Empathy Series 10 – Union


Take a deep breath. Sigh into the moment. This, then, is Heaven. Perhaps not the heaven of gold-paved streets and such, but it is Heaven on Earth. The Sanskrit word “yoga” means Union, the union between devotee and Divine. In esoteric Christianity, the mystical experience is the marriage of monk and G-d. In Islam, it is through absolute submission that the seeker unites with the Holy. And in Taoism, that ancient Chinese tradition of practical spirituality, we sublimate ourselves in the Way and flow harmoniously with all of Nature. To what do these traditions speak? The Union of Heaven and Earth in the Temple-Body of the seeker. So long as we are reaching our arms out to something so-far-away, we distract from the state of Heaven already existing within us here-and-now.

The goal of the path of Waters is nothing less than to live in Heaven each and every moment of our lives. This may seem lofty, and perhaps a touch presumptuous. But it is quite the opposite. It is a subtle shift from the striving, stretching, and back-flipping into a place (or state) of grace by accepting the Grace which already lives within us. We are made of Love and in the image of Love. When we fully embody that birthright, our cells wake to the music of the choirs of Creation and consciously join in their song. As the planets spin, celebrating their orbits, so we spin, celebrating the cycles of our lives. We are congruent, harmonious within our bodies, and in relation with the Natural world around us. And, in these ways, the Holy is not so distant, existing in a plane far apart from our human lives, but rather is here-and-now in constant dialogue with each of us. And the closer we walk with the Holy, the more the Holy exists around and within us. Our inner states shift from fear, loss, and despair to trust, compassion, and love. And as our states shift, so does our health, our minds, our emotions. We crave that which heals (makes whole). We crave that which is good (for us).

Here at 10, we dance in harmony with the Holy. The “1” of I touches hands with the Holy “0” and the secrets of Union reveal themselves. An empathic nexus with the Great Mystery creates itself.

  1. In earlier exercises we learned to foster connections with other humans. How do we foster a connection with the Holy? In 9, we explored song (and dance) as prayer. But what does it mean to empathically link with the All?

  2. As we empathically connect (empathy defined: artful connection with others) with the Holy, will we encounter the same sorts of pitfalls we do when connecting with others? For example, must we weed through voice(s) we perceive as Divine, but are really the shadows of our own misunderstandings? Or do we, perhaps, dress the Holy in the clothing of childhood or cultural perceptions of G-d? Does the Holy have a white beard with a wrathful eye on our every thought, recording it with a “tsk, tsk” in a great book? If so, do we even wish to connect with such a being? It is a good time to explore our individual conceptions of the Holy in order to create a less rickety bridge between. And, if necessary, do an energetic pruning.

  3. How do you experience the Holy? Some people are instinctively theistic, meaning they experience the Holy as a person, or multiple people. Others are non-theistic, experiencing the Holy as a concept or Force. There are many beautiful traditions in both categories. Some experience an imminent Holy, in which each aspect of life is infused with the Sacred. Others, a transcendent Holy, in which the Sacred exists beyond Creation. These categories are not mutually exclusive and have the potential to blend one into the next. Explore outside by looking within. How does the Holy unfold with you?

  4. If this is Heaven on Earth, then wisdom would push us to infuse every aspect of life with Sacredness. What does that mean? Work becomes devotion. Exercise is caring for the Temple. The food we eat is imbued with mana. Each interaction is a sharing of Light. What does it mean to create Heaven (in) Earth?

Allow Heaven to fill you. Breathe deeply into each moment, knowing each inhalation is shared with all of Creation. Animate your life with sacred purpose, no matter what you’re doing. Connect your inner landscapes with the Holy and be Love.