Both gentle and direct, this latest book by John Welshons beckons the reader to explore the nature of all of their relationships, from those with children and friends, to romantic partners and God, to the woman or man in the mirror. He casts a wise eye on those in particular that we might label difficult or challenging and instead of wishing those people away, Welshons invites us to view them as teacher or guru. Easier said than done at times, when that person is the father who raised you with both love and fear, as was the case with the relationship between the author and his brilliant, devoted alchoholic father. It was at the end of his father’s life, that he was able to take that leap, with the guidance of his friend, spiritual teacher and author, Ram Dass. Although he resisted it mightily at first, the idea of being grateful that his father’s actions and attitudes, could be, in fact, what would eventually polish away his own rough hewn edges, Welshons came to surrender to it and it brought him peace. He cautions throughout that there is no need to remain in physically or emotionally abusive relationships in order to get the lessons, however.
I was moved by the experience he describes of the transition that took place when he as the adult child, he became the caregiver for his father who could no longer provide for his own personal needs, since over the past few years, until they passed, I was called on to offer that to my own elderly parents. It was an honor, as Welshons describes to “return the favor.”
He tells one of my favorite stories of the samurai who calls on a monk to teach him the difference between heaven and hell (pg. 215) and it reminds me that at all times, I am responsible for the choice in which state I choose to dwell.
Woven throughout the book are multi-faceted teachings, many coming from the author’s own yogic and meditative practice. At the end is a guide to various forms of meditation in which he encourages the reader to engage. Quotes from Yogananda, Harville Hendrix, The Dalai Lama, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and Mother Teresa add spiritual spice to the mix.
In the end, the idea that we are indeed All-One, reminds me that we are never truly alone.
http://youtu.be/4xjPODksI08 One Love by Playing For Change