#331 How to Understand Oneness | Roshi Norma Wong
Today we’re diving into a concept that is simultaneously one of the oldest contemplative cliches and one of the most profound head scratchers — oneness. Can *you* be one with everything if *you* don’t really exist? And, even if we manage to grok this idea, what are the practical ramifications? Actually, this is just one of the many riddles and paradoxes we’ll be exploring today.
My guest is Roshi Norma Wong. She was recommended to us by frequent guest and friend of TPH, The Reverend angel Kyodo Williams. Roshi Norma is a Zen Master, a life-long resident of Hawaii, a former State legislator, and abbot of a Zen temple called Anko-in. In this conversation, we talk about:
- Understanding -- and experiencing -- oneness
- Removing the binary between relaxation and focus
- Why she thinks we need to cultivate pride and humility simultaneously
- Why she thinks that before we try to solve the world’s problems, we need to become better people
- And why our current moment of compounding global catastrophes presents us with an unprecedented opportunity
Speaking of transformation in the face of crisis, we’ve always done our best to use this podcast as a place to figure out how to navigate our ever-shifting world. Over the last year, for example, we’ve spoken with experts about how to cope with the coronavirus, from dealing with anxiety and grief to parenting in a pandemic to worries about money.
The practice of meditation undergirds all of the practical takeaways you hear us discuss on this podcast–and many of our podcast guests have contributed to our companion meditation app. Our app helps you understand both how to practice meditation and how meditation can help you navigate our ever-changing world.
We hope that you'll subscribe to our app to learn how to care for yourself and others during crises (which are, after all, inevitable).
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Where to find Roshi Norma Wong online:
Other Resources Mentioned:
- Bankei, Zen teacher
- Bankei Zen: Translations from the Record of Bankei, Peter Haskel
- Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693
- Chozen-ji Zen Dojo, Hawaii