The purpose of this blog is to share what I had learned trough Buddhism, in a very familiar format, adapted to the American way of life. Instead of just listening about Arahants or elephant tracks, you will hear the traditional Dharma sometimes mixed with a double burger, French fries and a large shake!.
Somebody wrote once that Buddhism is like tofu, it takes the flavor of whatever country it goes.
Welcome to American Buddhism!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Walking without stepping on the ants
“Pachamama, Mother Earth, sweet Mother We come here for the healing nourishment of all your children The Stone People, the Plant People The four-legged, the two-legged, the creepy crawlers The finned, the furred, and the winged ones All our relations that are here to teach us”
Native American Prayer
There will be a time in your life, that when you speak about relationships, you will come in contact with the term interdependability or interconnectivity. Maybe this is the first time you heard it or maybe, you thought it was some internet or computer related term.
Actually, the principle is quite similar
If you had discussed Buddhism or Eastern religions, maybe you heard the term “the Net of Indra”, which actually makes a beautiful metaphor on interconnectivity. The Hindu myth of Indra's Net provides an allegory of what we call interdependent organization. This net, similar to a spider web, exists in Indra's palace in heaven and extends infinitely in all directions. At each node of the net where threads cross there is a perfectly clear gem that reflects all the other gems in the net. As each gem reflects every other one; so are you affected by every other system in the universe.
As the threads of Indra's net bind the gems to the net, so do our physical bodies bind our minds and other physical entities bind other systems to the universe. Through the threads we reach each other, passing information across the expanses of space. Yet how did this ballet of information ever come about? You see new systems constantly spring to life, arising out of near chaos creating a small pattern that presents a new random twist to that thread of existence.
Just like the internet is the vast web that connects every computer to other computers on this planet, every life, human and non human is connected. Thoreau refers to as "the infinite extent of our relations". We can trace the strands of mutually supportive life, and discover there the glittering jewels of our global neighbors. Buddhism seeks to cultivate wisdom grounded in this kind of empathetic resonance with all forms of life. Some Native American religions honor all the animals by recognizing them as spiritually aware.
It doesn’t matter what religion you practice, what god or spirits you worship, but the truth is; everything you do affects others and the environment around you. Now that you know that everything you do can affect others, then all you have to do is to keep a big brother/sister mentality. Just like a big brother takes care of his younger siblings from harm or danger, it is our responsibility to take care of our families, neighbors, the environment, dogs, cats, rats. snakes, even something as tiny as an ant.
Have you ever taken a moment to watch a bee collecting pollen from a fragile flower? The bee lands on the flower and walks on it so delicately, so careful, while it collects the pollen and drinks the nectar without harming or even ruffling the flower.
Just like that we should go trough life, without hurting others with our actions, with our thoughts, with our speech, with our anger and hatred.
Just imagine that if a bee can walk on a flower without hurting it; we can also make the conscious effort to go trough life without hurting a single sentient being…
Visualize for a moment, how harmonious this world could be, if as tall as we are, we could walk trough life without stepping on those little ants…