Today is Buddha Purnima, this day commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death of Gautama Buddha. How can the Buddha's example inspire us to act?
The Buddha taught about non-attachment (shunyatha). This teaching has be beautifully interpreted by Yoga/Zen teacher, and social activist Michael Stone. Non-attachment really means not clinging to fixed ideas. He describes non-attachment as engagement, a deep intimacy, of opening up to the inherent interconnectedness of all things. Intimacy is the byproduct of giving up fixed views. Fixed and rigid views are the enemy of intimacy. How many times have you noticed how fixed and rigid ideas shut down personal and business relationships?
The world is both stunningly beautiful, and also a brutal devastation. Practice is how to hold both. Opening up to the interconnectedness means acting on issues that matter to all of us, climate change, violence, health and social inequality, etc. The world needs us, and our actions make a difference.
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Photo taken on April 17, 2015, in Newtown, Kolkata. This is a photo of water lilies, growing wild in irrigation canals.