A favorite class in seminary was World Religions, taught by Dr. Ruben Habito at Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas. He was born and raised in The Philippines and became a Jesuit priest. He was sent to Japan as a missionary and became so interested in Buddhism that he also became a Buddhist monk. I appreciated the opportunity to study with someone who clearly had experience in more than one religious faith, someone who could embrace multiple perspectives and see their contributions to religion.
One morning, Dr. Habito invited the class into a few minutes of silence. Then he opened his hand in front of him and asked us to tell him what we saw:
Several minutes passed. I kept staring at that acorn until sudden realization came to me:
“I see … myself.”
I saw that everything is connected. We are all one with the planet, its elements and atoms, breath and interdependence, formation and destruction, contribution and influence. In that moment of epiphany I saw myself, an integral part of this amazing universe.
He silently handed me the acorn.