Sunday, November 6, 2011

Within the Many, One; Within the One, Many

The Ven Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that "the Buddha of the future will be the sangha," which is the spiritual community; Jesus tells us that when two or three gather in his name, he is present (Mt 18:20). Those among us who've opened to the Beloved's beckoning know this and feel it intimately, not only with all humans, but sentient and non sentient Life. It just IS.

As sure as mountain streams roar back to their source, so, to, do we. When we let go, completely, in surrender to That Which Is, we enter into that mysterious embrace totally, only to emerge, changed, yet the same, not same. But we "return" to the love found in community, and, thus lead others to surrender and, who thus find themselves changed irrevocably as well.

Being holy, however, is not the same as being perfect. Because we are individuals, we each have likes and dislikes, character facets and flaws. Holy community smooths the edges, allowing the good to shine in each member, and the whole body. But the roughness rarely gets completely polished out. Perhaps the shadow side remains because the Beloved somehow works through that too (If you don't believe me, read the Hebrew Scriptures and see how true this is). If nothing else, it reminds us who we are and Whose we are.

It seems to me, too, that these weaknesses bring us together. We compliment each other, filling in the other's lack, thus only working well together, for even when we're doing something "alone," if it is good, it benefits more than ourselves ultimately. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Love, Lover and Beloved: the Divine Dancing keeps going, and we're a part of it.

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