We're Not Separate from the World

When we do anything completely, that’s already our true self appearing in that moment. If only for that moment. So we practice being present, we practice being in this moment, available in this moment, and begin to string together the experience of moments of presence. And that’s not only true self, but interconnectedness, interbeing as Thich Nhat Hanh talks about: the complete connection and oneness that we are with this universe anytime we have that experience. And that experience is not extraordinary; everybody, every human being has that experience. Every day. Many, many times a day, we just don’t string those moments together enough to always notice them.

So we practice that and we find out for ourselves, from our own experience, that we are completely connected. Our school Zen Master, Bobby Rhodes, used this example once that I just loved. She help up her two hands and she said “So my right hand is stronger than my left hand. But my right hand never says to my left hand 'You’re no good. You’re inadequate. I don’t like you.'” You know, they help each other. They work together. They’re part of the same body. And these experiences of being connected to this universe and to one another, we can build on those and we can see for ourselves that another person is part of us. That veil that can be so thick between us and others, or us and this moment, can begin to soften and get gauzy and we get to experience it ourselves. Not as an idea, but actually as a truth. That we’re not separate from the world. And anytime we do anything completely that’s the case. So we practice being present, we practice inquiry into this moment, open-mindedness, open-heartedness, to this moment of our life and bring that into even the places where that’s hard to do for us. Those places where we feel the fear, where we feel the shame, where we feel separate. We practice so that we can bring that very inquiry and openness to those places.