16 November, Denver, Colorado
I was in a grocery store this weekend to pick up some essential items to get me through the next two weeks. My face was securely covered from the bridge of my nose down to my chin by my mask. I heard from where I was standing what sounded like an argument that was starting to get louder by the minute. I wandered over to the aisle where the shouting was coming from and saw a middle aged man not wearing a mask shouting at one of the store employees. He was shouting that he is an American, living in America, and is free to wear a mask in public or not. The employee was calm and measured in trying to explain to the man that it is currently a state law that everyone must wear a mask in any public place. I shook my head, turned, and walked away to finish my shopping and go home.
Through the course of our letters we have reflected on will and trust, in particular. These are such important concepts in our lives even more now than in the past when many of us were living our lives in a default mode – out of routine and habit that just “worked” for us. The three of us have established, lived through, and ended those routines in various stages of our lives. Because of who we are and the choices we have consciously made (I’ll get to the “unconscious” later), we are living our dharma.
American culture is strongly – even fiercely – rooted in independence. Unlike most other cultures around the globe which are more interdependent and community oriented, Americans are generally more focused on the individual life. There are just too many people here who believe the freedoms granted to them by the US Constitution include endangering other peoples’ lives if they choose not to wear a mask in public.
Now, here is where will and trust come in. Yes, I believe we all exercise our will every day when we make the multitude of decisions we do. But is it our individual will or the will of something/someone greater than we are that is guiding us. “Not my, but your will be done.” Like both of you, Shraddha and Dinesh, I believe my path all along has been guided by God, Spirit, The Universe – whatever name we wish to call it- to bring the three of us here right now into this greenfield of light and deeper understanding. Our interdependence is clear to me and I am deeply grateful for the gift of both of you. I am not so arrogant or filled with hybris to think that I am the sole navigator of this tiny ship that has brought me to your kind, compassionate, and loving harbors. An infinitely stronger and truer wind has blown me here, now. Yes, Shraddha, trust is a binding force in our path forward. It is the foundation on which we build houses, neighborhoods, cities, and countries. It is the foundation on which we build all the billions of relationships within those communities. It is also the force that acknowledges that we are not really the architects of our own little independent lives. Brahman, God, Yahweh, Spirit, is living life through us. We are, each of us, a blossom on the universe’s jasmine vine. In time, we will wither, fade, and die. But the vine – strong, indestructible, and thriving – will persist. And I trust that we will bloom again in due time to a new and beautiful moment of life on the vine.
I find that interdependence is such a profoundly important gift because it eliminates any possibility of ever really feeling alone. Yes, I am sitting in front of my computer right now writing this in the solitude of my home. But I also realize and celebrate the reality that I am apart from the community of the world, alone here at my desk, I am also a part of it.
Love and light to both of you on this fine day…