Blog

We Are All One

Hello!

Knowing a concept and explaining the concept are totally different activities. Take the concept “we are all One with the Universe/God/Source/All-That-Is,” for example.

My concept of “we are all One with Source” is so expansive that words can’t describe it. It’s best described with feelings – such as openness, freedom, interrelationships – but even words fail when attempting to describe feelings. How can I explain it to others? Instead of trying to explain the vastness, I’ll use a basic building block with which most of us are familiar.

This exercise to explain “we are all One” works best with several people standing or sitting in a circle, holding hands; but it also works with a single person sitting in a chair, with her/his hand on an object, such as the chair arm, a table, a pillow, or a pet who doesn’t mind being still for a while. Once you are in your chosen position:

  • Close your eyes
  • Take three slow, deep breaths through your diaphragm (also called breathing through your “stomach” or abdomen)
  • Slowly shift your focus to one hand – either hand if you are holding hands in a circle, or the hand that is touching an object
  • Take a few moments thinking about the hand as a part of you – as a representation of you in this exercise
  • Shift your focus to the skin on your hand
  • Notice the tactile sensation of touching the other person’s hand or the object
  • Think of the color of your hand – what term, other than black or white, would you use to describe the color of the skin on your hand – beige, ecru, tan, brown, orange?
  • Focus on the texture of your hand’s skin – pick a term that describes the texture – is it soft, smooth, rough, calloused, weathered, tender?
  • Now, we are going deeper
  • Focus on a small dime-sized area of your hand where it is touching the other person’s hand or the object
  • Focus on the skin cells in that area – too many to count, but all working together to form a unified organ called the skin that envelops our physical bodies and has been used to define us as individuals
  • Focus on a single skin cell in that area – consider how that single skin cell is both individual/separate/unique and part of the whole that constitutes our skin – one example of “we are all One”
  • Now, we are going deeper still
  • Focus within the skin cell and visualize the molecules that combine to form that skin cell – another example of unique parts forming the whole – “we are all One”
  • Deeper, still
  • Focus within one molecule and visualize the atoms that create that molecule
  • Each atom, with its nucleus of protons and neutrons plus its electrons, is similar, yet unique
  • Rather than going deeper, we will examine this one atom further
  • Notice that the atom has no color and no texture
  • Notice how the atom occupies an area defined by the orbits of its electrons, but no physical boundary is evident
  • Notice how much space is between the nucleus and the electrons – find God/Source/All-That-Is within that space and within the nucleus and electrons
  • Stay with that image of God/Source/All-That-Is within us
  • Focus on other atoms in the vicinity of our target atom
  • At this level, there is no distinction between the atom of your hand and the atom of another person’s hand or the atom of the object held by your hand – this is the concept “we are all One”
  • Stay with that sense of Oneness – feel the expansion of your awareness – feel the connection to everything
  • Perhaps remember this sensation of Oneness during meditations or as a grounding tool
  • Be in no hurry to leave this feeling
  • At your own pace, slowly return to your atom – then to your molecule – then to your skin cell
  • Notice that the skin cell has started to introduce color, but not yet texture
  • Notice the skin on the dime-sized area of your hand – more color is added, and texture is introduced
  • Notice the skin on your hand – a definition of “you,” as distinct from “not you,” is introduced – boundaries between you and the other person’s hand or the object are established
  • As you slowly return to your body, continue to feel the interconnectedness of everything – don’t lose yourself in your body – bring that peace and knowingness with you
  • Take three slow, deep breaths to bring yourself and your knowledge back to this physical reality
  • Slowly open your eyes

Know That We Are All One

 

Blessings,

Jo

Blog

“Go Slow”

Hello!

While attending the University of Washington in Seattle almost 50 years ago, I volunteered at an inner-city boys’ club. Located in an old two-story building in a poorer part of Seattle, the club provided a basketball court on the first floor. I oversaw the quieter games, like jigsaw puzzles, on the second floor.

At that time, my hair was long and light brown, almost blonde. Gradually, a few of the shy boys would call me “Princess” because my hair was unusual to them and reminded them of fairy tales they may have seen or heard about. We created a fantasy world where they could be anything they wanted – knights, kings, princes, etc. We laughed and had great fun – bringing out the Little Kid in each of us.

One time, the club manager admonished us for making too much noise. The kids – and I – immediately shut down; all our Little Kids went into hiding. After the manager left, I gathered the kids and explained that we were still kings, knights, princes, and a princess, but we were in the Land of Quiet. This was our special place that no one else knew about because we kept it secret by being quiet. Slowly, the light within each child – and myself – returned and our Little Kids played, having even more fun because no one knew about our secret fantasy world.

As I was walking to the bus stop one evening, a boy, perhaps 12 years old, started walking with me. Recognizing him as the “bad kid” who had been banned from the boys’ club because he smoked, carried knives and other weapons, and got into trouble with others, I smiled at him and did not find any fear of him within me.

As I walked on the sidewalk, the boy walked on the tops of the stone “fences” that marked the boundaries of each row house’s front “yard.” When his route was longer than mine, he asked me to “Go Slow” so we could keep pace with each other. That night, I saw a completely different child – one who apparently was on his own in this world, coping as best he could, and at that point only wanting someone to “Go Slow” so he could be with them. I only met him once, but that encounter has stayed with me for almost 50 years. I often wonder what happened to him – did he get the help he sought?

Obviously, encounters are not always that simple – but it does start with acknowledging that we all are One with the Universe, no exceptions. From there, we see the Soul/Spirit/Source within everyone we meet by looking beyond the body-suit and ignoring the judgment of others. We let our gut reaction – rather than the brain linked to the cultural biases to which we have been exposed – determine our safety at that moment. Recognize the difference between your gut thoughts, feelings, and warnings and those that are part of group consciousness perpetuated by mistrust and fear. Do you own thinking, unswayed by the biases, prejudices, and judgments of others.

There are many ways to cope with the life you are given. Judgments arise over the slightest deviation from the social standard of “normal” or “proper” behavior. How many other people have been judged for their chosen way of coping? How many difficult lives could have been turned around by someone taking the time to “Go Slow” and seeing the Little Kid within them?

My wish for you is that someone will choose to “Go Slow” when you need it – and that you will choose to “Go Slow” for another when he/she needs it. We are all One with the Universe, and helping others is helping ourselves as well.

Blessings,

Jo