Monday, September 29, 2008

Interconnected--Even in Suffering

When I mentioned yesterday that I look forward to Hurricane Season, I did not in any way mean to imply that I don’t care about the suffering of people who get the brunt of those storms. Ike is estimated to have killed 143 persons in Haiti and elsewhere, not to mention all the damage to property; for everyone who lost their homes or loved ones, the pain will be felt for many years to come, and my heart goes out to them. Yet despite the destruction inflicted in some parts of the world, Ike also brought relief from heat and drought to people in other areas. That is simply the nature of major weather systems, and there’s nothing we can do about it—beyond trying to ensure that storm victims have the resources needed to cope.

After yesterday’s post, I looked into an article on Hurricane Ike, [], and learned that Ike began as a system in the Sudan, and moved through Nigeria, Mali, and Senegal before crossing the ocean. After moving through the U.S., it proceeded to unleash high winds and heavy rain on Ontario and Quebec. So, it is truly awesome to contemplate how extensively the elemental powers connect places and people. Here, we have an echo of “butterfly effect” theory. In the wake of destruction, we are also reminded of other ways that we are connected. A lot of people think that Buddhism teaches that we are all One, but that is actually more of a Hindu concept. However, as one of our local monks, (Ajahn Khemasanto, abbot of Wat Dhammasala in Perry), has pointed out, what the Buddha did say is that all beings are united in suffering. So, something else for me to contemplate, as I gaze into the creek which is still racing, two weeks after the storms.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Mother nature can remind us that we are not in control of everything and sometimes we have to just go with the flow. This reminds me to focus myself to be here now, in this moment rather than letting my mind continually race ahead to what needs to get done later.