Spirituality and Interfaith community
Traditionally organized religion has not encouraged its members to explore the archetypal patterns found replicated by past civilizations or the ritualized traditions they may have in common. Creation stories, rights of initiation, prayer and meditation practices are all examples of what I mean. We needn’t come up with anything new, only to shift our consciousness and we will realize the comprehensive connection that has always involved all of us.The exhibition contributes towards promoting the idea we are all one... its aim is to align our thinking with that of great teachers and philosophers and to challenge us to think again about them and their effect from generation to generation.
Meditation, prayer, zazen, yoga, quiet time, etc. is imperative for all "enlightened" individuals. Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed all meditated. Buddha spent time under a tree, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness and Mohammed meditated in a cave. All of them had regular practice before sharing their wisdom with the rest of the world. What they attained in wisdom and enlightenment is helpful to the human race in reaching a higher level of human development. We were not put on this earth to suffer and flounder in confusion but rather to embrace being and being fully alive and awake.
Thomas Merton says “My dear brothers and sisters, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. What we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are. When we're no longer trying to become somebody, when we've ceased struggling to be anything, we are able to rest in the truth of what we already are. The dignity of every life comes from the fact that every being is an expression of the universes evolutionary mystery.” Spiritual teachings of the world called this mystery God, Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, Tao, Mind etc. They are words and not the reality; they are concepts not the experience of oneness.
Meditation is a practice that involves serious thought or contemplation. The word is derived from Latin and connotes deep, concentrated reflection. There are as many approaches to meditation as there are people, but the general goal agreed upon is to train the heart and mind to observe, and then to let go of attachments in order to simply be mindful. Whatever method is chosen, the result is that we begin to quiet the mind and heart. Ultimately, our entire life becomes a meditation. The mindfulness one acquires through the practice of meditation will be carried out during all life’s activities: when talking, talking mindfully, when studying, studying with concentration, and when resting, resting fully.
It is my opinion that unless we begin to see ourselves connected with one another we will never come to live in peace. My brother Philip once said that “If we could know everything about a common household fork we would know everything about everything.” It took me years to figure out what he meant. I think he was talking about what it is to see the same patterns reflected in all things. There are many kinds of forks as well as many kinds of door knobs, a tree is shaped like a fork, you can use your hand to eat and it also is like a fork, a fork is useful, a fork is sometimes at rest, a fork was designed by someone, a fork works in union with other utensils, etc. Buddhists’ have used the expression, “become the tree”. The concept is the same without the mind analyzing. See yourself as the tree and, all which is valuable in a tree, along with all of its functions and history, and its life giving properties and beauty. If we can see it in a tree, we can see it in all of life. To see life’s interconnectedness, we come to see intimately what is peace and common to all.
Peace be with you