The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.Thomas Merton
Pick any human-made object in the room you’re in right now.
Take a close look at it. Notice how it’s put together.
Now, think about its genesis. What materials were used to create it? Where did they come from? Who were the people who manufactured it, packaged it, transported it, and sold it?
If the answer is, “I have no clue,” just take note of that, too.
No matter how much or how little you know about the people who created this object, acknowledge them inwardly, honor their labor, and offer them your gratitude.
We invite you to do this quick and simple practice regularly. Allow each practice to deepen your sense of being an integral part of an extraordinary network of human beings — past, present and future. Each of us tenderly reliant on each other. Each of us fed, clothed and supported by the labor of others. Feeling connected and humble, we are grateful.
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I wonder if this isn’t one of, if not the, primary reasons for the popularity of armageddon TV shows in the west. The characters are always so overjoyed for coming across a can of food or drinkable water or a safe place to sleep, as well as having very little control over their circumstances, forced into a dependence on life and each other that blossoms over time into freedom and abundance. It’s incredible how quickly this practice works but also how reluctant the initial act of stopping to be aware is, at first. Just thinking about the number of people involved in my being able to sit on this computer and type. It opens up what is, pulls back the veil. The utter extravagant abundance even those of us who would be considered poor in the west, and how little awareness we have of it. How much joy we miss out on.Love that practice ?
Dear Jalaja, what a wonderful “eye-opening” practice this is! I was thinking about the people who do labor to sustain us and each has their unique story- single mothers working to make ends meet, parents who have a sick child, care-givers for elderly parents, etc.. God bless them all. I love the sentence, “Each of us tenderly reliant on each other”. Oh, how true! Thank-you for this practice!!!