I am, because we are…

Interdependence is a cornerstone of Buddhism.  The idea that “I” only exist, because of the dependent co-arising of the elements that make “me” exist.  My human body has about 30 trillion human cells in it and about 40 trillion non-human microbes in it.  I am more “not” human, than human!  These cells and microbes aren’t “me.”  However, I wouldn’t be “me” if they didn’t exist and make up this body that I have identified as “me.”

Likewise, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my parents, or their parents, or their parents’ parents, on back.  I wouldn’t have my current employment if it wasn’t for the person who hired me, or if the person that hired them hadn’t hired them.  My food that I generally do not take enough time to appreciate would not sit before me, if it weren’t for the grocery store, the farmers, or the sun and the rain.  So, my health and welfare are in many ways contingent on elements and people outside myself, that I depend on.

Beyond these every day situational examples of interdependence, there are the very foundational elements of who we are – elements!  As Neil deGrasse Tyson has been often quoted as saying, we are related to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the Universe atomically.  We simply share more in common with who we are on a fundamental level, than not.

One doesn’t have to be a Buddhist or a scientist to see this as true.  A Muslim, a Jew, or a Christian can draw the same conclusion based on their belief that all life has come forth from God (or Yahweh, or Allah).  If my life has come forth from God and your life has come forth from God – then are we not basically the same at our core, the source of our lives coming from the Source of all life?

In this perspective it seems insane if not just ridiculous to fabricate more ways to divide us from others.  But the fabrication of division, through manipulation, drawing upon peoples’ fears, anger, and ignorance is what we are currently resisting in the form of bans and walls.

We are resisting such ideology, because it is harmful.  We are also resisting such ideology, because it is simply not true.  It is not authentic to the reality of life.  The reality that all of our lives are interdependent.  The reality that I am, because we are.

~j
02.20.17

 

a letter to Aurora…

a letter to Aurora…

to all those who are suffering from this horrific tragedy in Aurora, our prayers are with you. to all those who are suffering from their own personal tragedies in this life, our prayers are with you. we are connected in our suffering, in our pain, in our confusion as to how such violence can occur. we are connected in these dark moments of life, where our hearts break and our minds spin with emotion, we are connected in our sense of loss as life seems to have lost all that is good.

it is important to feel these emotions, to sit with these emotions. to be where we are at, to grieve. so many of us, in our confusion, our pain, our anger are running from this horrible event. it isn’t easy to sit with tragedy, to be awake with suffering. it is far easier (and even feels good to have some brief relief) to blame. to blame the existence of guns, to blame a broken system, to blame a single individual who has forgotten what it means to be human, to be connected in life and love. and there too, we connect. we connect into groups with missions and we feel some brief relief as we find a place to place our anger, our pain, our suffering…forgetting our truer connection, that we are One.

but there is another way we are connected. we are connected in our Light, in our Love, in Life.

so as we sit in this darkness, in this night of tragedy and pain, let us look to Aurora itself. Aurora means “dawn”…the coming of day. that sacred, beautiful time when the night moves from twilight to day.

there is pain here. there is confusion and anger. but, my friends, there is also hope. the day will come again and with it the sun, shining bright the light of love and life. the Light that lives in all of us – both passed and still present, and the Love that connects us – whether we have passed or are present, whatever may come.

wishing peace and freedom from suffering for us all.

namaste ~ j

Friday, July 20th 2012