The Basic Practice

Separateness is an illusion. That's what we learn through the spiritual practice of connections. Everything is interrelated — in time, space, and our very being. Both religion and science reveal this truth — Hinduism's image of Indra's net, Buddhism's understanding of interbeing, the experiences of the mystics, the teachings of ecology and physics, even the Internet.

One definition of spirituality is "the art of making connections." There are certain givens: The one is made up of many. One thing always leads to another. Everything is related to everything else. You practice connections, then, by consciously tracing the links connecting you with other beings. Any point is a good starting place — your family line, your work, your back yard. Watch for the moments when the separations disappear. And don't be shy about naming mystical experiences as such when you experience them.

Why This Practice May Be For You

The practice of connections reinforces holistic thinking and our awareness of how the spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects of our being interpenetrate and nourish each other. It enables us to see the big picture.

We need to engage in this practice when we have a tendency to compartmentalize our experiences, to put them in neat little boxes instead of seeing them as parts of a whole. This is a cultural as well as a personal habit. The history of the world is plagued by dueling dualisms: mind vs. body, humans vs. nature, God vs. the world, science vs. religion, country vs. city, male vs. female. The spiritual practice of connections erases such arbitrary and unnecessary distinctions.

Daily Cue, Reminder, Vow, Blessing

  • Crossing a bridge is my cue to find a new way to connect with someone I meet today.
  • When I see a spider's web, I am reminded of the web of life that connects me with everything.
  • Looking out at an undivided scene from a high place-a tall building or an airplane-I vow to do all I can to make separations disappear.
  • Blessed is the Great Designer who formed a world in which everything is linked to everything else.