One for All and All for One Once and for All
by Mama Donna Henes
Last Winter, I was asked to speak to the ministers who are being trained to serve as resident chaplains in the Pastoral Care Department of the Westchester Medical Center. Specifically, they asked me to present the shamanic point of view of team building with an emphasis on
creating alliances and community.
Once I got over my surprise and delight at having been invited in the first place, I sat myself down to give some serious thought to the substance of their request. After much rifling through of books
and files as well as several periods of deep meditation on the topic at hand, I realized that there is no such thing.
From a shamanic point of view, it is redundant to think of reaching out to build teams, alliances, and communities, as we are already all connected, allied, joined together as one. Just us folks, here,
all being born and all just trying to live life as best we can. We are all the same, allied, much more alike than different. There is no us and them. There is only us. We — all of us who occupy this planet: organic and inorganic; living and not; past, present, and
future — are the world.
We all come from the Earth and return to Her belly, as ash, as mulch. We are all made of the same substance, same as the sea, the soil, the stars. There are, and ever have been, only so many molecules in
existence and no more ever, and all the rest — birth, growth, death, development, change, adaptation, transformation, evolution — is really just about recycling.
We breathe the same air as our cave-dwelling ancestors; inhaling and exhaling, exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen with our plant relatives untold billions of times over the millennia. And the same holds true
for water. We drink the tears of crocodiles and elephants. It rains, it pools, it evaporates, it rains. We drink, we pee. Again and again and again in a grand scale cosmic round robin.
All borders and boundaries and separations are pure illusion. Each time we touch someone, we leave some particles of our skin atoms behind and pick up a parcel of new ones. Thus we merge, literally becoming part
of each other. I am you and you are me and we are we.
We are all in this together, inextricably bound on our beautiful blue planet spinning through space. Remember that extraordinary photograph of Earth taken from the moon? We are one family, one community, one
world, one living, breathing entity. And the sooner we realize it, the happier, safer and saner we will be.
These are terrible times of artificial division, manipulated resentment and real fear. The real dynamic being played out right now is not about warring religious, economic or nationalistic factions. Not even
about war. The struggle is actually between those who believe that the world is defined in terms of opposition — war or peace, right or wrong, rich or poor, with us or against us — and those who are able to see things in a more holistic, congruent manner.
These are deciding times. It is imperative for those of us who see the big picture to decide, to commit, to make a concerted effort to
reach out in ever-expanding circles of affinity and embrace. Now is the time to create healthy, functioning networks in recognition and in honor of our mutual state of being and our common fate.
Convene. Convent. Coven. Co-together.
Yes, let us please convene. Let us come out of the cocoon closets of our isolated, separate selves and come together. To make connections. To make friends. To make whoopy. To make magic. To make sense. To make
art. To make amends. To make time. To make love. To make change. To make peace in our hearts and on the planet.
Let us put ourselves forth as co-operative partners; as inter-dependent members of our families, communities and species; as consciously co-existent inhabitants of our planet and as conscientious co-creators of
our combined future.
© Copyright 2009
Donna Henes. All Rights
Mama Donna Henes
is an internationally renowned urban shaman, eco-ceremonialist, award-winning author, syndicated columnist, popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and
contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since 1972. In addition to her popular public rituals for equinoxes and solstices, she is the official Grand Spirit Marshall of the world famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade and the Mistress of
Blessing Ceremonies for NYC Earth Day Festivities. She has conducted public blessings of the NY Stock Exchange on Wall Street and an Inauguration Purification Ritual in Washington, DC.
She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed quarterly journal and writes a column for UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center,
spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.
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