Repairing the Web
By Therèse Tappouni

I write in the aftermath of a memorial service for a thirty seven year old. A friend of my son’s who enlivened our home for years, his abilities were legendary, yet it was in those gathered to pay tribute to his brilliance, his humor, his quirky nature and his steadfast friendship, that we saw his true gift. A web of friends ranging from thirty-something to seventy-something, shared his impact on their lives, and their memories were vibrant with detail and laughter. His energetic being was resurrected through the joys and sorrows of relationship.

It is apparent that the most important values in my life revolve around relationships: to my beloved; to children; to friends; to students and readers; to my community; to my country; to the world and the planet; and to God. The approach to each of these is, surprisingly, the same — a sense of the oneness of everything, and a deep frustration with the world of us and them. My favorite poet, Mary Oliver, has a wonderful poem titled “When Death Comes.” In it, she says:

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

My young friend had made us laugh and he had made us argue. He was fully present ­— not just visiting. He loved to debate, and frequently pricked the older generation to get a reaction followed by a long, and sometimes heated, discussion He was “full of argument”  and we could not ignore that, but we were better for having had the conversation, and he had a way of disarming any negative emotions. I don’t think he went to his death with too many arguments unresolved.

We are in the midst of a political season where being “up” and “knocking out” the other is the name of the game. Finding differences and exploiting perceived weaknesses is magnified by the spotlight of gender and race. “Is she tough enough?... Does she show her softer side?... Does he appeal to the desires of black Americans?... Can he throw a punch?.. Are they consistent?” Consistency is an important and outdated political issue, especially in a world that moves with the speed of light
. When did changing one’s mind become a weakness?

Some of us know that learning is a lifetime vocation, and debating is an honored and nearly lost art. We will frequently find, in listening to others, that we can modify our own opinions. Lost in the rhetoric of the press, and their worry over who is naughty and who is nice, is the dire condition of the poor, our democracy, and Mother Earth. The questions and sparring are meant to separate, not to create relationship. No less than video games, sporting events and corporate greed, the political process teaches us competition instead of cooperation.

There are solutions to this dilemma. The first step is to meditate on the energetic connections of all things. There are many of us who have done this for a long time, but in the mainstream of consciousness, meditation practice was considered too far out.

However, we have a new ally — science! In the latest information on stress and disease, doctors report that only one thing is consistently successful at relieving stress and lowering disease-causing cortisol levels, and that is meditation.

Conscious meditation, even if undertaken only as a stress reducer, opens even the narrowest mind to the miniscule and the huge nature of the Universe — the microcosm and the macrocosm. Truth slides in when the conscious judging mind is moved out of the way, even for a short period of time on a daily basis.

The second practice that opens an individual to the flow of love is gratitude. Being grateful, consciously, is as easy as a two-minute exercise when you wake up in the morning. Before you think of anything else, think of one or two things you are grateful for — even if it is only that you woke up!

As you expand your morning gratitude session — and you will since it makes you feel good, and that’s a strong motivation to continue a practice — think of a person or animal you love, or a place that warms your heart, and put your attention there.
Anytime during the day that you are stressed or angry, going back to that moment in the morning, seeing the animal, person or place, can replace your negative feelings with peace.

When you are ready, visualizing light and blessing onto those who are not on your list of favorite things, will begin the important work of reconciliation of all beings in the web of life.
In my workshops, people are amazed at the healing they experience when they do this type of visualization. Freeing up all of that energy, previously caught in the glue of judgment, leads to a lightness of being that evokes joy.

All of us are in the web of life, a glittering, gauzy, gorgeous creation we are privileged to belong to. One’s whole life is dedicated to what the great religions have struggled to teach and great societies have failed to practice. In the elegant words of poet John Masefield
, in a 1915 sonnet:

There is no God, but we, who breathe the air,
Are God ourselves and touch God everywhere.

In other words, all is God. Knowing this, may each of us touch the air with love and gratitude, relating to all others who crave connection through the beautiful web of compassion.

Therèse Tappouni is the author of a recently-released book titled “The Promise: Revealing the Purpose of Your Soul,” available in all bookstores, on  and She has also recorded a visualization and meditation CD titled “The Promise: Walking Your Path of Truth,” available at the website. She is co-founder of ISIS Institute, a certified medical and clinical hypnotherapist, and writing teacher.

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