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Soul Needs-One Garden: NB all new posts are below this ‘Welcome’ message

WELCOME to ‘Soul Needs-ONE GARDEN: Holistic Living with the spiritual as ‘realizing Oneness – living inter-spiritually – interfaith for the 21stC”

NEW POSTS in right-hand column. Please click FOLLOW button to receive updates.

If you prefer Facebook just join one of the Facebook pages or groups – * The FaceBook inter-spiritual page is HERE – * FACEBOOK GROUP – the inter-spiritual discussion group is HERE – * My general Facebook is HERE       

Soul Needs – ONE GARDEN as well as the pressing need for today – realizing the Oneness behind the various faith Traditions – the blog includes occasional posts on my other interests – The Arts especially Street Photography, Health matters, Holistic Education, Personal Development, Social Justice matters.

Piano player only 52kb

Photograph ‘The peripatetic piano man Brighton’ by  Roger Prentice

INTRODUCTION – NB – All new posts are below this welcome message.

SOUL NEEDS – ONE GARDEN – my main blog-site, a  flow of  life-journey moments building on my PhD  – Roger (Dr R Prentice)  EMAIL: onesummit AT gmail DOT com

NB – All new posts are below this welcome message.

PLEASE ‘like’ my other sites;

The FaceBook inter-spiritual page is HERE

My general Facebook is HERE   

FACEBOOK – The inter-spiritual discussion group is HERE

The PhD – is a model of Holistic Education for parents, teachers and managers. Within it is SunWALK, a model of what it is to be fully and positively human – very readable, not technical – & it’s HERE !

Twitter for all 6 projects is HERE      My ‘street photography’ is HERE

I will keep the blogs that I no longer post to e.g. The specialist inter-spirituality site  HERE

THE 6 PROJECTS: My primary focus is now inter-spirituality or  ‘perennial-spirituality’ 21stC interfaith – (the ‘changeless faith’ as Baha’is call it) but within that are  5 other projects  

1) Art-matters,  inc photography – mainly street photography

2) Natural Health matters (inc surviving IPF),

3) Personal Development & Management,

4) Re-humanizing Education (inc. Holistic Education)

5) Social Justice matters.  

All  5 I hope are integrated within

6) ‘Inter-spirituality’ –  I am now realizing it as the context for the other *

Inter-spirituality is “the recovery of the shared mystic heart beating in the center of the world’s deepest spiritual traditions.” – Wayne Teasdale, see HERE 
My definition of inter-spirituality = ‘the state of being, and the living of life, that flows from the realization of the Oneness beyond the various wisdom traditions.’  – as in ‘Namaste’, “I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One.”
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RP “Behind every moment, behind every particular, is the enveloping Whole.   We have 2 wings; being as the Whole, from which we emanate and  secondly delight in every particular.” – My heart has come to harbour every form’ ! 
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Mindfulness allows us to spend more time in eternity!”
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My daily Quotations Treasury blog is HERE      Resources for ONE GARDEN groups – i.e interfaith interspirituality is HERE    My photography is HERE – use left & right arrows to view!   EN-JOY – please send in a ‘like’, comment, discussion point or question! – All new posts are below this welcome post – thanks for dropping by – Roger.  
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#inter-spiritual, #one-garden, #interfaith

NB – All new posts are below this welcome message.

Nonduality – From wordlessness to words to wordlessness – the gift of Transcendence

THEME: Spirituality & Religion:

TOPIC: From wordlessness to words to wordlessness –                                                       the gift of Transcendence as the ultimate context of our faith

Presentation for Crawley Interfaith Network – by Roger – Dr Roger Prentice

Email onesummit@gmail.com

“Like the bee gathering honey from the different flowers, the wise person accepts the essence of the different scriptures and sees only the good in all religions.” attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

INTRODUCTION:   We begin with Rumi, the 13thC Sufi mystic poet; “Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”  I’m told someone once said to Rumi, “If you believe in silence, why have you done nothing but talk and talk, and write and sing and dance?”  He laughed and said, ”The radiant one inside me has never said a word.”  Father Thomas Keating added. ….”In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in God.  Perhaps learning to rest in God is resting in Awareness?

Spirituality & ReligionSpirituality  is what we ultimately are.  It is the life-force that through us flows. It is our capacity to reflect virtues, and the Names and Attributes and Qualities of God – in our acts as well as in our being.  We are a being within Being. For all of us our message to the world is what we actually do. Religion is the institutionalization of the spirituality that fountains from the Revelations of the Messengers of God – or, if you are a very modern theologian, around and from Ultimate Reality. Spirituality exists everywhere, including outside of religions.  Some parts of some religions, some of the time, show very little of the sweet water of spirituality that was the intention of the Messengers or High Prophets that founded those great Traditions.

Outline of this presentation – Realizing Oneness is the means to peace. We are enriched if we look for sameness in other Traditions – The Oneness is best illustrated by the great seers; Lao Tzu to Socrates and Heraclitus, from Plotinus and al-Hallaj to Meister Eckhart and St. John of the Cross and up to and including contemporary spiritual teachers such as Rupert Spira and Reza Shah-Kazemi.

They teach us to let go our egoic self and sense the presence of God – through the Messengers of God.  The Messengers enable four things.  Firstly they repeat the eternal spiritual truths. Secondly they give a set of social teachings. Thirdly they act as ‘Transformers’ of God’s Infinite power into ‘potential and manifest capabilities’ – for us humans. Fourthly they act as Perfect Mirrors, or exemplars, so that we learn to reflect in the mirrors of our hearts their perfect reflection of the qualities of God.

Because of the constraints of time I focus on how in all great Traditions we are challenged to realize the Oneness behind the great traditions as evidenced by teachings from the seers and other outstanding teachers. In particular I present teachings concerning the two realms – the dual and the Nondual.

What is  Nonduality in a nutshell? – ‘Nonduality is, when we stop ‘self-ing’ enough, to be surrendered within the Whole, out of which the ‘I’ appears.  Then we shall see that ‘I = Awareness’

The Interspiritual Way is the same as e.g. the Taoist Way except inspiration is drawn primarily from seven Traditions.  Nonduality is the ‘center pole’ or ‘backbone’ of the One Garden interspiritual reading of self & life. From the teachings of the various Traditions I hope we come to see that we are all set the same challenge in life.  The briefest description of that challenge that I’ve ever seen is from a Zen Master, “No self; no problem.”  Now let’s see what the seven Traditions say about Nonduality & duality. Each Tradition points to the insight of the two realms but provides a different aspect on the subject;

FROM JEWISH TEACHINGS: The great Jewish poet, philosopher & activist Rebbe Abraham Joshua Heschel describes the two worlds exquisitely ;

“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh.

We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore.

Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another.  Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap.

They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.”Abraham Joshua Heschel, in Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion.

A simpler way of presenting the key idea is to be found in  this metaphor: “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of mystery.”  Notice that even reason stops at the shoreline of mystery. The key is that to realize Nondual Reality we have to surrender to the impossibility that language, words, concepts, even mind and reason  can play no part. We either feel the Nondual whole or we don’t. But the good news is that we can clear away the inner clutter that comes with the ‘dual world’ and find that our true Self is there all the time. This is Awareness, but Awareness is us only when we have stopped ‘selfing’. Then, relatively, we sense that God is closer to us than our life-vein as in We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (Qur’an 50:16).  As in the one set of footsteps in the sand God carries us, even when we are not fulfilling our covenantal obligation.  To transcend we have to get our false egoic self sufficiently surrendered to allow our true Self to be reflected from our heart.

FROM BUDDHIST TEACHINGS: – The two realms are pointed to in this ancient Zen teaching telling us that the great Master Dogen taught, “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and  to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.”……… To be enlightened by the 10,000 things is to recognize the unity of the self and the 10,000 things.

FROM SUFI ISLAMIC TEACHINGS:  Rumi in one of his poems says; “Not Christian or Jew or Muslim. Not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system.  I am not from the east or the west. Not out of the ocean or up from the ground. Not natural or ethereal. Not composed of elements at all. I do not exist. Am not an entity in this world or the next.  Did not descend from Adam & Eve or any origin story. My place is the placeless, a trace of the traceless – neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one & that one call to & know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath, breathing, human, being.” – Rumi – 13thC  Sufi mystic – (C Barks).

FROM HINDU TEACHINGS:

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the

individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the

self same tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree;                                                    the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.

“The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the

divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he

recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his

glory, he grieves no more.”   -0-     SOURCE This trans. is in ‘The Upanishads, Breath of the Eternal’, by Swami Prabhavananda.

FROM CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS:

Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.” The Gospel of Thomas HERE

Fr. Richard Rohr comments; “Western Judeo-Christians are often uncomfortable with the word “nonduality.” They often associate it (negatively) with Eastern religions. I am convinced, however, that Jesus was the first nondual religious teacher of the West, and one reason we have failed to understand so much of his teaching, much less follow it, is because we tried to understand it with a dualistic mind.”  – Fr. Richard Rohr, in The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See.

FROM BAHA’I TEACHINGS:  Love is heaven’s kindly light, the Holy Spirit’s eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul. Love is the cause of God’s revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things.   Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next.   Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul. Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the diverse elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms.  Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe.   Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization …. SOURCE    

FROM TAOIST TEACHINGS: The first chapter of the Tao Te Ching says; The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things. Free from desire, you realize the mystery. Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations. Yet mystery & manifestations arise from the same source…..  

This speaks of the two realms & of the ‘Way’ as being beyond what we take as being the normal or real world. The (Nondual) Way cannot be described in words or concepts.  With mind you always end up with your own limitations. The key, whether you’re a sage or a Mr or Mrs J Bloggs, is to overcome or transcend ‘self’. Why? Because self as an autonomous, self-subsisting entity is an illusion & as our Buddhist teachers show us is the source of all of our self-created suffering. Only God is Self-subsisting.

  1. This all sounds very deep – is there a simpler way to understand Nonduality? Some beauty or goodness or truth, or breath meditation, or art, ‘takes us out of our ‘egoic-self’.  We all have had some experiences such as this – as captured by the 8thC Chinese poet known as Li Po;

“The birds have vanished from the sky, / & now the last clouds slip away. / We sit alone, the mountain and I, / until only the mountain remains.”  

Yes we kick ourself when we realize how simple Reality is . What is your true self?  It’s what we already are –  if we only we can get our egoic self out of our way – & out of The Way.  

FROM CONTEMPORARY SPIRITUAL TEACHERS WE HAVE:  “Every thought in consciousness has been born into form, a temporary form and then it dies and goes onto another form……..the whole world is consciousness having taken birth as form, manifesting as form temporarily, and then dying which means dissolving as form. What always remains is the “essence” of all that exists – consciousness Itself.” – Eckhart Tolle.  We must avoid exclusivism & making the ‘other’ the enemy.  Self is the only enemy.

What then is The Interspiritual Way?  instead of drawing on just one great Tradition, the One Garden worldview draws, primarily, upon 7 Traditions. At the heart centre of them all is the magnetic force of love – love makes of us, & every ‘thing’ the Transcendent Whole. Love makes a group of people into a family. The Interspiritual Way is the same as the Taoist Way but draws in the transcendent heart-centre of the other Traditions.  Love is what enables us to transcend our egoistic self and ascend to the heaven of our true self. Our sole theology = “All in God; God in all.” ( panENtheism). Each of us a being within Being.

Our true Self is love, & our place to be is the One Garden. Love is the spirit, the energy, the life-force, the ‘chi’ – the river of life that through us flows. You don’t ‘get a life’ – you are life. Love is the magnet of compassion that unites, makes of parts wholes. It is peace & the bringer of peace. We need the spirit of love but we also need forms through which love may flow. Love is the reality, the hub, the mystic heart around which all can centre. As Ibn ‘Arabi says; “I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love’s camels take, that is my religion & my faith.”  From Rumi there is an ocean of inspiration concerning love & gardens.

‘One Garden’ for us is the ‘state of being’ in which we realize Oneness behind all Traditions, & it is also the chosen name of our face-to-face groups. Other metaphors include many pathways but one summit, many rivers; one Ocean. Intellect & the ‘word’ are God’s gift. However as Rumi says “Silence is God’s first language,” so all our words are merely ‘pointers’ that might gift us insights with which to transform & see the Nondual, the light of heaven, Nirvana or bliss. There’s no need to change our ‘faith community’ to realize the Oneness behind all. It’s there in all great Traditions.

Being interspiritual I suggest is to walk the path of life Awakening, Detaching & Serving others better …. the perennial framework, also taught by all great Teachers – and it is our spiritual legacy, ancient but perpetually new.  With love as the’ river ‘& ‘perennial wisdom’ as the ‘river-bank’ of structure we have another metaphor for the Inter-spiritual Way.

Our primary purpose as people on the spiritual path, & members of various faith traditions, is to live in the presence of God, or Nowness i.e.in Nonduality – as sages & mystics have taught as a golden thread down through the ages. In so being we can become agents of unity, & crafts-people for peace-building.  The ‘key’ lies in resisting any claims of ‘exclusivity’ instead we can ‘centre on the Oneness at the heart of all great traditions’. When a religion loses its mystic heart The Interspiritual Way & interspiritual living, engender “recovery of ‘the shared mystic heart’, beating in (us & in) the centre of the world’s deepest spiritual traditions”Rabbi Shapiro.

You are what you seek- You cannot possess awareness because awareness is not a thing. Awareness is not an object. You cannot become aware or develop awareness because you already are awareness. The only thing that is required of you is to stop identifying who you are with the many forms that awareness takes. As soon as you stop identifying with form, which is the “content” of awareness, then all that is left is pure awareness. YOU.

Awareness is open, transparent, and always aware of itself. Awareness is absolute spaciousness, and this spaciousness includes everything, keeps everything within its embrace, and lovingly lets all things exist in whatever way they choose. What happens in this space does not corrupt or debase it. Everything in existence emerges from and falls back into this pure, immaculate, and incorruptible space; be it emotions like pain and anger, battles and armed conflicts, despotic dictators, all manifestations of weather including rain, wind, snow, and the clouds that float across the sky, as well as the people in our lives whom we cherish the most. The “you” that you think you are also arises in this space that you are.

Close your eyes and take a moment to simply be aware of the vast space that is immediately within and before you and which surrounds you. It has no beginning or end, yet it always has, always is, and always will, exist as this changeless, eternal, still, and immediately available ground of beingness.

There is an aspect of you that has accompanied you through all of your life experiences as your very nature. Can you identify what this is that is perpetually unmoving and always present? Wise men and women from time immemorial have talked about an “all-embracing ultimate reality,” which is none other than your very own ordinary present awareness. Try not to stray from this profound simplicity.

Just be aware of a sense of presence that is always here. Now, don’t think about what you have just read. Simply notice the presence that is seeing the world through your eyes now and is always seeing the world through your eyes. This seeing is timeless and never leaves you. What is looking, the watcher in you, is this pure awareness, this ultimate presence. The truth of who you are is that actual awareness, which has always been free. You are that freedom.    -0-

IN SUMMARY: All the great traditions teach the same core truths.  At the deepest level our life-journey takes us from ‘apparent reality’ to ‘true Reality’.

We realize our true Self as shown by Rumi and all of the great Sages and Teachers. How? We find that we are citizens of two realms that in the final analysis are One.  “God in all; all in God.” This is the paradox that Reality, God, is wholly Immanent and wholly Transcendent.  Ultimately we need to transcend our lower selves in order to be faithful to our Tradition, and to attract God’s good pleasure.

From the dual realm we need to realize as Albert Einstein did that, “Reality is merely an illusion,’ However he added, “albeit a very persistent one.”

In the Nondual realm we have to realize as Rumi did that no words suffice for what is ineffable

Our unity, and therefore the peace of the world, and the longing in all peoples for justice as well as truth, beauty & goodness, depends on the transcendence of realizing the Oneness behind our Traditions

Rumi and all of the other great teachers are teaching us that ‘Nonduality is, when we stop ‘self-ing’ enough, to be surrendered within the Whole, out of which the ‘I’ appears.  Then we shall see that ‘I = Awareness’

Realizing Oneness is the means to peace.  Inner peace is the way to national and international peace.

Rumi by the way teaches us to transcend.  One way he does this is by ending many of his poems by pointing us back to silence i.e back to the Nondual – as in;

“Be silent now…………                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Let yourself become living poetry.”           from ‘Rumi – Bridge to the Soul’

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Life as Walking the ‘Interspiritual Way’

Life as Walking the ‘Interspiritual Way’ – 

The gift of Transcendence as the ultimate context of our chosen faith

Copyright Dr Roger Prentice

INTRODUCTION: The first chapter of the Tao Te Ching says; The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things. Free from desire, you realize the mystery. Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations. Yet mystery & manifestations arise from the same source….. The Interspiritual Way instead of drawing on just one great Tradition,Taoism, draws upon 7 Traditions. At the heart centre of them all is the magnetic force of love – that makes of us, & every ‘thing’ the Transcendent Whole.

Our true Self is love & our place to be is the One Garden. Love is the spirit, the energy, the life-force, the ‘chi’ – the river of life that through us flows. You don’t ‘get a life’ – you are life. Love is the magnet of compassion that unites, makes of parts wholes. It is peace & the bringer of peace. We need the spirit of love but we also need forms through which love may flow. Love is the reality, the hub, the mystic heart around which all can centre. As Ibn ‘Arabi says; “I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love’s camels take, that is my religion and my faith.” From Rumi there is an ocean of inspiration concerning love & gardens. One Garden is the ‘state of being’ we are in when we realize the Oneness behind the various Traditions, & it is the name of One Garden face-to-face groups. Other metaphors include many pathways but one summit, many rivers; one Ocean. Intellect & the ‘word’ are God’s gift. Nevertheless as Rumi says “Silence is God’s first language,” so all our words are merely ‘pointers’ that might gift us insights with which to transform & see the Nondual, the light of heaven, Nirvana or bliss.

Being interspiritual is to walk the path of life Awakening, Detaching & Serving others better …. the perennial framework, taught by all great Teachers – our spiritual legacy, ancient but perpetually new. With love as the’ river ‘& ‘perennial wisdom’ as the ‘river-bank’ of structure we have the Inter-spiritual Way; & its vision, mission – & a course of supporting study. The briefest says “No self; no problem.”

Our primary purpose as people on the spiritual path, & members of various faith traditions, is to live in the presence of God, or Nowness The Nondual – as sages & mystics have taught down through the ages. In so being we can become agents of unity, & crafts-people for peace-building. The ‘key’ lies in resisting any claims of ‘exclusivity’ & develop ‘centering on the Oneness at the heart of all great traditions’. The Interspiritual Way & interspiritual living, engender “recovery of ‘the shared mystic heart’, beating in (us & in) the centre of the world’s deepest spiritual traditions”, Rabbi Shapiro. It’s the eternal thread of gold.

‘Nonduality is, when we stop ‘selfing’ enough, to be surrendered within, the Whole out of which the I appears.’ ND is the ‘center pole’ or ‘backbone’ of the direct, mystic One Garden interspiritual reading of life. It is the realization that we are citizens of 2 realms, the dual & the Nondual. Q. In the processes of transformation to what do the pointers, that bring insights, point? Rumi says; “Not Christian or Jew or Muslim. Not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the east or the west. Not out of the ocean or up from the ground. Not natural or ethereal. Not composed of elements at all. I do not exist,. Am not an entity in this world or the next. Did not descend from Adam & Eve or any origin story. My place is the placeless, a trace of the traceless – neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one & that one call to & know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath, breathing, human, being.” – Rumi – 13thC Sufi mystic – (C Barks). This has to be one of the greatest teachings ever to show our dual nature, & its context of Nonduality. We are each ‘a being’ within ‘Being as a Whole’. “We interbeing are”- Thích Nhất Hạnh. Only God is Self-subsisting.

THE INTERSPIRITUAL WAY introductory course PART 1: SPIRIT = the life-force

Here are inspirations from 7 teachers – 7 texts & 7 pathways – building peace one soul at a time

QUESTION: Around what can we unite? ANSWER: Love and the Golden Rule. Or, as the Dalai Lama says; “Kindness is my religion.” “Theologians may quarrel but the mystics of the world agree.” Meister Eckhart

TAOISM Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Sufi/ISLAM: O Marvel! a garden amidst the flames.

My heart has become capable of every form:

it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,

and a temple for idols and the pilgrim’s Kaa’ba,

and the tablets of the Torah and the book of the Quran.

I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love’s camels take,

that is my religion and my faith. (Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi: Treasure of Compassion Theos Pub House 1911 Poem XI )

JUDAISM: Blessed are the men and women who are planted on your earth, in your garden,

who grow as your trees and flowers grow, who transform their darkness to light.

Their roots plunge into darkness; their faces turn toward the light. All those who

love you are beautiful; they overflow with your presence so that they can do

nothing but good. There is infinite space in your garden; all men, all women

are welcome here; all they need do is enter. SOURCE – The Odes & Psalms of Solomon

HINDUISM: For those who set their hearts on me/ And worship me with unfailing devotion and faith,/ The way of love leads sure and swift to me. Krishna – Bhagavad Gita – SOURCE

CHRISTIANITY: God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

BUDDHISM:“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, & we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace & love.” Zen – Thích Nhất Hạnh

BAHA’I FAITH: Love is heaven’s kindly light, the Holy Spirit’s eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul. Love is the cause of God’s revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things. Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next. Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul. Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the diverse elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms. Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe. Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization …. SOURCE

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ECKHART TOLLE: Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form. In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love. What is God? The eternal One Life underneath all the forms of life. What is love? To feel the presence of that One Life deep within yourself and within all creatures. To be it. Therefore, all love is the love of God. SOURCE – ‘The Power of Now’ -0- “Love is the recognition of oneness in a world of duality. This is the birth of God into the world of form. Love makes the world less worldly, less dense, more transparent to the divine dimension, the light of consciousness itself.” ET & TNH Take 3 conscious breaths!

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SOPHOCLES: “One word frees us of all the weight & pain of life: That word is love.” (from Oedipus at Colonus)

KHALIL GIBRAN: “Work is love made visible.”

TIM FREKE: ‘Love is ease of being’ & “Love is how Oneness feels.”

RICK ARCHER: “I have a friend who likes to say; “We are all sense organs of the Infinite.” -0- -0- -0-

PART 2: THE FORMS through which we transform in becoming our true Self

& the structures through which love flows

INTRODUCTION: like the banks of a river that channels the water of love back to the infinite Ocean the eternal ‘perennial spirituality’, the mystical faith core at the heart of all great Traditions, is the key form to enable love to flow. ‘One Garden groups’ are a form or structure to help us practice healing Wholeness via perennial wisdom – personally or organizationally or poetically as; ”Sipping the healing nectar, perfume, & wisdom from 7 mystic flowerings!”

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HEART & HEAD – Love is the ‘blood’ & heart-beat, the chi or life-force & primary ‘covenant’. Our practice & action nondual & dual = the channel or framework for the life-force or spirit to flow to us, through us & from us – at all levels. In awakening the Nondual becomes the background music to all.

INTER-SPIRITUALITY for me = “the recovery of the shared mystic heart beating in the center of the world’s deepest spiritual traditions.” See Teasdale’s The Mystic Heart & Tolle’s The Power of Now etc. 2 wings of spirituality = A) Connection with the non-dual Whole + B) perennial wisdom & dialogue for 1) Awakening: 2) Detaching: 3) Serving, effective action in ‘love as service’. Love is the hub of all.

‘The One Garden’ groups are about having a supportive ‘family’ to inspire living in the interspiritual way. They are a ‘sacred space’ for practice & dialogue, using eternal wisdom sources. Why? For greater happiness & peace, both as individuals & for the wider community, up to ‘the planet’s global family’ – by returning to the Traditions’ core teachings. The 7 Teachers, Texts & paths teach head, heart & action.

The ‘One Garden’ goal = living the harmony of 2 ‘wings’ i) realizing mystical connection to the formless Whole and ii) dialogue-ing Perennial Wisdom. Together their concern = Awakening:Detaching:Serving. KEYS include ying+yang, breath-work, nonduality+duality, heart-mind, words+silence, panentheism (immanence+transcendence). Stated simply it is “All in God; God in all.” Q. What is conscious breathing? Breathe in&out through your nose. You will get it if you breathe with a healthy sleeping baby’s breathing

OUR 3 SPIRITUAL CHALLENGES to become I=Awareness are awakening; Detaching; Serving.

1 Awakening is primarily learning to stay mindful in our connection with the nondual Whole (God if you prefer). Conscious breathing is for many the No 1 re-minder, the anchor, the means to awareness, nowness, integration & presence. Resting in awareness is the default home, of which we remain conscious in all forays into the dual realm. Take 3 conscious breaths & on the out-breath for…give…

2 Detachment is learning to reduce the average level of ‘radio’ interference (egotism) as we interact with others, within consciousness of the Whole. Ego like a body is necessary. But egotism is the disease of perpetually ‘selfing’ – we transform via learning to ‘die before we die’. Enjoy 3 breaths & forgive!

3 Service is action dedicated to the well being of others – starting with our friends, family & workmates – through to the ‘planetary family’s’ concerns. Our efficacy is proportionate to how successfully we love, challenge & integrate our ‘self’ & its shadow side – learning respect for our Covenantal relationship & taking inspiration from the great Traditions. Our first Covenant is with God. Enjoy 3 breaths & forgive!

1) to AWAKEN – “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” T N Hanh SL p504

A) • There’s a reality, beyond the material world & its life force: • It is uncreated. • It pervades everything, • but remains (as a Whole) beyond the reach of human knowledge & understanding.

2) to DETACH“A (wo)man is a slave to anything s/he cannot part with that is less than her/himself” – George MacDonald. We release our ‘self’ from negatives we we see what (false) purpose they serve.

B) • You approach that reality by: • Distinguishing ego from true Self • Understanding the nature of desire • Becoming unattached • Forgetting about preferences • Not working for personal gain • Letting go of thoughts • Redirecting your attention • Being devoted • Being humble • Invoking that reality • Surrendering etc. “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” The ‘way’ or the ‘teacher’ appear whenever we need to move on up through the next stage. For Thích Nhất Hạnh & Tolle Conscious breathing = the key to deepening consciousness i.e. Awareness. Enjoy 3 breaths.

C) • That reality approaches you through: • Grace • (RP We the finite cannot comprehend the Infinite, or even others or our ‘self’ but can, as with the physical sun, feel the warmth of love & see via the light of knowledge.) NB see A J Heschel’s writings starting with ‘Who is Man?’ Enjoy 3 breaths & forgive!

D) • You’re transformed, enlightened or saved when we embody or reflect that reality by: • ‘Dying’ & ‘being reborn’ i.e living more deeply in the true, higher, non-egoistic Self, mirroring virtues in our being, doing & having. “Mindfulness as Presence, Nowness, allows us to spend more time in eternity! ” LoL! – (RP) The rhythm of our life is switching between the dual & the Nondual until I = Awareness.

3) to SERVE E) You then find (even better) ways to serve realizing all work done in the spirit of service is ranked as worship. NB the ‘triangle of the three’ Awake:Detach:Serve works synergistically – we can start anywhere. “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” A Schweitzer. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” “The breath of God is breathing me, and you – and them!” “Breathe Yahweh.” Rest as Awareness – I = Awareness.

CONCLUSION: As well as a celebratory presentation this is an outline for a one-year course. You only need a minimum of one study-buddy. ‘The Interspiritual Way’ is to foster respect for other traditions, via the Oneness at the heart of all of, and beyond, the great Traditions & enable us to be our true Self.    -0-

OUR ONE GARDEN = ‘Learning to celebrate’ Oneness, beauty, truth, goodness & justice via;

a) PURPOSE: Awaken to Awareness: Detach from negatives, ego & exclusivity: Serve others better

b) PRACTICE: Practice diligently – start with Smiling more: Breathing consciously: & going mindfully.

c) PROCESS: Read any 2 or 3 of the quotes. Meditate in silence. Ask Questions & dialogue with a friend

All these teachings are at the Transcendent heart-centre of all Traditions –

Enjoy 3 breaths – forgive, & let go negatives!

FOR HELP & RESOURCES: Roger (Dr Roger Prentice) onesummit AT gmail DOT com

“He who knows one religion knows none.”……?

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He who knows one religion knows none. – Max Müller

He who knows me as unborn, as the beginningless, as the Supreme Lord of all the lords he, undeluded among men, is freed from all sins. – Krishna

A monk sees the Dharma and seeing the Dharma he sees me. – Gautama Buddha

When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. –  Jesus Christ

In its historical form, as a mode of doctrine, life and order, he Christian religion cannot be the one to which the truth belongs, per se – not even if that form be the Reformed. – Karl Barth

It pleased the Divine Power to reveal some of the most important articles of our Catholic creed first to the Zoroastrians…. – L. H. Mills

FROM THIS ARTICLE – http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/gre5.htm

SEE ALSO – HERE