Last Sunday night I attended my sangha’s New Year’s Intention Setting. The facilitator talked about the three refuges (buddha, dharma, sangha), lead us in a short meditation, and ritual for intention setting.

In the ritual, a spool of yarn was passed around so that, in the end, we were all holding the extended thread. We chanting intentions and the three refuges as we all holding this thread as a visual representation of our connection. When the chanting was complete, the thread was cut so that we each had a piece long enough to tie on our wrists with four knots to represent the buddha, dharma, sangha, and intention.

It had been a while since I attended the sangha, and although I practice meditation on my own, I had forgotten about the insight that can occur when sitting with the group.

That night, it was during the ritual when a huge insight came over me. As we sat in our group, all holding the black thread, I realize that my sadness over losing people in my life stems from the suffering of the illusion of separation.

I immediately remembered my greatest heartache. I was dating someone with whom I experienced a profound connection with. This relationship felt so easy and safe to me. When he decided to end the relationship, I was confused and devastated. Although it took two years for me to finally accept the break-up (and that he was not coming back), there is still some residual grief over the loss of this relationship.

As I held this thread, and looked around the room, these words came to me.

“I never lost you because you were never mine to lose. We were connected before we met and we will continue to be connected even after we part ways. Separation is an illusion. Separation is a delusion.”

For a brief moment I felt the power of divine connection. It’s natural to want to stay in this state, but even this passes. What I was left with was a sense of ease in the knowing that the divine connection exists even though I cannot feel it fully at all times. Like the sun that is always present, even when the moon rises, divine connection is always present.


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