Everything Is Waiting For Us Here In NYC
Posted by Sarika Jain on Apr 12, 2018
We somehow read the wrong passage (about the nautilus and the chambers in it's shell to allow it to float - which was beautiful), and during our mindful meal, in which we first ate in silence for 10 minutes, after doing the Plum Village-inspired mindful eating prayer, we got to read the passage by David Whyte, "Everything is Waiting For You".
We ruminated on the special connection we have with our surroundings, especially when we are present and filled with gratitude.
Tim shared, "There is a Buddhist saying, that when you place attention on something, you are already filled with gratitude".
Krishan reflected about a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, in which he provides a glimpse into the interconnectedness of all beings, simply looking at a piece of paper: "If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. We can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, “inter-be.”"
Alec, a wilderness expert, talked about how he speaks with animals and plants - and asked, "why don't we do that with all things here in the city, just because we believe that they are inanimate? Just because the plastic is made by humans, does that make it less important, or less natural? Weren't the materials always there anyways?"
Nina reminisced fondly about the "Dassia Duster" car that she rented in Iceland, which became her steady steed through the rough terrains, as she drove by herself through difficult roads, rain and streams. As soon as she discovered the Google Maps voice function, she felt relieved and excited to have something to talk to and felt guided. When she was cold and wet, she would go in her car and turn on the heat, and have so much gratitude.
I shared about how Lila was teaching me to have joy and wonder for each new moment or object, and how, in certain spiritual traditions, each object (such as a home, a car, a desk) has a soul, and how important it is to honor each.
Sneha remembered her childhood days, in which they gave each object a name, such as "Beddy" (her bed). And the items that she received as gifts, such as her clothes in NY, and how she remembers her friends when she wears them.
Hope wondered why she seems to have more wonder and awe about everything when she travels, and thought about why it seems to go away when we are in a place for a long time, or being 'home'. How can we make each day filled with wonder?
Liz, a fashion designer, showed us the beautiful block-printed shawl she bought on a trip to Kutch in Gujarat, informing us about the meticulousness and spiritual intention in which each item is made. She has such a deep appreciation for each of these handmade items, remembering the people who made them, and even the arduous work of picking the cotton.
The end of the evening ended in laughter and gratitude.