Thursday, November 5, 2009


Someone a few years back made a picture frame for me that said "Ambassador of Goodwill". What a wonderful sentiment. I say that not because I am special but because I want everyone who comes in contact with "me" to come away a little richer. We can all be ambassadors of goodwill. We can all be instruments of peace and love. If we are not here to love and enrich each others lives, then what are we here for?

For me, going to run errands has taken on new meaning. The grocery store is filled with opportunities to connect with the world's wonderful denizen. The connection does not have to be much, most of the time its just a beaming smile, but I look to feel the essence of each individual I meet. I look to meet them as a field of compassionate space that says we are all notes in this this wonderful symphony called life. We are all so precious. We are all here so briefly. Consciousness has chosen us to express itself and it is beautiful each and every time. Why not discover that someone masquerading as a person next to you. The funny thing about it is that I come away with so much energy from these encounters. There is synergy when souls connect by playing together in the world of form.

I have been spending a lot of time looking for employment. It can be dim. There are hours in front of the computer pouring over job sites and writing applications. Sometimes I schedule some of these errands and I watch my whole energy system change. The other day at the grocery store, I struck up a wonderful conversation with an "elderly" gentleman. I was standing not quite clearly in line and he entered the line not really seeing me. I let him go ahead and a little while later he asked if he had cut ahead. I said not at all. He then noticed a display of eggs on sale and we wondered together whether they would be cheaper than the one's he had in his cart. I remember being filled with so much joy just standing there next to this man and chatting. He paid for his things and thanked me in front of the cashier for letting him go ahead in the line. The cashier responded we have such nice people in our store.

Well, we are all like that. We all want happiness. We all want connection and love. Several days later the fates were reversed when a woman went out of her way to help me figure out how to negotiate the computerized parking attendant.

It is easy to think that because we read about so much hurt and pain, that people are hateful or evil but that is just the easy way out. We want to write people off because then we don't have to face the depth of the grief that is before us when people commit horrible acts. Our hearts want to close down in the face of such pain. We can pretend that "those" people just are in another category that is not like us. In reality they are like us but for which seeds have been watered. They are just unconscious. When someone is so constricted internally that they believe they will acheive happiness by inflicting pain on someone else, it is deeply sad. It is sad for both the "victim" and the "perpetrator". I call your attention to an absolutely beautiful poem by Thich Nhat Hanh that gracefully captures that tension of our interconnectedness called "Please Call Me By My True Names"

There is only one. Its like all of life is one breathing, pulsing organism, with different parts making up one body. One person is a leg, another an liver, another still a lung, but we all are part of the same oneness. Without each other we would not thrive. We are all looking to connect with each other. Can you sense your connectedness to "other" manifestations of that oneness? Breathe deeply and tell me what your heart says? Tell me a story about when and where you felt connected. It will probably make you feel good.