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Center for Action and Contemplation

Everything Belongs: Week 1 Summary

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Everything Belong: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, November 27-Friday, December 2, 2016

To develop a healthy ego, we must differentiate and individuate; we must know we’re special and find a place where we are loved and where we belong without needing to prove ourselves. (Sunday)

The first function of religion is to create “meaning for the separate self.” The second and mature function is to help individuals transcend that very self. (Monday)

God is also another word for everything. God created everything and is in sympathetic union with everything God created. (Tuesday)

Only when we live and see through God’s eyes can “everything belong.” All other systems exclude, expel, punish, and protect to find identity for their members in some kind of ideological perfection or purity. (Wednesday)

As we grow in wisdom, we realize that everything belongs and everything can be received. We see that life and death are not opposites. (Thursday)

When we don’t know love, when we experience only the insecurity and fragility of the small self, we become restless, violent, and hateful. But in contemplation we move to a different space where we see the illusion of separateness. (Friday)

Practice: Walking Meditation

Jonathon Stalls, a Living School student and founder of Walk2Connect, writes about learning how “we share a common journey of wanting to love and be loved; that we want to feel safe, comfortable, and connected; that we want to belong—somewhere. . . . We’re afraid of exposure and vulnerability. We’re afraid of the unknown. We’re afraid to be wrong. We’re afraid of abandonment. We’re afraid of weakness, of truly trusting, and the fragility of letting go.” [1]

Stalls offers this wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh:

When we practice [mindfulness], we are liberated from fear, sorrow, and the fires burning inside of us. When mindfulness embraces our joy, our sadness, and all our other mental formations, sooner or later we will see their deep roots. With every mindful step and every mindful breath, we see the roots of our mental formations. Mindfulness shines its light upon them and helps them to transform. [2]

Stalls continues:

I can’t think of a better way to bring mindfulness practice into our body and into the outside world than through walking, strolling, or rolling at one to three miles an hour. It changes everything. It trains us, both on the inside and the outside, to begin seeing God, the Great Spirit, in ourselves and in others in such foundational ways. This humble posture invites us into the fragile details behind our own breath, the curious creatures high in the trees, and the struggle in being a pedestrian in today’s time. Whether it’s twenty minutes or four hours, mindful walking can invite new ideas, new ways of seeing, and new ways of understanding with every step. [3]

I invite you to step outside and walk mindfully, present to God’s presence in all things.

Gateway to Silence:
Everything—yes, everything—belongs.

[1] Jonathon Stalls, “What Really Frightens Us?” “Evolutionary Thinking,” Oneing, Vol. 4, No. 2 (CAC: 2016), 99-100. Learn more about Jonathon’s work at
[2] Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching (Berkeley: Broadway Books, 1999), 75.
[3] Stalls, “What Really Frightens Us?”, 100.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, CONSPIRE 2016: Everything Belongs (CAC: 2016), MP4 download
Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2003)
Richard Rohr, How Do We Get Everything to Belong? (CAC: 2004), CD, MP3 download

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