Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spiritual Practice: Connectedness

When we plant a tree we are

planting ourselves

John Halifax

I heard once that the definition of spirituality is the simple art of making connections. Connections with one another, to Mother Earth, to the animals, and to Spirit. Each is made of another, leading to another, and related to another.

Following the connections that are weaved together is the spiritual practice of connectedness. Separation is only an illusion - as we know that all are interrelated and interdependent upon one another. We simply loose the awareness. and begin to compartmentalize every experience in life separating them rather than seeing them as part of a whole life. When we become aware of the connectedness we eliminate separateness and duality.

If everything is connected to everything else, then everyone is ultimately responsible for everything. We can blame nothing on anyone else. The more we comprehend our mutual interdependence, the more we fathom the implications of our most trivial acts. We find ourselves within a luminous organism of sacred responsibility. 
— Laurence Kushner 

Sacred responsibility for all 

our thoughts, actions, and 

intentions is paramount when 

one is aware of the 

interconnectedness of 


Practice: Begin by focusing upon your thoughts before you take action. How will your action connect with others? What emotion does your action bring to the moment? Can you see the ripples of your action?

After pausing to reflect upon your action in thought - ask yourself what is the intention of your action? Does the connection and ripple reflect your action?

While we can not pause before every action before taking it, the simple exercise of pausing becomes habit. That habit makes us aware that everything we do, say, or experience is connected to all others in some way.

May all things move and be moved in me

and know and be known in me

May all creation
dance for you within me.
Chinook Psalter

Connection is a spiritual dance within and around us. It is a joyous dance of celebration that reflects the canvas of creation. What one may consider chaos another considers a masterpiece. You are the canvas of the connected relations that is within you reflected out to the Universe.

Practice: Our connectedness to the Universe is a gift to be celebrated. A gift that we share with all others. Each their own masterpiece. When looking upon another and seeing chaos pause and ask to be shown the masterpiece - even when the other is your own reflection. Beneath the external there lies a dance.

“Mitakuye Oyasin” . . . All my Relations

“Mitakuye Oyasin” is a Lakota prayer that embodies the spiritual practice of connectedness. The phrase is used as a way to express gratitude to ancestors and reminds us all that we are in a relationship with everyone and everything. It is a prayer which profoundly honors the sacredness of each individual’s spiritual path, honoring the sacredness in all life, and the awareness which strengthens the sacredness of our footsteps. It is a prayer for all.

We are in a relation to everyone in every moment – in joy, disagreement, or love. We are equal in relationship to all relations. Part of the whole – our perception of the experiences is what tends to cause the disruption in the connectedness. There are infinite ways in which we can see the relationships in our lives. Some of these relations support our journey and some of these relations are teachers of what we need to learn. The relationship is based upon experiences; yet, we are always still relations even when we are not in a relationship.

Practice: Contemplating the infinite ways we are in relationship to all our relations and allowing the relationship to be separate from the relation is the key to the spiritual practice. Though we may need let go of an unhealthy relationship, we are still in relations with those beings. Allowing that which no longer serves to support us, nurture us, and empower us to flow out of life but not flow out of love can be difficult.

As we are in relationship to everyone and everything around us, we must know that every relationship has been key in reminding us how to be in relationship with self, with our own heart and soul.