In Ancient Greek the word for awakening is “alethe.” Awakening’s opposite is not evil or ignorance, but “lethe,” sleep. Even after some experience of inner awakening, we can still be asleep to the consequences of our modern way of living. Sadly, interdependence is not explicitly taught in schools or a valued part of our political conversation. With compassion we can educate ourselves to see the invisible benefits and costs of our actions, until our outer life is in harmony with our heart’s true values.
To be honorable in these times we are asked to extend a “moral inventory” to our way of life. The Buddhist Eightfold Path includes Right Thought, Right Action, Right Speech, and Right Livelihood. Is the way we are living—our work, our home, our finances, our travel, our level of consumption, our political and social participation—in harmony with compassion and our understanding of interconnection? In what direction does our care for the earth and our realization of interdependence ask that we move in our life? How might we change, not out of guilt but out of love? We begin our transformation by the very act of asking these questions.
when you remember me and my essence, you reflect your truest values…..
inquiry for today~ there is a deeper compassion possible…..
It’s autumn on my patch of the planet. For me, it’s a season of beauty and melancholy.
As I walk through the woods along the lake, I’m quickened by nature’s palette of subtle and vivid colors. At the same time—as the leaves drop and the dark skeletons of the trees begin to emerge—I’m sobered by the fact that all green, growing, and glorious things must pass away.
And yet, as the years go by, the more I find that these two feelings dance with each other. The fact that all things must die makes me ever more grateful for the beauties of nature and human nature.
If we let that gratitude animate us to care for the natural and human communities, then what falls to the ground around us and among us will seed the flowering of new life.
As Rilke says in this lovely and well-known poem, “…there is Someone, whose hands, infinitely calm, hold up all this falling.”
We are that Someone’s hands. Let’s hold all this falling in ways that will help the earth and its creatures rise…
~Parker J. Palmer
The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning “no.”
And tonight the heavy earth is falling.
And look at the other one- It’s in them all.
And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, hold up all this falling.