Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Oneness, Beloved

If, as Stephen Covey says, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing,” then I want to know what my main thing is.

I can identify guiding principles in my life, such as the practices listed in the 10 Steps, but what is the main thing that ties them all together? Like Frodo’s ring in Lord of the Rings. To paraphrase--One main thing to rule them all, one to find them, one to bring them all and in the light bind them.

When asked to describe his religion, the Dalai Lama replied, “My religion is kindness.” That’s his main thing.

When I contemplated the theme of my guiding principles, what finally emerged was the concept of oneness. The concept that we are at our core one, one with each other, one with all life, one with God.

A Course in Miracles teaches that all suffering comes from our mistaken perception of separation. When we separate ourselves from each other, we separate ourselves from God. Jesus said that when we serve others, we serve him. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Bodhisattva vow is to remain incarnated until all sentient beings are enlightened. The Marines leave no man behind.

Someone once asked, “Do we breathe or are we being breathed?” Perhaps there is a divine Oneness breathing life into all living things. We are all joined by this single breath.

Perhaps this is why I love the greeting namaste, which means “I honor the place in you, where if you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

Bill Clinton became president by keeping the main thing the main thing. On the wall of his campaign headquarters was a big sign that shouted, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

I think my sign will whisper, “It’s oneness, beloved.”

Do you have a main thing? How do you keep your main thing the main thing?



  1. Integrity covers an awful lot for me. It even allows me to make as many mistakes as any other human being. However, it encompasses a motivation factor that transcends rules and laws. It means doing the right thing.

  2. Hi Galen,

    I also love the greeting, "Namaste". It says a lot in one word. I guess that what I like about it, is its focus. When my youngest daughter was 8 or 9 years old and she watched me running around in life pretty unfocused about 75% of the time, she used to tell me "One step at a time is the best way to climb -- otherwise you might stumble and fall". This phrase still gives me some guidance -- especially when things are too uncertain in my life and I feel tossed assunder. Compassion is usually my focus of choice because I see so many people around me (including myself) who toss compassion aside for other endeavors of interest and yet compassion is often the thing that people need the most. Thank you so much for your writing -- it always helps to not stumble on the steps... Cathie

  3. Galen if I had to narrow it down to one main thing I'd have to say it's gratitude. I find when I live in gratitude that my life runs much smoother, I give thanks even for my challenges, without challenges I would remain stagnant in life and I'm all about personal growth. I give thanks for those who I allow to upset me, I have to take a close look and see why I allow them to bother me, generally it is a fault if mine I am picking up on and it has nothing to do with the other individual. My life, love, laughter, tears, victories, and failures are all blessings and for this I am grateful.

  4. You state that: A Course in Miracles teaches that all suffering comes from our mistaken perception of separation. How do one's perceptions relate to the suffering brought about by natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes? Is there any perception that can take away the pain and suffering of human anguish and injury brought about by nature?

  5. I'm just a survivor. If I wake up in the morning, I know I've survived another day.

  6. My one main thing that I reach for each day that I awake is God is Sovereign...I may not have all the answers, I may not know how to connect all the dots but I know that God is Sovereign and if I am trusting in HIM then I know that no matter what comes or goes ...I shall have victory. Does victory mean I "get my way" or I win the battle of some battle today..I think not ...what small thinking that is...but Victory is acknowledging that HE IS SOVEREIGN AND HE DESIRES ONLY GOOD FOR ME! "Even in the midst of pain, sorrow and suffering if I will keep my mind upon his sovereignty then I have obtained victory which brings to me Peace". The battle is many times we try to fight the battle or find "reason" for all things ...It is God's earth full of God's creation ...Resting in His Sovereignty! This is my one main thing that keeps me waking with an eagerness for the day and the joy in my steps and the peace in my heart as I journey to the end of 'this' day!

  7. I think what flows through me the most is appreciation, and with appreciation as one main thing, it covers everything in my life.....from my loved ones to a walk in the park.....funny how it goes that we often don't think about that sort of stuff and then when we're faced with a question like really can make that one main thing stand out.....thanks again Galen! I sure do appreciate your blog, and you!

  8. My main thing is happiness. I try very hard not to let things get to me or anger me. Having a devil-may-care attitude helps. The older I get the better I get at it.

  9. I think I was born kind, but I have to practice this with some person in particular hurt me so severely over the years, I can forgive but I find it difficult to forget...I am going to see this person for 3 days in August and I will just work at not being with her or speaking to her, because I want to ask her WHY she is so filled with hate for me - and I will not be able to find kindness or forgiveness.

    Compassion is such active is being true to the self. I admire your oneness

  10. JJ--Integrity is high on my list, too. I like your explanation of integrity very much. Thanks for commenting.

    Cathie--Sounds like you have a sage for a daughter! What wise words. Compassion and oneness go together, I think. Compassion is what we feel when the barriers of separation are broken down and we experience our oneness with others. Thanks for your comment.

    darlin--What a beautiful description of gratitude. Being grateful even for challenges keep us grounded and open. Seeing everything as a blessing will bring many blessings to your life. Thank you for commenting.

    Anonymous--The simple answer to your question is no. And that would be true also of man made disasters, I think. Our perceptions can, however, ease our suffering and bring healing more quickly. Joybug's comment is an example. Thank you for your comment.

    Manzanita--When my friend reached his 70th birthday, I obeserved that it was a special birthday calling for a special celebration. He replied, "When you get to be my age, every birthday is special." I decided that was a great attitude no matter your age. Every year, indeed, every day, is a special gift. Thanks for commenting.

    joybug--Your "main thing" is a great example of a belief or world view that can help sustain you through difficult times as well as increase your joy in good times. I think your comment is a good response to the question Anonymous raised about suffering caused by disasters. Thanks for your comment.

    Karen--Thanks for the appreciation! Finding something to appreciate about everything life brings you is a great approach to weathering difficult times. Thank you for commenting.

    ryoko--Me, too. With age, things that seemed so important just aren't anymore. It's liberating! And easier to focus on being happy. Thanks for your comment.

    Patricia--It sounds like you are facing a significant challenge with this person, and that you have looked for ways over time to bring peace to this situation for yourself. I just read a book called "Radical Forgiveness" by Colin Tipping that might be helpful to you. If you read it, let me know what you think. Thanks for your comment and best wishes.

  11. Hi Galen,
    I guess it would be striving for happiness with integrity.

  12. Thank you for your thoughtful post. My main thing is to draw closer to God. This means not only loving God, but loving others. I loved your words, "When we separate ourselves from each other, we separate ourselves from God." God calls us to love others.

  13. Riley--Integrity is the only way to true happiness, I think. Thanks for commenting.

    Patti--I'm glad you like those words. I would like to take credit for them, but the concept comes from A Course in Miracles. Drawing closer to God by drawing closer to others (or vice versa) is a deeply meaningful path. Thanks for your comment.

  14. I love this post. For me... Happiness is within. In the work I do, I attract people through specialising in a niche, however the real truth of why they come to me is often that they mistakenly think that happiness comes from around or outside of them.

    It takes a great deal of conscious effort for me to know and remember that happiness is within and I am blessed by being reminded by my clients who bring their belief in the opposite.

  15. Great question. My main thing is writing. So I write. I write all day and all night long. I am a Best selling author, so I must continue to progress. I cannot fall off my work ethic. Because YOU get out of it what YOU put into it. I decided to put my life in it. You must do the Same. What ever your main thing is..keep doing it. Winners win. Loser, lose. Which side are you one.

  16. Dan--How interesting that your clients' mistaken beliefs strengthen your own beliefs. That must put you in a position to be of more help to them. Thanks for commenting.

    jonathan--Wow, that is passion! What an inspiration and a motivation to me! Thank you.

  17. Hi have given us a great topic to ponder. My main thing would be beauty. Oh I try to be kind, compassionate, loving and all the rest......but I MUST HAVE beauty around one kind or another. And I must impart beauty to this world of one way or another, I don't know if that makes me shallow or not, but I do believe God wanted us to see beauty or he would not have given us all the beauty on this planet of ours.



  18. Jo--There is nothing shallow about true beauty. Your blog reflects this with so many lovely photos. Thanks for commenting.


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