Day 17: Experience Connection

What does deep spirituality feel like to you? Spirituality is impossible to define and difficult to describe.

For me, it feels like connection—connection to myself, to others around me, to the earth and all of creation. Connection to myself feels like deep peace, awareness, calm, authenticity. Connection to others feels like compassion, community, acceptance, and enduring love.

Spirituality is not an idea; it is an experience.

When I experience connection, dividing lines disappear. Inner conflict gives way to integrity. The line that separates my individuality from others fades; we become one. I find connections with my deepest self in times of solitary practice and reflection. I find connection with others in community, often in worship. All the great spiritual traditions teach this.

Today the connection with creation, with the earth and the cosmos, may be the most difficult. We live in artificial, controlled environments that separate us from the natural world. More than humans in any other time, we live separated from the natural world, the world from which we emerged and that sustains our lives.

We so very much need to experience our world. We need to let go of controlling our world and allow ourselves to become one with it. We find ourselves when we lose our selves.

May we connect, really connect. When we do, it changes everything.

Rev. Peter Morales is the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Today’s practice is to experience connection. Connection to yourself, to others around you, to the earth and all of creation. How do you experience connection? Take time for it today. It might be a walk in the woods, or a visit to a waterfall. It might be lighting candles, praying, or visiting a sanctuary. It might be a yoga practice or a lovingkindness meditation. It might be being of service to a community organization. Experience connection in your own way.

Today’s resource for deepening this message is the movie I AM, a 2010 documentary by a filmmaker who set out to answer the question of what’s wrong with the world but ultimately ended up discovering what’s right—exploring the deep connections among all life by way of conversations with some of the world’s leading scientists, environmentalists, religious leaders, and philosophers, including Bishop Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Coleman Banks. Be inspired by this 7-minute clip of the film that talks about deep connections that defy logic.

Commit2Respond's Climate Justice Month intends to take you through a transformative spiritual process leading to long-term commitments to climate justice. At the end of the month you will be asked to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE human rights, and GROW the movement. Learn more and start thinking about how you will #commit2respond to climate change.

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  • commented 2015-04-09 14:48:04 -0400
    I believe in, and experience, the deep connectedness that is spoken of here. But I don’t feel ‘authentic’ if I fail to comment that this documentary takes quite a lot of liberty with science. Let it inspire us poetically, but let’s take some of its assertions and conclusions with a healthy skepticism….not about the big idea of connectedness, for which there is, indeed, lots of scientific support in various disciplines….but about some of the supposed details presented in the film. To change hearts and minds of neighbors and policymakers who perhaps don’t think quite like we do, I think our science has to be sound. And we have to also be open and honest about when we are using our moral compasses and making acts of faith…..both of which (very important human activities) are not about rationalism or science.
  • commented 2015-04-08 09:21:34 -0400
    Earth Day Peace Train

    To remain neutral on our moving train
    help me know which way we’re spinning,
    how fast,
    when we might slow down,
    how much,
    to sustain polycultured rich neutrality.

    How do I sleep
    while SuperEgo-logic Earth Day
    longs and trains for here in now?

    Stuck in nightmare time too fast,
    stride too slow
    unable to will-force our faster pace
    or slow-growth race,
    but both together falling
    leaps reopen terrified
    reassuring wakefulness,
    in sleep I can be you and there
    while longing here
    belonging both as SuperEgo We.

    Ground of All Being!
    Elder cellular horsepower!
    Wake up!… Scream!
    your ultraviolet pitch
    and flow-echo waves,
    rebound this Dense Dark Mirror Message:

    We would be more humane
    to dinosaur-whisper amongst ourselves
    diversely radiant Golden Ecologics,
    empathic SuperEgo
    EarthTribe Originating Call:

    Let our nutrient horsepower free,
    flow animate leg-kicking stories,
    hibernating through Yinnish Winter’s advent,
    to graze through Spring,
    and Yang prance Summer’s maturation dance,
    to harvest Fallen permaculture compost
    winnowing while predicting cooperative apple commodities
    luscious pregnant seed:

    Spring forth to ride and run this SuperEco Train,
    Boddhisatva Warriors of EarthTribe Peace!

    Ground of Regenerate Power!
    Regravitate our octave prime-color Paradise!

    Namaste, Balanced Mind.
    Active karma empowering
    Eternal Diastatic Time
    for Climax Global Community
    within, as without,
    without, as within,
    coincidentally converging landscapes
    riding SuperEco’s Beloved Peace Train.

    Gerald Dillenbeck, M. Div., MPA, PDC
    Unitarian Society of Hartford, friend

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