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WE ARE THE WORLDbyMama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

Recently, 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. 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.

Our connection to all that is is inextricable. We couldn’t separate ourselves even if we wanted to. Where could we go? This is all there is. There is no away.

We come from the earth and return to Her belly. We are made of the same substance as the sea, the soil, the stars. There are, and ever have been, only so many molecules in existence, and all the rest — birth, growth, death; development, change, evolution, species — 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. It rains, it pools, it evaporates. 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 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. We are one team, one community, one race, one world, one living, breathing entity. And the sooner we realize it, the happier, safer, and saner we will be.

About the author:
Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, eco- ceremonialist, spiritual counselor, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately known, is the author of four books and a CD. She is a columnist for UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum. In addition to teaching and lecturing worldwide, she maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy where she works with individuals and groups to create personally relevant rituals for all of life's transitions.


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