Our Task is not to seek God-Hasidic Proverb

Our task is not to seek God, God is already here.  Our task is to realize it.

Hasidism, is a form of Judaism that evolved in eastern Europe in the late 19th Century. It has been described as a form of Judaism that centers itself on spirituality, internalizing and practicing Jewish mysticism. By definition it is a mystical movement. You may recognize the followers, Hasidiim, by their appearance. Men tend to wear interesting hats depending that reflect their specific culture, long beards, and curls on the sideburns called payots. They typically have fringe from a prayer shall showing. Hasidic women adhere to modest dress standards, wearing long skirts and shirts that cover their skin and hats in a plain fashion.

Hasidic is based on the Hebrew word, Chesed (חסד, hesed, khesed) This is one of Hebrew words for love. Hebrew language has many words for love in its differing nuances. There are different words for physical love, brotherly love, romantic love. Hesed means loving kindness and deep abiding love. In other words, the thorough, all inclusive, all infusive love of God. Many Jewish thinkers, spiritualists and practitioners see chesed as the core message of the Divine, the ultimate reality of Divinity, the value of which humanity and in fact all creation was formed, works toward and will be fulfilled by.

From the movement and people who center their identity by the name of loving kindness, we derive this un-attributed proverb.

Our task is not to seek the Divine, the Divine is with us, our task is to realize it. (Hasidic Proverb)

For logic sake, let’s reframe this proverb for a moment. The Divine, therefore is known by it’s ultimate reality and all encompassing nature that is loving kindness. Our task is not to seek love, acceptance, affirmation, peace, joy, blessing. By the very nature of creation, it permeates our very being. Our task is to recognize our nature of and as loving kindness, and live fully into it.

You are not a drop in the ocean-Rumi

You are not a drop in the ocean,

You are the entire ocean in a drop

How extraordinary to think of ourselves as the complex, amazing, abundant creations that we are.  Often people are so narrowly focused that they can only see themselves or their lives as a drop in the ocean, or a drop in the bucket.  It comes from a feeling of scarcity, a feeling that we are not enough, rather than acknowledging the miraculous culmination of evolution and creation, and elements.

I am the entire ocean, informs me that I have everything I need to sustain me, within me.  I have systems and nutrients, and I have other life thriving inside my being.  There is no scarcity in an ocean.  Pollution perhaps, but not scarcity.  And there is no real scarcity inside me.  Maybe sugar and caffeine, but certainly a lot more than that.  I am not a teeny tiny piece of a huge thing.  So tiny that who or what I am doesn’t matter.  I have and am all things in myself.  That amalgam of all things, is a part of an amalgam of whole other things.

Does seeing yourself as a complex, ocean or galaxy change the way your feel about creation?   I invite you to reflect on this today.

You are not just a drop in the ocean or a star in the galaxy.  You are the ocean in a drop or a galaxy in a star….


≈ Lori

There is synergy to gathering groups-Christina Baldwin

There is synergy to gathering groups-an attraction that occurs when the “call” is clear…..Synergy is defined as the interaction of elements that combine to produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of individual elements.   (From Christina Baldwin’s Calling the Circle)

The call to create interfaith/multifaith community that does community differently is clear.  The details are ever unfolding.  Christina Baldwin envisioned an organization structure using circles for framework for organizing small groups and communities to framing up grass roots movements and doing project management in corporations.  It is not a new model.  The Quakers have been doing this in religious and community life.  There is even a method/term called sociocracy that talks about circle organizing principles in a very systematized way.

I believe this is a countercultural way of being in the world and what is needed for us to turn away from our destructive, competitive behaviors.  There is really no more zero sum anything.  Looking at things in such a way that you win if I lose, either/or just isn’t working and there is a call to be in relationship and order our lives differently so that we are nourished and we therefore nourish and steward the world.

The call for interfaith/multifaith community is present not as an alternative to what is.  It is an invitation to create synergy for collaboration and shared experience.  It is present for recognizing that spirit is infused in all things.  Authenticity of spiritual experience and experience of Holy is available to all.  Mind isn’t necessarily yours and yours isn’t necessarily mine.  Interfaith/multifaith is an invitation to shared experience for mutual understanding.

UBUNTU-I am not me, unless you are you.  Your being gives me context as myself.  When you are you and I am me, there is a we.  I don’t wish to negate who you are, I want to understand it.  It will help be understand who I am, perhaps by understanding what I am not.  The question and fire in the belly of the Abbey of HOPE, is how we do WE.  Please add your ideas and help us in creation of our synergy!

With Great HOPE



Something Opens Our Wings

Something opens our wings.

Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.

Someone fills the cup in front of us.

We taste only sacredness.       

RUMI (translated by Coleman Barks)

This excerpt from A Year With Rumi, captures wonderfully the heart of the mystic and the heart of the seeker.  I am always looking for that something.  I like to call it Something with a capital S because I think that it represents the God as I wish to experience the Divine.  I consider myself to be Christian.  Christianity doesn’t always give me language or access to the how I experience God.   But under the umbrella of Christianity, I belied that God so loved the world that God broker into the physical world to be a personal, relatable example of what it means to live life the best and fullest way.  To live Wholly/Holy.  So my living experience of God though Christ includes notion that God certainly has the capacity to break through to everyone in ways that relate and connect with them.  And my experience of the Divine can only be enhanced when I hear how others also experience the Divine.  It is not possible for any human to have all the answers.

An African concept, philosophy that has been translated into a theology is known as Ubuntu.  There are many ways of defining Ubuntu and many applications but ultimately it’s core meaning is that a person is a person through other people.  I can only be me, because you are you and we are in we.  I am only me when there is other and therefore an other’s perspective of me.  As a theology it means, I can experience God as I identify the concept of Divine, by knowing how you understand the meaning and reality of God as you name or experience that word.

So I am drawn to interfaith situations in order to learn more about how others experience Divinity.  And Rumi, through this terrific translation by Coleman Banks, speaks to my seeking heart today!


May you enjoy the taste of sacredness this day!


The softest thing can overcome the hardest

The softest thing can overcome the hardest.  Formless it can enter where there are no gaps or spaces.      Lao Tzu

This is why love and peace always win.  Love is soft without boundaries.  It enters into your heart and soul when you are not expecting it, even when you are closed off and don’t want it.  Hate is hard.  It builds high walls and closes off our souls from the light.  But it can only shut things out for so long…because love will seep in where there are no gaps or space….Thanks be to God!!!


May what is soft and loving fill you to overflowing this day!!!


Discussion about racism at the Portland Public Library

Would someone like to create a meet up to attend this important community forum about racism at the Portland Public Library?  It is on September 9, from 7-9pm.  Check it out at:


Contact Lori Whittemore at loriwhit23@gmail.com to set up a meet-up before hand