the Hindu goddess Indra’s net, a symbol of the Universe, which has jewels at all the vertices, each one capturing the reflections of the entire net and so containing the whole.”

Should we worship, uniformly, at the altar of oneness, using the idea of oneness to flatten out all differences? I think not.

It is in these differences that the beauty and magic of the dance of life are discovered. Truly seeing the ‘eachness’ and ‘suchness’ of every individual being, plant and animal, in sunlight, clouds, wind, rain, snow, rocks & sand, ocean & stream – it is here that poetry, art, music, science, wonder, grace and the true richness of the diversity on this planet fully blossoms.

All human faces resemble each other, yet how easily we see in each a unique individuality, an identity. How deeply we value these differences. The oceans are water, all connected, yet they have countless waves, every one different from all the others; the bottom is a landscape all its own, different everywhere, similarly the shoreline. The atmosphere circles the entire globe, but its winds, clouds, fog and precipitation are all unique and varied, day-to-day & place-to-place. Life on earth is a whole, yet it expresses as microbes, viruses, plants and animals in abundant diversity.

So, there can be be no one place to be or a single way to live, no one way to practice our spirituality, no one way to learn or to love, no one way to grow or to heal, no one way to feel, and no one thing to know or be known. The particulars count!

Quotes from Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Poem for the Pandemic


Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

-from Richard Hendrick (Brother Richard) in Ireland
March 13th 2020

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“Hymn to Osiris”

This excerpt from “Hymn to Osiris” in Awakening Osiris, a translation of The Egyptian Book of the Dead, by Normandi Ellis resonates with my soul, and seems expecially fitting to these times of fear, isolation and introspection. Hope you find it as meaningful as I did.

The doors of perception open; what was hidden has been revealed.                 
It is myself I see and a thousand colors swirling in liquid light.                     
I am where the sun sets below the mountains.                                                  
 I am that star rising above clouds hung by a thread from its ocean moon. 
This is all one place, one cloth; one's life endures.

All that is will be - hawks and sparrows, the thousand lives within.
When the cat arches in the doorway, think of me. I have sometimes been like that. Wen two people greet each other in the street, I am there speaking to you.
When you look up, know that I am there, sun and moon pouring my love around you.

Though apart, I am a part of you, one of the million things in the universe; I am the universe, too.
Whatever I am, man, woman, cat or lotus, the same god breathes in every body. You and I together are a single creation.
Neither death nor spite nor fear nor ignorance stops my love for you.