At the heart of the ancient teachings of the Buddha, where mindfulness originates, is the compassionate teachings of Dependent Origination. Twelve links in a chain of cause and effect, help us understand interdependence as an activity, a process, a verb. By tracing the birth, life and death of a moment of consciousness at a granular level, we develop insight into the way we shape and are shaped by experience, creating our world like a potter and her wheel give form to a lump of clay.
As we become more keenly aware of how the world works, how a suffering self comes into being, how one thing leads to another, we can be overwhelmed with compassion — and profound gratitude for the mindfulness skills that grant us equanimity and freedom to be the cause of a more fulfilling, joyful and generous life.
Truly, we need all the equanimity we can muster to face the fact that humanity no longer has time to endlessly cycle through patterns of greed, hate and indifference, for these human habits are destroying our beloved earth. Together we can help interrupt and break our own chains of despair and denial – they can be revealed and reversed, with steadiness of heart, to create an environment of clarity, mindfulness, equanimity, and cooperation.
May we join hands on behalf of all suffering beings who depend on coral reefs, rainforests, melting glaciers, the oceans, air, rain, and climate. May we join hands with those on freeways, in apartments, parking places, prisons, crowded stores and cars, with the homeless of our cities, with other endangered species – and learn ways to help. May we stand our ground and “inter-be” with future generations, knowing we can rock our world and offer our care for this exquisite planet — for life itself — with reverence and love.
Image Credit: T. Goodman