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I’ve been writing newsletters for 6 years, avoiding political discussions because I believe everyone has a right to their perspective and good people hold many differing views. Recently, I saw a video of a demonstrator screaming, “You are not welcome here! We welcome everyone!” It wasn’t humorous, she meant what she was shouting. Sadly, the contradiction in her message reflected accurately the underlying belief of many people today. That is, we believe in oneness but only for those who agree with us. While we may struggle to listen to viewpoints that seem incompatible with our own, it isn’t the other guy’s fault. All intolerance is within us and it is there and only there that we can find harmony with reality. Only when we are at peace with ourselves can we be at peace with the world.

 

Reflecting On Our Interactions

“One with a table? {It’s} a lot easier than people! I haven’t had anyone complain to me about conflict with a table… By “being one with the table” I mean there’s no sense of opposition between you and the table.”

Nothing Special Living Zen, Chapter III

Charlotte Joko Beck

feel connected to others

Reading Joko’s words, I thought of friends and family, people I love with whom I am completely at ease and whose company I enjoy. We don’t agree about everything, but we are not in conflict with one another. Being with some people is like being carried effortlessly along. But that isn’t everyone nor is it every situation. So, what is the distinction?

We’re intellectually enlightened today. We’ve learned and believe the world is One. We are One with one another. We know it; we’re sure of it. Yet, we are surrounded with conflict and outbursts of violence. And sorry to say, we are all a part of it.

 

An Intellectual Approach to Oneness

connect with life

Our belief in Oneness is intellectual. We judge and, often harshly, disapprove of others. We think they should be more like us, think like us, believe like us and vote like us. The problem seems to us that they don’t get Oneness. In fact, we don’t understand the nature of Oneness either.

To understand the meaning of ‘without opposition’ we must begin with ourselves. The essential opposition is that which we feel toward ourselves. We have mixed feelings about ourselves, mercurial satisfaction with ourselves, and deeply held split intentions toward ourselves. We strive to be great, but we are aware of our failures and embarrassed about them. We berate ourselves secretly and promise ourselves to do better. We are ashamed, and we sabotage ourselves into limited self-expression with fear and self-judgment.

 

How To Create Absence of Division With Others

Feel lack of connection

An absence of division with others begins when we are in peace and harmony with ourselves, how we live our lives and the way we relate to others. We can only reach such a state by coming to know all about ourselves, our undercurrents, our negativities, our dark intentions and purpose as well as our light. How did you put your personality together? When you rail, who and what are you really railing against?

The purpose of the work toward self-knowing is not to become perfect. We will never be perfect. It is to come to stillness, to peace and harmony, to loving acceptance and forgiveness for ourselves. Who we are, how we are, how we have been. In peace we can have differing perspectives from everyone else on the planet and we will not be in opposition or conflict with them.

It’s a matter of judgement. What is your underlying attitude in your disagreements with others? For most of us, most of the time, it is disapproval. If I disapprove, make assumptions and hurl epithets about you, it is an attack. Striking out in anger says more about me than you, especially if I am blind to the undercurrent of my anger and think it’s all your fault. It also widens the gulf between us.

Ways to connect with the world around you

There is also the matter of boundaries, borders and walls. We need good boundaries. We discuss the need and challenges to setting healthy boundaries all the time. Physically, we have many walls. They are the ‘picket fences’ that delineate your yard, house or apartment from the person next door. It isn’t an insult to your neighbor that you have a wall and a door. It more likely says something about who has to mow the lawn or wash the dishes. It is only when we are derogatory toward our neighbors that walls create conflict.

 

Handling Disagreements with Ease

How to feel connected to the world

To be at peace and disagree, I must integrate my body and mind, be aware of myself and what goes on for me. Only then will I know, moment to moment, my motives in my relationships and opinions. When I come clean with myself and know my foibles, I can begin to love myself. And, I will never again make fun of nor be derogatory toward another. I can disagree with your behavior and actions without attacking to destroy you and your reputation.

It doesn’t mean we don’t take action when action is warranted. Sometimes we must. It means we take appropriate measured action, not furiously rush to obliterate.

It is easy to meditate to achieve bliss. The drawback is that when the bliss ends, we don’t have a greater understanding of the practical problems we face. It is challenging but pays great dividends to meditate as the Zen do: to face ourselves. Forget One with the world, not to mention the table. Learn oneness with yourself.

We don’t need to agree or hold the same opinions to be ‘without division.’ As Joko also said, when we are in Oneness, “There’s still me and there’s still you, but when I am just my experience of you, I don’t feel separate from you. I’m one with you.”

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If the desire to feel more connected is an area in life you are looking to explore further, contact Dr. Sandra Egli at Center of Intention to learn more ~ Call 480-582-3374 today!

 

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Mindfulness

Meditation: Sandra Egli
Music: Torey Ronhovde

The wisdom of a thousand generations guides you today. Only listen. Without a sound their voices reverberate in your cells. Settle within and choose your path.

All of us come from strength, fortitude, perseverance. No matter how difficult their lives, our ancestors made it through and passed on life for the next generation. Over and over, until it came to you. The intelligence that guided them has also come to you.


To Thine own Self be true.

If I could present you with a single blessing, it would be the gift of Mindfulness. Awareness of yourself: body, emotions, and self-talk, all the time. Our immediate experience is the ultimate exploration that only grows richer with time. What we do or don't do, and the roots of our behavior, are accessible with the simple practice of noticing immediate experience. It is this practice that makes it possible to know and be true to ourselves.

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