30 Jul 2007 |
Posted by Lama Surya Das | 0 Comment.
No man is an island, as Milton sang. Isolationism is out, interconnectedness is in. We is the new I. Happy Interdependence Day!
We all long for belonging. Who can go it entirely alone? It is incredibly difficult to accomplish anything much alone, either in the worldly or spiritual spheres. And if we don’t pull together, we pull apart.
Especially today–in our rootless, socially mobile, fractured, violence-ridden and materialistic society– who doesn’t need community of some kind in order to grow and flourish, and even to survive? Family, friends and colleagues, mates, neighborhood, local congregations and the social community, police and firemen, as well as networks, both physical and virtual, are our breadbasket, our support system. Even a hermit or hobo depends on others for support, for food, for protection.
Once long ago, Buddha’s longtime monk-attendant, Gentle Ananda, approached the Enlightened Teacher and said: “Master, I have heard that spiritual friends and kindred spirits are half of the holy life. Is this true?” “No, gentle Ananda,” the Sage relied. “True friends and friendliness are the whole of the whole life.”
I like to remember what Tibet’s renowned Enlightened Vagabond Patrul Rinpoche, who lived one century ago, said about harmony and humility:
“With your Dharma brothers and sisters, and teachers’ attendants:
Like a well-fitting belt, be a comfortable companion;