Invocation of the Universal Unity

Hush’sh’sh and Listen, all peoples –
Pause from your busy-ness
and hush’sh’sh
To hear -- Yahhhhhh,
The One Breath of Life –
For all breath is One:

We breathe in what the trees breathe out
And the trees breathe in what we breathe out.
Hear in the stillness the still silent voice,
The silent breathing that intertwines life.

 If we Breathe in the quiet,
Interbreathe with all Life --
Still small Voice of us all ----
We will feel the Connections;
We will make the connections
And the rain will fall rightly
The grains will grow rightly
And the rivers will run:
All creatures will eat well in harmony,
Earthlings / good Earth.

But if we break the One Breath into pieces
And erect into idols these pieces of Truth,
If we choose these mere pieces to worship:
gods of race or of nation
gods of wealth and of power,
gods of greed and addiction –
Big Oil or Big Coal –
If we Do and we Make and Produce
without Pausing to Be;

If we heat the One Breath with our burnings --
Then the Breath will flare up into scorching,
The corn will parch in the field,
The poor will find little to eat,
Great ice fields will melt
And great storms will erupt:
Floods will drown our homes and our cities,
And the Breath, Holy Wind, Holy Spirit
Will become Hurricanes of Disaster.

What must we do?

At the gates of our cities,
where our own culture ends,
and another begins,
We may halt there in fear –
“Here we speak the same language
“But out there is barbaric,
“They may kill without speaking—“

Then pause in the gateway to write on its walls
And to chant in its passage:
“Each gate is unique in the world that is One.”

Connect what we see with our eyes
To what we do with our hands.

Turn to sun and to wind
To empower all peoples.

Then the rains will fall
Time by time, time by time;
The rivers will run,
The heavens will smile,
The grass will grow,
The forests will flourish,
The good earth will fruitfully feed us,
And all life weave the future in fullness.

Honor the web that all of us weave  --
Breathe together the Breath of all Life.
[The community simply breathes quietly for several minutes, staying aware that each breath comes from all Breath.]

This Invocation is rooted in the Jewish invocation of God’s Unity, the Sh’ma. It was written by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center.


Jewish and Interfaith Topics: