Today the US is celebrating Independence Day. I am happy that people here get a day off, I think Americans need more vacation to be able to stop and relax. How do we celebrate this day? What are we independent from and what are we interdependent with? In the Buddha’s teaching it is clear that we are interrelated with everything and everyone. The happiness and suffering of others are our own happiness and suffering. This is why Earth Protection is a great door to enter independence/freedom from our fear and selfishness.
In a talk to the children during our family retreat last week about “The Giving Earth” I shared that they are so lucky to have water, food and access to education. I asked if they can help make these necessary elements available for children who are less fortunate. They seemed happy and eager to do this. They will need our support to do this. When we can connect with and grow our compassion and generosity, we will feel happy and safe. Then it is also easy to simplify our life, increasing vegetarian food in our diet and reduce our energy consumption. This is something we all can contribute.
As we serve our food at Deer Park we silently recite this verse: This empty bowl will soon be filled with precious food. Beings all over the world struggle to live. May I eat and live in such a way that all have enough food and nourishment.
Enjoy your day, enjoy your breath, enjoy all moments of freedom from anger and despair.