just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

The Vantage View of “One”

Published on 11/01/11
by randy

Violence has been described as “that which robs opportunity”.  From the mind of Two (greed, fear and ignorance), we inflict harm upon another from the delusion that we’re somehow separate.  Somehow caught in notions of our “rightness”, we inflict our judgment upon others, exerting our force in persuasive attempts to get them to change.  Interestingly, change is always here.  Cultivating curiosity, the compassionate response is to listen, even to those who we’re tempted to judge as ‘unenlightened’.

Have you been watching the news coverage of the “Tragedy in Tucson”?  It’s not one to make sense from when approaching from a position of Two.  Shortly after such deep wounding (separation), the only authentic response is silence.  I went to Virginia Tech one week after the shootings.  I could feel the darkness and pain on the campus when I was still miles away on my approach.  The mainstream media circus had left, clergy trying to sell their answers were trying to talk to students, yet the only genuine response seemed to rest in the collective stillness and silence.  This was also the more common experience after 9/11 and other deeply wounding tragedies.  These silent moments after such deep hurt give us pause to touch our humanity.  We find a moment to diminish our fear and anger, to embrace those whose thought is not our thought.  The breaking of this silence is a delicate matter.  At Virginia Tech I blew the horn at a ceremony one week after the shooting.  It still may have been too early, but it was a sounding of unification, in harmony and rhythm once again found after such dissonance and separation.

The Sound of One was heard loud and clear from outer space when Rep. Gifford’s astronaut brother-in-law challenged us to be more mindful with our words. Flight controllers in Houston fell silent as Scott Kelly spoke via radio from space:

“We have a unique vantage point here aboard the International Space Station. As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.

These days, we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words.

We’re better than this. We must do better.”

Sometimes it takes a vantage from a different space to cultivate Oneness.  A previous astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, had a similar experience upon viewing the peace of our planet from space.  Upon return to earth he founded IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences, www.noetic.org).  This organization’s mission is to scientifically validate this experience of one.  Their vision statement is:

The Institute of Noetic Sciences serves an emerging movement of globally conscious citizens dedicated to manifesting our highest capacities. We believe that consciousness is essential to a paradigm shift that will lead to a more sustainable world. We encourage open-minded explorations of consciousness through the meeting of science and spirit. We take inspiration from the great discoveries of human history that have been sourced from insight and intuition and that have harnessed reason and logic for their outer expression. It is our conviction that systematic inquiries into consciousness will catalyze positive concrete transformations in the world. In this process, our vision is to help birth a new worldview that recognizes our basic interconnectedness and interdependence and promotes the flourishing of life in all its magnificent forms.

Noam Chomsky has written that our attempts to persuade others always has an underlying current of violence.  It’s like our restless, grasping mind is struggling with what “is”.  In times of trouble our thoughts travel to wanting things different.  If only we could be like we were, or if only we could get to future relief.  Anything but resting in this painful place.  Yet, our experience and ancient wisdom leads us to rest in ‘this moment’, in meeting what’s arising here and now.  This is the formula the Buddha provided over two thousand years ago.  Our restless mind causes pain and suffering.  It comes from our attachments.  Our relief is to cultivate stillness, letting go our grasping, embracing the beauty of ‘this moment’.  Within the beauty of this moment we feel our basic interconnectedness and interdependence (Oneness).  We’re then directed to actions from a sense of wonder (one-der) and reverence.  From this place we aim to a higher consciousness that’s more sensitive to the harm from damaging speech, from taking what’s not been given, from sexual misconduct, from killing, and from the ignorance grown through intoxicants.  When Scott Kelly says “we’re better than this, we must do better”, it’s the same command as our great spiritual teachers.  It’s a moment of pause to consider cultivating a response to our Oneness.  For me, young Mattie Stapanek captured it best with his 9/11 poem:

For Our World

We need to stop.
Just stop.
Stop for a moment
Before anybody
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.
We need to be silent.
Just silent.
Silent for a moment
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.
We need to notice.
Just notice.
Notice for a moment
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice
In so many ways, we are the same.
Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.
We need to be.
Just be.
Be for a moment
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.

Mattie J.T. Stepanek
September 11, 2001

Have a healing moment this 1/11/11, a ‘One-drous’ Moment in Our Evolution

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