Here’s something repeated in many religious traditions. Within Buddhism as the concept of the teacher, the teaching and the community. Jesus is reported to have said, “when two or more are gathered in my name, I am there among them”. With an understanding that “in my name” is not personal, this line takes on a new depth and openness.
This last weekend I put this into practice, alongside my colleagues Ali Scott and Vicky Kelly, hosting a three day retreat in Scotland.
We gathered in a special place,
knowing it’s not in the place.
We brought together a group of people,
knowing its not in the people.
We taught, using the best words we had,
knowing it’s not in the words.
There was fun, friendship and laughter,
Not as ways to become happy,
but as expressions of happiness.
My memory now is like recalling a dream.
A swirl of emotions and images.
We will explore alone. And, ultimately, the singular nature of our essence is undivided. When we can, though, to sit in the mutual recognition of the ever present nature of awareness is the greatest gift.
I share with you now my suggestion to the group as the retreat ended:
Stay with the challenge, don’t back down.
Notice when the story points to our one essence, and when it points to separation.
Recognise power, wisdom, freedom and love as who we are, not what we have—but for the story of need and lack.
Then live it. Nothing has changed, everything is different.