This week onwards, I invite us to begin each week together with a heartful (sister term of mindful :)) contemplation. Take in the words, the concepts, and put it in our hearts to simmer through the week. Let us discover together what gifts we receive on this through the week.. We may smile and collect the insights that come our way on the theme, caught by surprise at the synchronicity at times..
I offer “interbeing” or “interdependent existence” as this week’s contemplation, represented here by the beautiful calligraphy and inspired by the teachings of dear Thay (Thitch Nhat Hahn) who left his bodily form on January 22, 2022. It is with a deep bow of respect and gratitude to him and his teachings, I share this.
We inter-are is the term Thay (Thitch Nhat Hahn) created in English. We inter-are with all other life forms. We inter-are with the beautiful planet, with MotherEarth, the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. This is not a symbolic reference but is fact. Our bodies exist because many stars were formed and bloomed and died.. We carry the star traces within us, in our cells and DNA.
Each of us are formed by non-“self” parts.. Ayşe can “be” because of her parents, ancestors, stars, the Sun that shined on the food she eats, the minerals and vitamins that nourish her body, the bird that left the seed in the earth and the farmer that watered it.. Take out the parents, any of the ancestors, the Sun, the bird, the farmer, the water, the minerals and vitamins, Ayşe “is not” any more. Each breath Ayşe takes is co-breathed by other people, animals, the trees, forms clouds and becomes rain and perhaps comes back as tea.. So it is with each of us..
Let us ponder together all the ways we inter-are with life forms and lifeless forms, to cut the illusion of separateness, loneliness, and an independent “self.” Many of our quite human and humane afflictions, like social media dependency (on the level of addiction :)), or dependency within and to relationships might arise because of notions of loneliness, of separateness. The invitation is to contemplate heartfully joyfully this week all the very concrete ways of co-existence, of oneness. Please share your comments, insights and experiences here.
To learn more about the life and work of dear Thitch Nhat Hahn and his community, please visit Plum Village site.