Tag Archives: Oneness

Chinook Blessing Litany

The following traditional Chinook payer is quoted by Edward Goldsmith in the introduction to his book The Way: An Ecological World-View in order to illustrate the unique and profound relationship which exists between the individual, the earth and all the living beings:

We call upon the earth, our planet home, with its beautiful depths and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life, and together we ask her to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the mountains, the Cascades and the Olympics, the high green valleys and meadows filled with wild flowers, the snows that never melt, the summits of intense silence, and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the land which grows our food, the nurturing soil, the fertile fields, the abundant gardens and orchards, and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the forests, the great trees reaching strongly to the sky with earth in their roots and the heavens in their branches, the fir and the pine and the cedar, and we ask them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the creatures of the fields and forests and the seas, our brothers and sisters the wolves and deer, the eagle and dove, the great whales and the dolphin, the beautiful Orca and salmon who share our Northwest home, and we ask them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon all those who have lived on this earth, our ancestors and our friends, who dreamed the best for future generations, and upon whose lives our lives are build, and with thanksgiving, we call upon them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

And lastly, we call upon all that we hold most sacred, the presence and power of the Great Spirit of love and truth which flows through all the Universe … to be with us to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

First published in 1992, The Way is Edward Goldsmith’s magnum opus. In it, he proposes that the stability and integrity of humans depend on the preservation of the balance of natural systems surrounding the individual–family, community, society, ecosystem, and the ecosphere itself. Portraying life processes and ecological thinking as holistic, Goldsmith calls for a paradigm shift away from the reductionist approach of modern science.

The basic belief in the whole was at the heart of the worldview of primal, earth-oriented societies, as manifested by the Tao of the ancient Chinese, the R’ta of Vedic India, the Asha of the Avestas, and the Sedaq of the tribal Hebrews. The Way was the path taken to maintain the critical order of the cosmos. Echoing the way of traditional cultures, Goldsmith presents an all-embracing, coherent worldview that promotes more harmonious and sustainable practices capable of satisfying real biological, social, ecological, and spiritual needs. (From Amazon book description)

New book release: Living the vision of oneness

“The purpose of this book is to put in perspective the pursuit of knowledge and the essential role of one’s personal transformation within this pursuit. Many dimensions of human growth are articulated in a comprehensive manner to help the reader integrate, assimilate and incorporate the realities of existence revealed by the Gita in one’s daily life.”

“We are confident that a reader would find the detailed exposition in the book useful to embark on the journey of personal and spiritual development with clarity and confidence. Practical examples and case studies from real life are discussed so that it is easy for readers to grasp the concepts and apply them to their daily life. The tone used is more personal and conversational, and is meant to engage the reader to reflect on his or her own life.”

TO ORDER THE BOOK PLEASE GO TO THESE LINKS

For INDIA –> via Pothi.com   

For USA, EUROPE & ALL OTHER COUNTRIES –> via Create Space

Preview the TABLE OF CONTENTS & PREFACE

Awakening to Oneness

An excerpt from an article by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee titled The Awakening of the World.

At this time of transition when one era is dying and another is being born, we have a choice: we can stay with the images of the past, the ghosts of materialism that have polluted and desecrated our planet. Or we can move into a future that is not yet defined, that is full of possibilities. There are already signs of this future, some visible and some as yet hidden. We can see the seeds of a global consciousness, a deep awareness that we are all one people who are a part of a living, interrelated ecosystem. And within this awareness is an awakening consciousness of oneness, a consciousness that is not based upon duality but upon a primal knowing of the oneness that belongs to life and is a direct expression of the divine….

…As we become awake to the oneness that embraces all of creation, and is a embodiment of the oneness of God, humanity can reclaim the divinity of matter and the wonder of divine presence. We no longer need to live in a world of separation which has divorced matter and our physical selves from its spiritual nature. Everything is a celebration of divine oneness, everything a unique opportunity to praise and remember God.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi teacher and author of a number of books, including Light of Oneness. For more articles and videos from this Sufi teacher, you can visit http://www.workingwithoneness.org/

 


 

How can the divine Oneness be seen?
In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders,
awe-inspiring miracles?
The Tao is not obliged to present itself
in this way.

If you are willing to be lived by it, you will
see it everywhere, even in the most
ordinary things.

Lao Tsu

Interdependence : On becoming a contributor

The fact is that we live in an interdependent world. We take so much from different people so we have a responsibility to give and become contributors, not just consumers.

How we can contribute depends also upon our unique place in the scheme of things and our scope of influence.

Everybody’s contribution is important, no matter how small it is, as it is shown by a short story which is taking place in an Indian village and which is told at the end of the video. If we play our part, big things can be accomplished…

With all our warm thanks to our friends Elodie and Dino, who shot this video in Rishikesh in September 2008 on the banks of Ganga, during one intensive retreat.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The vision of Upanishads explained through the form of Shiva as a Teacher (Daksinamurti)

This is the presentation I made at National Museum in Bangkok on 19th November 2009 and which is available on Slide Share. To view it full screen, click on the ‘full’ icon at the bottom of the video screen.

I chose to speak during this talk about various representations of Lord Shiva as a teacher (Daksinamurti). Why this choice? Because it conveys in a condensed and visual manner the entire philosophy and vision of Upanishads. Thus it makes us have access and understand the Indian psyche and culture, as it is lived throughout the ages, from the ancient times to today. Also, Daksinamurti as a teacher brings into the picture the teaching element, which is missing in the well known figure of Shiva as a Dancer. Indeed the relationship between teacher and student is a key to understand Hinduism as it was and is lived today, since it is essentially a teaching tradition.

The Upanishads start by our sense of inadequacy, dissatisfaction, limitation at various levels since as human beings, we are confronted to the vastness, powerfulness, unpredictability and complexity of the universe. Our helplessness and thirst for meaning is represented by the Banyan tree as the background. The banyan tree stands for an endless life of becoming with secondary roots perpetuating further this human predicament. Its roots are getting more and more entrenched, making us unable to find any lasting satisfaction in life. What we want is to find our way out of this thick forest and put an end for good to this sense of limitation.

The palm leaves in the left hand represent the sacred texts (Upanishads) which are capable of giving us knowledge of the reality of ourselves and the universe. They reveal to us that the conclusion about myself, that I am limited, is wrong and comes from the ignorance of my real nature. In their vision I am already free from any limitation. Teaching is done for me to discover this fact. Nature of the individual, the universe and its cause are inquired into very systematically with the help of an evolved methodology of teaching, handled by a teacher. The student who desires to put an end to his sense of inadequacy and limitation chooses to expose himself to the words of a teacher, reflect upon them with the help of reasoning and contemplate upon their meaning.

The gesture of knowledge (cin mudra) expresses the content of the teaching : ‘you are that’, you are the limitlessness you have been endlessly seeking through all your pursuits. It reveals the identity between you, the individual (index finger) and that, the cause of the universe (thumb). Just like wave and ocean when they are equated are found to be essentially nothing but water, all that is here is one limitless being, and that you are.

However, my experiences seem to suggest that I am distinct from everything else and hence I am small. If each name and form in the universe that I see is different from me and from each other, then there can not be oneness and I can not be limitless. Again, the representation of Daksinamurti shows how these apparent differences in names and forms resolve into one as Daksinamurti (the cause of the universe) is containing the whole universe. According to the Vedic model, this universe, with all its varied forms and characteristics, is in fact made of five elements— space, air, fire, water and earth. Space is represented by a drum, in his right hand, which encloses empty space. Next air is represented by the ‘bandana’ holding Daksinamurti’s hair in place against the wind. In his left hand, the torch represents fire. Water is shown by sacred river Ganges, in the form of a Goddess, on Daksinamurti’s head. Earth is represented by the material of which Daksinamurti is made.

Further, the universe consists also of the sun, moon and stars. Sun (all luminous bodies) and moon (all planets) which are seen above the head of Daksinamurti are also not-separate from the cause. Then there are people, who are the disciples of Daksinamurti, sitting at the base of sculpture.

Finally, Daksinamurti wears a male earring in the right ear and a female earring in the left ear. This is a way to suggest that the cause of the universe is both maker and material, the intelligent and the material cause. Both female and male implies also he/she/it is neither male nor female.

The vision indicated here is that the whole universe including me, —the one who is looking at the world, with all its galaxies, planets, stars and all things unknown to me,  is not separate from its cause. In other words, ‘all that is here, is one Isvara [all knowledge and power]‘ (Isha Upanishad). Manifested in the various forms of the universe, it pervades, permeates, sustains and supports the whole universe. All different names and forms in universe are in fact not separate from Isvara (the cause). Just like in Ocean, all the different waves are not separate from the cause (Ocean).

The teaching goes one step further, by resolving the equation ‘you are that’ shown in the gesture of knowledge. The truth of ocean is water, that is why truth of every wave which is part of ocean is also water. With this analogy, we can understand how truth of cause of the universe is one limitless being. And the truth of every form which is part of universe (including me, the individual) is also one and limitless being. There is only one limitless being, and that you are.

Three other elements in the form of Daksinamurti (rosary of beads, bull and dwarf) represent the areas in which we have to grow, some of the various ways to become prepared for this knowledge and see it intimately. The bull stands for dharma, justice and virtue. To be able to assimilate and understand this vision, I have to be in harmony with the ethical universal order and live a life of values, compassion, giving, non violence. The dwarf who is shown under the right foot is Apasmara holding a sharp knife that can tear off our being. It stands for the ego who is trying to preserve its reality. It can also be seen as the unconscious which keeps on interfering in our life and which needs to be processed and neutralized. Mala of beads which usually evokes religious disciplines indicates a life of relating to Isvara (the cause), to what is, to be alive to the grand order which is manifest in the form of various orders such as the physical, biological, psychological, epistemological orders, etc.

To conclude, the form of Daksinamurti presents us in a very complete manner the human quest of freedom from limitation and inadequacy. It points towards the essence of the teaching of Upanishads : there is an essential non-difference, an identity between the individual and the cause of the universe, Isvara. Both the individual and the cause of the universe being essentially one limitless being. Finally it reveals the ways to achieve this knowledge and gain the absolute freedom (moksa) through exposing ourselves to the teaching of the texts, inquiring into their meaning, leading an ethical life, relating to the total and mastering our body and mind.