Jeff Wilson (Buddhism of the Heart) writes:
“We don’t just seek our own salvation–we are only fully happy when we can be born together with all others. No one is left behind by Amida (a name for the Buddha in his universal form), no one is left out. This does not sound like the sort of society that we live in today, but it does give us something to aspire to.”
A writer now lost to me once said: we all come to God together, or we don’t come at all. This expresses a similar sentiment as Jeff Wilson’s and one that I find central to my own practice as a Unitarian-Universalist. We are all connected (like it or not). Any sort of spiritual advance or progress that we make affects the whole. Any harm that we commit affects the whole.
What if, just for today, we acted as if every joy we felt, every gratitude, every smile, every pleasure not only resonated throughout our own bodies and minds, but in some way touched and affected the rest of those living on this planet?
What if, just for today, we accepted that every negative thought, every harm in some way touched and affected the rest of those living on the planet?
William Reiser, SJ, (Into the Needle’s Eye) writes: we have to “turn poor, acknowledging that each and every one of us really does belong to the whole human family. . . becoming compassionate and learning how to dispossess our resentments and anger . . . entering the solitary chamber of one’s own heart and confronting the stark, dreary spaces of one’s inner poverty . . requires laying aside those cherished attachments that cannot be carried on the steeper roads of life’s journey . . . letting go of self for . . . love.”
Just for today. An experiment.