The ‘One Garden’ – A General Introduction for newcomers to the One Garden Groups
Game, set & match! – If you have realized the Oneness behind the diversity you are already a ‘member’ of the ‘One Garden’ – welcome home!
AIM & PURPOSE OF THE ‘ONE GARDEN’ COMMUNITY – to celebrate, experience, explore & practice oneness/Oneness – from within the enlightenment teachings of great spiritual teachers – in a frame work of perennial wisdom or Perennial Philosophy (see below) context .
In our meetings we use mainly contemplative dialogue but start and end with short silent meditations. On a daily basis group members practice according to what they choose – some may still be happily within mainstream faith communities, some might be refugees from painful experience in mainstream religions, some have simply realized that behind the myriad world-views there is Oneness.
We see the overall spiritualizing process as 2 ‘wings’ that together enable spirituality.
i) All spiritually alive people use the first wing to stay connected to the Whole i.e.
– it requires that the ‘ego & mind’ be quietened, (this is our heart-centre & right-brain).
ii) The second wing with which we fly spiritually is dialogue (left-brain, head-centred).
We achieve a sense of connection with the Whole, (it ebbs and flows, unless you are one of the great masters), via mindfulness – or more correctly mind-less-ness!
The two wings need to be in harmony – if one wing is overdeveloped we flap and go round in circles and never fly upwards at all!
OUR MAP-MAKERS: As map-makers of the ‘territory’ we have Eckhart Tolle, Aldous Huxley, Wayne Teasdale & Ken Wilber – and for a popular historical perspective – Karen Armstrong.
Other great teachers: Thich Nhat Hanh, Christian Contemplatives, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Abdu’l-Baha,, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Quaker Universalism, Deng Ming-Dao, Albert Einstein, Prof John Miller (great champion of Holistic Education) – and ‘wonder-full’ poets & philosophers!
All are ‘gate-keepers’, or pointers as Buddhist teachers say, to realizing ourselves in the ‘One Garden’!
If you like reading see suggested reading list below
WEEKLY – BUT NO NEED TO ATTEND EVERY WEEK – each session is ‘stand alone’. You don’t have to buy books or read lots – materials provided.
WHO IS IT FOR?: For all on a path to realizing their true self .
HOW’S IT WORK? – each week we have a topic/question: One way we work is simply to put ‘spiritual jewels’ next to each other e.g. by juxtaposing these two pieces by Rumi & Abraham Joshua Heschel;
1 Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing – by Rumi
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
2 Concepts & Amazement – a quote by A J Heschel
“Concepts are delicious snacks with which
we try to alleviate our amazement.”
Abraham Joshua Heschel – Who is Man p.88
EXAMPLE TOPIC: Being at-one
EXAMPLE QUESTION: Where & how and through what are we one?
DEVISING THE AGENDA: One way we use is following a short period of silence and a short introduction including quotations the group, we work in pairs, and consult to generate the questions that will make up the agenda for the main group dialogue. Sometimes we have free-flowing dialogue or ‘rounds’.
THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY
“Most of the great wisdom traditions agree on an age-old model which says about both the Cosmos and about our human nature:
1. Spirit, by whatever name, exists.
2. Spirit, although existing “out there,” is found “in here,” or revealed within to the open heart and mind.
3. Most of us don’t realize this Spirit within, however, because we are living in a world of sin, separation, or duality-that is, we are living in a fallen, illusory, or fragmented state.
4. There is a way out of this fallen state (of sin or illusion or disharmony or non-integration), there is a Path to our liberation.
5. If we follow this Path to its conclusion, the result is a Rebirth or Enlightenment, a direct experience of Spirit within and without, a Supreme Liberation, which
6. marks the end of sin and suffering, and
7. manifests in social action of mercy and compassion on behalf of all sentient beings.”
The above is KW’s model of The Perennial Philosophy.
RP’s shortest model = ‘Awaken: Detach: Serve’
Namaste & all good wishes – Roger
NB We contribute a minimum of £3.00 where a room is hired – OR just £1.00 toward running expenses handouts, MeetUp fees, travel etc. – thanks.
More ‘One Garden’ quotes HERE –http://universalistspirit.wordpress.com/quotes/nonduality-flavoured-quotes/
The Perennial Philosophy model
a) Shortest version (RP) = Awakening:Detachment:Service
b) A Christian-Buddhist comparison (Very short version)
There is something bigger than us – the Mysterious Whole
We either are (West), or seem to be (East), separated from it (Victims?)
Through various means we can become reunited with it (or realize that we already are).
Once the separation is overcome, we will lead larger, richer, fuller lives.
In Christian terms, the four steps are:
Faith (or works)
In Buddhist terms:
Nirvana (the state of the Absolute)
Illusion or Ignorance
Practice (devotion or meditation)
TO COME AND ENJOY THE DISCUSSION IN THE ‘ONE GARDEN’ GROUPS YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ – I PROVIDE ALL THAT IS NEEDED AS A HANDOUT
If you prefer videos check out the stunning range on YouTube by Tolle, Teasdale, Wilber, Thich Nhat Hanh, Karen Armstrong & especially the dialogue between Wayne Teasdale and Ken Wilber
BUT IF YOU LIKE READING:-
On my personal journey I wanted a heart connection with those who both described the territory of the One Garden and those who lived it as well as taught it. Below are those who became my ‘gatekeepers’ to the One Garden – the map-makers and the teachers.
a) THE MAP-MAKERS OF THE TERRITORY OF THE ONE GARDEN
First I strongly recommend you read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now – that is enough!
Want more – then read The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale or Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy
Then Ken Wilber and Karen Armstrong
b) THE ‘GATEKEEPERS’ WHO POINT TO THE ‘ONE GARDEN’, AND THEIR SUGGESTED KEY BOOKS
COMMUNITY TEACHER BOOK TO START WITH
Taoism Deng Ming-Dao 365 Tao
Hinduism Ved Vyasa The Bhagavad Gita
Buddhism Thich Nhat Hanh Happiness
Judaism Abraham Joshua Heschel Who is Man
Christianity Wayne Teasdale The Mystic Heart
Sufism (Islam) Shaikh Kabir Helminski Living Presence
Baha’i Abdu’l-Baha Paris Talks (I will put together a compilation)
HUMANISTS – see HERE
Aldous Huxley The Perennial Philosophy
Albert Einstein (A compilation – see online)
All seem to me to point to the One Garden, and the books listed provide a gateway into the One Garden.
You might like to start with the tradition with which you are most familiar.
As a first step in reading, if you want, I suggest you reread The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
I know there are more teachers – but the above is all I can handle – along with some extracts from from poets and philosophers!
IF YOU WANT TO PRACTICE: Listen to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh: “ Smile, Breathe, Go mindfully.”
His teachings on practices from over 60 years are gathered into one book ‘Happiness: essential mindfulness practices.’
Eckhart Tolle’s book on practice is called Practicing the Power of Now
There is also a summary of practices taught by ET – see HERE
If you a) practice – Smile, Breathe, Go mindfully” – and b) read and the bell hasn’t rung – practice some more – or worst case scenario – take up fishing!
OUR THREE WEB-SITES
1) ”One Garden’ – dedicated site for the, ‘One Garden’ groups – is HERE
2) Soul Needs: peace through realizing oneness = celebrating the human spirit via;
i) THE ARTS – especially (street) photography,
ii) PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT & human-centred studies,
iii) SOCIAL JUSTICE ACTIVISM,
iv) INTERFAITH inter-spirituality & Perennial Wisdom, including the ‘One Garden’ project.
v) WHOLE-PERSON LEARNING, radical renewal of child education + healing for adults – (via a) to d)!) – –
vi) THE NEW PROJECT – ‘HEALTH MATTERS’ – surviving IPF as long as possible!
NB Usually posts for all ‘6 Projects’ start or end up on the ‘Soul Needs’ site – RP
3) The ‘Quotations Treasury’ – just quotations – http://quotationstreasury.wordpress.com/