balance, Buddha, center, Going Home, haiku, Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, life, life balance, life review, monk, peace, peacefulness, philosophy, responsibilities, social philosophy, Thich Nhat Hahn, vietnamses monk, waves
Waves on the ocean
Freely dance in harmony
Touching the others
I make balance difficult to manage and have made life choices that seem to fight balance.
I’m a type B personality living in a type A world. The choices in my work and personal life have seemingly led me towards managing chaos and, while my center lies in B, A always finds fertile ground to plant a seed and grow. The more chaotic my life is when that seed develops roots, the harder it is to identify the imbalance. Allowed to grow, the seed grows into an old friend where the shade provides temporary shelter from the heat; chaos becomes a place of refuge interwoven eloquently within my being. Eventually however, regardless of the comfort, discord enters enough facets of my being, I recognize I feel far from my center and the search for balance once again begins.
Our relationship between our inner being, our faith and our surroundings is completely intertwined and makes up the whole of our existence. The outside influences of work, friends, family and previously unidentified outside influences continually push and tug from all directions. The Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hahn best describes these relationships as waves within the Buddhist tenant that teaches “this is like this because that is like that.”
From his book Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers:
Because the other waves are, this wave is. Because the other waves are like that, this wave is like this. Touching yourself, you touch the whole. When you are capable of touching yourself deeply, and touching others deeply, you touch the other dimension, the dimension of the ultimate reality.
A wave is made of other waves. You can discover the relationship between that wave and all the other waves with the principle of cause and effect. But there is another level of relationship, and that is the relationship between the wave and the water. The wave is aware that she is made of the other waves, and at the same time she realizes that she is made of water too. It is very important for her to touch the water, the foundation of her being. She realizes that all the other waves are also made of water.
Expanded upon in another way from the same book:
Is there anything that has a separate self? No. A tree that stands in the front yard does not have a separate self. Without the sunshine, without the clouds, without the air, without the minerals, a tree cannot be there. A tree is made up of non-tree elements.
Since our life and center is so integrally related to everything we experience, understanding how the pressures from the waves around us effect our being is crucial to maintaining balance. Using the waves around me to support the natural formation and shape of my wave is the only way life will once again enter balance and be harmonious.
That sounds easy for a monk.
The choices I have made are in the past and there is no way to undo the past; the patterns set in motion by my decisions are the ones that I must learn to use to support my balance. But, weren’t these choices made because of who I am; the water that makes me, simply put, me? How do the choices I have made contribute to my being and how do I use them to support my balance?
Figuring out that doesn’t sound so easy.
So I read and I ponder …