Meditation Practice with the Oneness Approach
The Oneness Approach is conceptualized around the love and compassion that emanates from our spiritual source and infuses into us dynamically creating 'Who we are'. We see the same in each person we meet. Each relationship becomes an opportunity to combine our Oneness and create a space to grow and contribute. Our spiritual source loves and cares for each of us with the same light. We are 'One' with our spiritual source, and 'One' with each other. We are all loved by the same spiritual source although we may give it many names. Meditation practice helps build the connections to sense the truth in our relationships.
Distractions from Clarity: 'The Three Poisons'
It isn't always easy to keep the above in mind! At times we don't feel we don't deserve to be loved. At times we feel the same way about others especially with close relationships during disagreements. If someone makes a mistake, or disagrees with us..."there will be wars and rumors of war until the end of time." We allow our human 'point of view' to take over and our love and compassion, and become spectators. If we wake up tired or angry, we may show these angry, judgmental responses throughout the day.
When we have developed a sense of 'in group' and 'out group,' we are much more likely to use a whole new set of, less than compassionate rules. For those we consider a part of the ‘out group’ we will show much less understanding, love and compassion. Burying the judgment even further we often justify by surrounding ourselves with others in our 'in group' who practice the same less than compassionate views. This is the most enduring of the Buddhist 'three poisons'. It distracts us, sometimes permanently from our spiritual source. Just as Buddhism comes with 'three jewels' (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) it also comes with the 'three poisons' (Greed, Anger and Delusion). They represent two ways to manage our neurobiology.
Supports for Clarity: The Three Jewels
The Three Jewels:
The Buddha – Is an example of an individual with clear vision, or the ability within each of us to see clearly.
The Dharma (Universal Truth) - Almost every spiritual/existential tradition comes with some expression of an 'ultimate truth' to serve as a guide.
The Sangha – Are a group of individuals dedicated to experience the ultimate truth of life using Buddhist concepts as their guide.
Most of the time, these expressions of the 'ultimate truth' are used as a vehicle for a person to experience this world. It allows us to respond clearly using the 'ultimate truth' to guide our life.
The Three Poisons: The roots of all distractions.
Dependent Origination - The 24 theories of conditioning regarding distractions.
How do we find these distractions when we justify them, support them, believe them, and use them 'in our spiritual sources name'? It not only prevents the expression of love and compassion but actively competes against it.
A Conversation between a Buddhist Monk and their Student
In this conversation the student believes in a 'spiritual source'. So let's listen up as a (S) Sifu, the teacher speaks to a young apprentice (A), Student.
S) "We find clarity and answers through the practice of meditation."
A) "But we don't even know where we are mistaken."
S) "Yes, that is why we sit (meditate)."
A) "But then I fall asleep! What good does that do?"
S) "Just meditate."
A) "But why can't someone just tell us?"
S) "Because we wouldn't listen...just meditate."
A) "But I don't know how to find answers that way. I don't know how it works!"
S) "That's why it works. If you KNEW how it works, it wouldn't work."
A) "I don't have time for this, I need to know now!"
S) "Yes you do. This is how you know what you need to do."
A) "But I don't know what I need to do."
S) "You have a desire for an answer and there is no one who can give it to you. You REALLY do need to know. You will only believe yourself. You do believe in a spiritual source and you would listen if your spiritual source would clarify the issues for you. So...let your spiritual source tell you. Let's meditate."
A)"If I think about it I just get angry and sad."
S) "Keep meditating it will pass."
A) "Then I'll be exhausted."
S) "Keep meditating that will pass."
A) "But how will I know what to think or how to feel about it?"
S) "Let you and your spiritual source just be, not thinking, not feeling, just being."
A) "What about the question? I need answers!!"
S) "The question is there."
A) "Not if I'm not thinking about it!"
S) "Because you are not thinking about it. It is there."
A) "And if it doesn't work?"
S) "Then you have something to learn!"
A) "Yes, the answer to my question!!"
S) "Your spiritual source has the answer, if you don't hear it, then you must walk with it a bit longer."
A) "So, I need to learn to listen better."
S) "You already know what you need to do"
A) "Yes, meditate! And if I find the answer and run with it...and what if it's the wrong answer?"
S) "Then you will have something else to meditate on."
A) "How can I test the truth of my answer?"
S) "There are several methods you may want to consider."
- “Does your answer show love and compassion with everyone involved? Would it promote relationships?”
- “If you were on the receiving end of your answer, would it feel compassionate?”
- “Would your answer promote compassion if appropriate people knew?”
- “Does the reasoning behind your answer promote compassion between you and those involved?”
- “When you are tired, does your answer continue to promote compassion in your mind?”
- “Does the question continue to linger in your mind?”
- “Do compassionate people on all sides of the issue sense the compassion in your answer?”
- “As compassionate people are brought into your view of the answer, does it promote peace or division?”
- “When you look into the eyes of your spiritual source who loves all equally, do you get a sense of peace?”
"And please know little 'grass hopper' this teaching will continue for a lifetime!"
The Power of the Third Distraction: Delusion
The Antidote - Listening deeply. Please, know that the 'third poison', delusion, can be resistant to all of the above suggestions. Thich Nhat Hanh promotes deep listening and daily meditation practice. Here we acknowledge the question that our unconscious mind is working with. This allows us to walk with it, hold it tenderly, allowing our loving kindness to open the pedals of delusion. We can also know that our unconscious mind is always working on something. The Oneness Approach encourages empathy and compassion to be our guide.