Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sharon Salzberg

 There are many avenues that can lead to an appreciation of interconnectedness. Accepting it logically is one thing. Through contemplative practice, we may apprehend it at a more visceral level. If we pay careful attention, we see that phenomena in the natural world, moments of experience, people, and creatures continuously affect one another. Consider the different ways we can view a tree. We can see the tree as a distinctly defined object, a single solitary entity standing there just by itself. We can also look at that tree and sense it as the manifestation of an extremely subtle net of relationships.

The tree is affected by the rain that falls upon it and everything that affects the quality of that rain. It is affected by the wind that moves through and around it and the soil that nourishes it and sustains it. It is affected by the weather and by the sunlight and by the moonlight and by the quality of the air. Its root system can connect it to an ecosystem of underground life for miles around. We can look at the tree and see it is a network of influences and interactions converging. Similarly, we can look at this precise moment in our lives and see it is just the same. We can look at who we are and see it is just the same. Not solitary and isolated but rather connected and interdependent.

This is the truth of our existence: because we live in an interconnected universe, everything is contingent, intertwined, interrelated. ♥️


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