This month the worship theme in our congregation is wholeness. I loved this chance to talk about Parker Palmer’s teachings on wholeness as integrity, when inner truth guides outer behavior, and some of the world scriptures that have spoken to me deeply over the years. Enjoy.
The scriptures of every major religion teach it,
and our hearts confirm it:
we are one, we are whole.
We are all, every one of us, part of the miraculous whole,
emerging from one infinite mystery
that contains within it all beings and all things.
You are that, the Hindu scriptures tell us.
You are that. You are made of Being itself, the source of all. You are that.
The great scientists of our own day feel it too,
the mystery of the world in all its living, breathing, pulsing reality,
and we too a part of it, connected to the whole of the earth
and the universe itself. We are that.
But we forget.
We have to teach ourselves again and again.
We sing, how could anyone ever tell you
you were anything less than beautiful,
less than whole,
less than the miracle you are?
We have to sing it to remind ourselves of the truth
because we are in such danger of forgetting and hurting each other.
It happens all the time.
So many ways we fail to see each other’s wholeness.
So many ways we fail to know our own.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue reading
This is part of a monthly series on engaging with world scriptures. The translations from the Upanishads are by Eknath Easwaran.
The children and I had great fun telling the story of Uddalaka and Shvetaketu with homemade play-dough, sculpting different plants and animals, and asking, is this a tree or is it clay? How about this–is this a bird or is it clay? Oh, it’s both! As Uddalaka says, “By knowing one lump of clay, dear one, we come to know all things made out of clay…. So through…spiritual wisdom, dear one, we come to know that all of life is one” (Chandogya Upanishad, VI.1.4-6).
Living with the Texts: The Upanishads
The Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig, Minister
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton
October 17, 2010
I’m so glad to have this chance to share with you
some little taste of one of the most profound and important
collections of religious texts in the entire world,
the Upanishads, the great mystical wisdom texts of India.
This is the second one in a series of nine services this year
that I’m putting together so that we can engage
with different sacred texts from around the world.
I’ve chosen to do this because it seems to me
so many of us are hungry for understanding
about the religions of the world,
and not only for intellectual understanding—
I think there is a longing here to allow ourselves to be transformed
by the deep wisdom in these texts,
to sit at the feet of masters who were truly awakened spiritually,
and to be changed ourselves. Continue reading