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

In a World of Two, You Can Never Have Too Much One

Published on 04/02/11
by randy

Whether it’s music, meditation, yoga, boardsports, circle communication process, children, in relationships, being in nature or sacred meals, I feel deepened through the cultivation of One.  These are dedicated practices that require focus, attention and vow to still the mind of Two.  Yesterday, during a yoga class, my teacher said, “You can never do too much yoga.”  While she was referring to the specific practice she was teaching, yoga means “to yoke”, “to join as One”.  Within this spirit, we can never cultivate One too much, especially in a culture that feverishly promotes Two through messages of greed, fear and the ignoring of One (ignorance).  My passion to cultivate the experience of One has been deeply stimulated by Brother David Steindl-Rast.  He describes this experience of the mystery in his book, A Listening Heart:

“This visible and this invisible meet at the crossroads  which we call our heart.  When we say “heart”, we mean that center of our personal being where we are one with ourselves; yet, not with ourselves only.  In our heart of hearts we are one also with all others– and with the Ultimate, with God.  St. Augustine affirms from his own mystical awareness a truth of which every human being has an inkling: “In my heart of hearts God is closer to me than I am to myself.” p. 23

“In one of his Poems for the Hours of Prayer Rilke describes the beginning of our life’s journey in a kind of miniature creation myth.  This myth is so relevant to our task of making sense of the senses that I will paraphrase it here:  God, in creating humans, speaks to each one of us personally, but only before we are completely fashioned; after that, God goes with us out into the darkness and is silent. The Creator’s words which we dimly hear, before we are led out into the night, are these: ‘Urged on by your senses, go forth to the very brink of your longing.  Clothe me, the Invisible, in what is visible!” (But how can this be done?)  ‘Grow like a fire behind all things so that their expanding shadows keep covering all of me.  Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.  Keep going, no matter what.  No sensation is too far out.  Let nothing separate you from me.’  (And then, the Creator’s parting word:) ‘The Land which they call life is near.  You will recognize it by its serious demands.  Give me you hand!”  p. 24

Brother David captures the power and beauty found in deeply listening to the pull we ‘dimly hear’, the motivation to cultivate One in a world that screams Two.  The Rilke story commands us to stay from the experience of Two, always choosing to practice One, through beauty and terror.  Whether on a beautiful walk through the woods, in the mountains, or by the sea; whether facing a predatory enemy, serious illness or deep wound, the choice is always to deepen to the felt hand of One, ‘at the crossroads which we call our heart’.  In a world of Two, our journey is to vow our practice to One, and you can never do/be too much One.

‘So take my hand in you hand.  Say, “It’s great to be alive”. Lyric from Elton John’s movie Friends.

In Oneness, you are never alone.

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