A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ~Albert Einstein
Einstein’s statement reinforces insights from scientific discoveries as well as spiritual teachings of emptiness, inter-being and interconnectedness. Empty of a separate self, completely full of non-self elements. Within just a few mindful breaths in a beautiful, natural setting, most of us can literally feel the calming, noticing a smile on our face, truly experience being at one with the environment around us, if not the whole of the universe. Ohh, but to make that feeling of interbeing last. It’s so easy to forget. I’m sure we’re all doing our best to feel connected. With nature it can seem easy for me. A walk into the forest near my front door, a paddle in the nearby lake.
But to feel at one with my fellow humans takes me a bit more intentional effort, getting past fear and aversions. My own and those presented to me. Being with others and listening to their stories helps. Cultivating understanding and feeling more safety. If only briefly. It’s so easy to forget. Spending time with suffering of others; participating in events, or volunteering, feeding those hungry, being witness and offering my personal presence. We’ll walk hand in hand someday. We shall overcome someday. We shall all be free, someday. I’m inspired knowing that people co-exist peacefully with diversity of beliefs, backgrounds and so on. Here’s a recent list of the Most Diverse Cities in America. The years I lived in the east bay, near Oakland and Berkeley, offered human diversities’ richness of experiencing brightness and darkness. It’s more heaven than hell, with deep portions of economic and social prosperity and inequalities.
Recently I filmed Mr. Somboon Chungprempree, the Secretariat of International Network of Engaged Buddhists, on his visit from Thailand. He answered questions from Buddhist Peace Fellowship friends including Anchalee Kurutach, on ethics & working together to create hope. Creating hope of living together. Of being resilient to survive human and environmental challenges and catastrophes ahead. INEB Secretariat also shared that there is still time to sign up for the Inter-faith Dialog for Peace and Sustainability, October 27 to November 5, co-hosted by INEB this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Above is a 3 minute excerpt of the interview. The full 37 minutes is here on the Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s site. Thanks to Einstein and other teachers with great insight for pointing towards Dharma. The mind creates separation. “The problem is we think too much” ~Thich Nhat Hanh. Imagine embracing all that supports our existence and letting go of views of separation so that we shall all be free, someday.