A dear friend called me today that I have not talked to in quite a while. I was flabbergasted to hear that my posts here have been sorely missed. I have been very busy the last many months, and I have not had time to be at the temple or do any writing. Neither situation is what I would have ever wished for, but it’s the reality of my life right now. And acceptance is certainly a huge part of my practice isn’t it.
Anyhow, after talking to my friend for about twenty minutes, I realized just how important they are. More important than I think they realize right now. And clearly, it’s a common mistake than many of us make in undervaluing ourselves. Insignificance is huge misconception, and each of us has an impact on this World far greater than we usually comprehend. The connectedness that we share with each other and all living things can seem much more conceptual than factual.
The bees come to mind here, as most human beings have long perceived the tiny bee as somewhat insignificant save for it’s offering of the delicious nectar that we call honey. But current studies show that the collapse of the bee colonies and continuing demise of bee populations around the World can spell disaster for all life. The bees significance in our ecosystem is critical to the survival of our species, the human being.
The reality is that each one of us, every creature, every living plant, is supposed to be here and has a tremendous value and importance. And perhaps even more importantly, is how connected each of these are to each other. I am very important, and so are you. That goat, pig, cow, pigeon, duck, deer, tree, flower, and dandelion are all important and should be respected. With gratitude we should understand how deeply we are connected and growing from the same roots of life.
As whimsical as all of this may sound, I’m talking to you from the heart. Just as I need to see this clearly, I hope to encourage you to see that none of us are alone. Any isolation that we feel is merely a perceived separation that can be extinguished with present awareness. Just try to stop yourself for a moment to look around. Really open your eyes and ears (do you hear the crickets?). Take a few long deep breaths and smile to yourself. You are engulfed in love, and that love is within you every bit as much as around you. This is the practice of loving kindness, acceptance, mindfulness, compassion and goodwill.
Remember that each step, each breath, every word, thought and action can be and should be your meditation. It’s not where you sit on the cushion or how long you sit there. It’s the life you live right now. You are loved, you’re special, and you’re very important.
May you be well, may you be happy, and may you be peaceful.