GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#39 — July 1, 2015

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own self in all beings, and all beings in his own self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.

— Buddha

Greetings, Inspired Seekers:

The last few weeks have been tumultuous in our country with new legislation and global issues creating stirring headlines. People on both sides of the issues have shared their joy and excitement as others have voiced their dismay and fear with equal emotions. At times like this I am reminded of Thornton Wilder’s quote, “The world is at sixes and sevens,” for it seems as if we will never come together in a unitive place of peace. As people of many faiths, how do we hold both sides in a space of grace? That is a big question that we might only begin to ponder on this one page.

I believe that the starting point is to understand the nature of non-dual thinking, something I have written about on these pages many times. It requires many times, as this is an idea we struggle with in our human nature.

Each of the prominent religions teaches about the different levels of our spirituality and faith from the standpoint of consciousness. When we first come to a belief system, our mind is quite literal for we are seeking to read and understand on an intellectual level. As we grow in faith and expand, we are able to see beyond the exclusionary, dualistic way we think - the either/or, “I must take a side” approach. We rarely come to this without understanding that God is bigger than the concepts of the human mind. We need to see all of the picture, not only our “side.” The Sufi poet, Rumi, said, “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” It takes a non-dual mind to take that in!

I believe that our faith - and our ability to see our unity with others - expands when we spend time in reflection and consider the bigness of The Divine. Others agree:

The Christian tradition refers to the practice of contemplation.
Buddhists practice meditation or sitting.
Judaism calls it being with the Divine spark within.
Native Americans embrace oneness with the Great Spirit in nature and the creatures with whom we share the planet.

So, the challenge for all of us is: How much time do we invest in our spiritual growth? How wide is TheSpaceForGrace in our lives? What will it take to live inclusive, respectful and love-filled lives of compassion - even when we acknowledge our differences?

It seems to me that anything that keeps any of us away from the Source of Holiness cannot possibly be of God. Let’s spend some time contemplating that and being curious and welcoming to those who think differently.

Grace-Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: The Divine in me honors the Divine in you. Namaste!

The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington has served all people and all traditions since her ordination and has conducted sacred ceremonies that honor those traditions. She celebrates the recent ruling on same-sex marriages and would be pleased to craft a wedding for those who have been waiting for this day. She can be reached at 215 260 1611 or at