The River of God

On a recent retreat we were invited into prayer and meditation practices in a variety of forms–from both Eastern and Western traditions.  One of our facilitators read from THE SHVETSHVANTARA UPANISHAD before our yoga practice. As a Christian I felt totally at home in what she read from this ancient Eastern Scripture.  I quote below some of what she read.

The River of God

 

Encounter

“Spiritual aspirants ask their teacher:
What is the cause of the cosmos?. . .
From where do we come? By what life?
Where shall we find peace at last? . . . .

“In the depths of meditation, sages
Saw within themselves the Lord of Love,
Who dwells in the heart of every creature.
Deep in the hearts of all he dwells. . .
. . . He is One. He it is
Who governs time, space, and causality.”

In this ever-flowing “river of life
the individual self goes. . . on and on. . .
believing itself to be a separate creature, until
It sees its identity with the Lord of Love. ..
In the indivisible Whole.”

“God is the eternal reality,.. . .
They who perceive him in every creature
Merge in him…
The Lord of love holds in his hand the world. . .”

“All is change in the world of the senses,
But changeless is the supreme Lord of Love.
Meditate on him, be absorbed in him,
Wake up from this dream of separateness.
Know God and all fetters will fall away.
No longer identifying yourself—as separate.

——from THE SHVETSHVANTARA UPANISHAD

 

 

This meditation so beautifully frees us from the prison of our separated selves, and reconnects us with the Divine and to a sense of belonging. How timely for healing our deep-seated illusion of separateness which has brought us to this moment of global crisis.  It has shaped our consciousness and allowed our destructive behaviors–in relationship with the natural world, with other nations, with one other, and with ourselves. We are beginning to hear more and more people able to at least SAY, “We are all One”.  Let us contemplate our troubled world deeply through this lens of deep interconnection, of  interbeing!  Let us delight in our oneness, in our identity, not as separate, but as intimately One with the Lord of Love and with each “other” where the Holy deeply dwells.

PRACTICE:  Enjoy an experience of “interbeing”, interconnectedness, with another person, or plant or animal being. Allow yourself to gaze with sacred eyes at this being, becoming aware of the river of God’s life and energy animating them from within, the radiance and beauty, the sense of interconnectedness and presence you feel.

P.S. A further reflection from Albert Einstein: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.