The Experience of Oneness

“Open your hidden eye and come,
return to the root of the root
of your own self!”
— Rumi

I was privileged at the recent Power of One conference to co-facilitate, with Sister Jenna Maraj of the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center of Washington DC, two free-flowing round table discussions on The Experience of Oneness.
As the flier for the conference says, “The Power of One refers both to the recognition of an interconnected universe and the power of one individual to influence the whole. The new synthesis of science and spirituality reflects a universal understanding of the cosmos and consciousness. As humanity moves to ever higher and broader levels of understanding, we meet in the silence in which we experience oneness and emerge to take action out of that place of unity and peace.”
Clearly anyone drawn to such a conference already carries within a conscious reference of experience of unity and Oneness. Thus it was natural that a background question for our round tables was this issue: “How do we work with the blocks, the resistances, to the experience and knowledge of humanity’s belonging and Oneness? What are the sources of such resistance?
We might have spent days exploring these questions… but our brief time allowed for only a few other questions and observations to emerge:
How do we come to feel comfortable with our own peace? What are the practices that support such?
The practice of Oneness requires ‘homework’ on ourselves… it is often precipitated by a crisis of some kind. We often come to such knowledge through a ‘path of desperation’….
Interestingly, the Chinese character for crisis is also the character for opportunity. Is this not where we are collectively now?
This question and issue of the role of fear arose and someone asked, “How do we get rid of fear?”
I found myself responding with a yet different question: “How do we come to live with fear as an ally and teacher rather than as a predator and parasite?”
Sister Jenna grounded our table with the simple and always profound question of, “How are you feeling right now?”
“How are we feeling? Are not all of our world problems rooted in feelings? And how can we come to be present with our feelings if we are not comfortable with silence? If we just sit here together in silence for a moment… everything changes….?”
“What would it take to create an event similar in magnitude to 9/11… but of a positive imagery… that again gifted the world with the experience of unity and Oneness? What are the images we can use throughout the coming year to provoke this feeling of Oneness?”
With the asking of this question I felt completely at home, for I have written and spoken extensively about our need for vital and dynamic living system images of wholeness. In the blog post, A Celebration of the Self: Wild Resiliency!, I wrote about the convergence of my passions for personal, organizational and social change being captured with this principle from restoration ecology: If you want to help a system change, if you want to help a system move toward wellness, you support it in reconnecting to more of its self, to more of its wholeness.
This is the principle behind the restoration of predators, such as wolves, to our forests. It is the principle behind the restoration of fire regimes to our tall grass parries and western forests…. And it is the reason I play with the idea of Aspen-Body Wisdom, believing the Aspen grove and tree to be ‘medicine for our time’; it is because we are more like the forest than we are different from it. And in particular, the aspen grove can teach us of what it is to be wholly human, of what it is to be a human self, and how to thrive in turbulent times.
So if you want a good change and hardiness strategy for your business or self or nation… go sit in an aspen grove for a few hours and listen. Let your soul find the deep silence. Let your self open and feel… smell the crisp mountain air and listen to the quivering of the aspen leaves in the breeze. You, like me, might just hear them whisper in your ears too:

The realization of Oneness

is the most viable change and hardiness strategy available to us

– as trees, as individuals, in business, and as a nation.

Note: We’re offering Take-a-Hike! Aspen walks through the fall here in Santa Fe, where you can re-member how to perceive yourself and the world forever differently.

1 Comment

  1. phil newman

    09/16/2009 at 11:58 pm

    greetings from the banks of the columbia. phbz and i have been on a road trip and i’ve got to catch up on some of your columns. i was wondering if you have read elizabeth edwards new book “resilience…”. i have not but the reviews so far suggest i will. if you have or do, let me know what you think.
    give my love to dotie.

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