Vision & Mission - a way to start your group

A really short & simple - 'How to start you own One Garden group'

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. - Matthew 18:20 (KJV)

A)  PREPARATION: 1 invite two or more spiritually-minded people to the One Garden: interfaith as inter-spiritual living session.  

Print a copy of a text, one for each participant e.g. the Vision & Mission page entitled The basics as Spirit & Form:  see below on this page

B)  PROCESS:  After some minutes of silent meditation, plus a song or chant if you have a good ‘cantor’, the facilitator can juxtapose two extracts, or  each person can choose one quotation, (from page 1 of the Vision & Mission page).  

Celebrate the wisdom and insights each has gained from hearing them read aloud - e.g. do a round around the group - each person has a minute or two to say how they felt in response to the quotation/s. 

See how the quotes illumine each other & what insights each person, or the group as a whole, can gain.  

Ask each person to read their chosen quotation again before they say what moved them.  

A good facilitator can adjust processes to suit the particular session. We end with a mantra from one of the great traditions.

C  Take tea, or ‘break bread’ or lunch with each other.




One Garden: interfaith as inter-spiritual living

Love & the channels of love

giving us Spirit & Form via a) Awakening, b) Detaching & c) Serving

to celebrate Oneness, beauty, truth, goodness & justice - via 7 teachers, 7 texts & 7 pathways - for peace

Part 1: THE SPIRIT = LOVE, compassion, or simply kindness - the Golden rule around which we can unite

Part 2: THE FORM or structure =  the eternal ‘perennial spirituality’ - mystical faith core of all great traditions  

INTRO: Our true self is love. Love is the spirit, the energy, the life-force, the river of life that through us flows the magnet that unites bringing peace. We need the love-spirit but we also need form. Love is the reality, the hub, the mystic heart around which can all can centre. One Garden form,  p2, is the - the perennial framework, taught by all great Teachers, our spiritual legacy - ancient & perpetually new.  With love as the river & perennial wisdom as the structure/river-bank we have the interspiritual way of life; as vision, mission & curriculum.

JUDAISM: Blessed are the men and women who are planted on your earth, in your garden,

who grow as your trees and flowers grow, who transform their darkness to light.

Their roots plunge into darkness; their faces turn toward the light. All those who

love you are beautiful; they overflow with your presence so that they can do

nothing but good. There is infinite space in your garden; all men, all women

are welcome here; all they need do is enter.                                 

SOURCE - The Odes & Psalms of Solomon

HINDUISM: For those who set their hearts on me/ And worship me with unfailing devotion and faith,/ The way of love leads sure and swift to me.                                                 

Krishna - Bhagavad Gita - SOURCE  

CHRISTIANITY: God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.   SOURCE 1 John 4:16

TAOISM Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage. LaoTzu

SUFI/ISLAM: O Marvel! a garden amidst the flames.

My heart has become capable of every form:

it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,

and a temple for idols and the pilgrim's Kaa'ba,

and the tablets of the Torah and the book of the Quran.

I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love's camels take,

that is my religion and my faith.

(Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi: Treasure of Compassion Theos Pub House1911 Poem XI )                                                                       

BAHA’I FAITH: Love is heaven's kindly light, the Holy Spirit's eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul. Love is the cause of God's revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things. Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next.   Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul. Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the diverse elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms.  Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe.   Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization .... SOURCE     


ZEN BUDDHISM:“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”: Thích Nhất Hạnh.        -0-

ECKHART TOLLE: Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form. In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love.  What is God? The eternal One Life underneath all the forms of life. What is love? To feel the presence of that One Life deep within yourself and within all creatures. To be it. Therefore, all love is the love of God.   SOURCE - The Power of Now

“Love is the recognition of oneness in a world of duality. This is the birth of God into the world of form. Love makes the world less worldly, less dense, more transparent to the divine dimension, the light of consciousness itself.” ET

SOPHOCLES: "One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love."  (Oedipus at Colonus)

KHALIL GIBRAN:  “Work is love made visible.”    

TIM FREKE: ‘Love is ease of being’ & "Love is how Oneness feels."   Rick Archer replied; "I have a friend who likes to say; "We are all sense organs of the Infinite."  -0- -0-

2 FORM: ‘One Garden groups’ structure - to practice healing Wholeness via perennial wisdom

or poetically; ”Sipping the healing nectar, perfume, & wisdom from 7 spiritual flowerings!”  

HEART & HEAD - Love (see overleaf) is the ‘blood’ & heart-beat, the chi or life-force & primary ‘covenant’.  Our practice & action nondual & dual = the channel or framework for the spirit to flow to us & from us.

‘The One Garden’ groups are about having a supportive ‘family’ to inspire living in the interspiritual way. We are a ‘sacred space’ for practice & dialogue - using eternal wisdom sources.  Why? - for greater happiness & peace, both as individuals & for the wider community, the planet’s global family.

The ‘One Garden’ goal = living in harmony -  2 wings i) realizing mystical connection to the whole & ii) dialogue-ing Perennial Wisdom/Philosophy,together their concern = Awakening:Detaching:Serving  KEYS = nonduality+duality, heart-mind, ying+yang, words+silence, panentheism etc

OUR 3 SPIRITUAL CHALLENGES in developing consciousness -  awakening; detaching; serving.  Awakening is primarily learning to stay mindful in our connection with the Whole (God if you prefer), conscious breathing is for many the No 1 re-minder, the anchor, the means to nowness & integration.   Detachment is learning to reduce the average level of ‘radio’ interference (ego) as we serve others within consciousness of the Whole.  Service is action dedicated to the well being of others - starting with our friends, family & workmates - through to the planetary ‘family’s concerns. However our efficacy is proportionate to how successfully we love, challenge & integrate our ‘self’ & its shadow side.

INTERSPIRITUALITY (21stC inter-faith) =  “...the sharing of ultimate experiences across traditions.”  - see Teasdale’s The Mystic Heart & Tolle’s The Power of Now  etc.  The 7 Teachers, Texts & paths teach head, heart & action.  2 ‘wings of spirituality’ - A) Connection with the Whole + B) perennial wisdom & dialogue for 1) Awakening: 2) Detaching: 3) Serving + effective action in ‘love as service’.  Love is the hub of all.

1) to AWAKEN  - “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” T N Hanh SL p504

A) • There’s a reality, beyond the material world & its life force: • It is uncreated. • It pervades everything, • but remains (as a Whole) beyond the reach of human knowledge & understanding

2) to DETACH - “A (wo) man is a slave to anything s/he cannot part with that is less than her/himself” - George MacDonald   -    “Mindfulness allows us to spend more time in eternity! ” (RP)

B) • You approach that reality by:  • Distinguishing ego from true Self • Understanding the nature of desire • Becoming unattached • Forgetting about preferences • Not working for personal gain • Letting go of thoughts • Redirecting your attention • Being devoted • Being humble • Invoking that reality • Surrendering etc.  (EINSTEIN:  "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.")

C) • That reality approaches you through: • Grace • (RP The ‘way’ or the teacher seems to appear whenever we need to move on up through the next stage.)

D) • You’re transformed - enlightened - so that you embody or reflect that reality by: • ‘Dying’ and ‘being reborn’ (i.e transformed & living more via the true higher non-egoistic Self).

3) to SERVE - “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” - Albert Schweitzer - “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”     E) You then find (even better) ways to serve - realizing that all work done in the spirit of service can be ranked as worship. NB the 3 Awake:Detach:Serve work synergistically - we can start anywhere. -0-

OUR PURPOSE & our PRACTICE - a) Our One Garden   PURPOSE =Awaken:Detach:Serve b) PRACTICE = Smile:Breathe:go mindfully - CONTACT: Roger (Dr Roger Prentice) onesummit@gmail. com - 07724 062 875 -

‘In the world of existence there is no more powerful magnet than the magnet of love.’ ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá