INTERBEING by Elizabeth Ann Bartlett

“Every life bears in some way on every other.”

                                                                                -Susan Griffin, A Chorus of Stones

This line from Susan Griffin’s profound investigation into the ways our lives are interwoven through war has been echoing in my mind frequently in recent days, as we find our hearts breaking and outraged by a distant war. In the depths of our compassion, we ache with the suffering of families huddling together in bomb shelters, a birthing woman and her baby dying on a stretcher after a maternity hospital is bombed, the poignant strains of a Chopin etude played by a woman on her piano – the only thing to survive her bombed out home.

This truth of Griffin’s words echoes throughout ancient wisdom traditions — in the indigenous recognition that all our relations — animals, plants, water, earth, stone — are kin; in the African concept of Ubuntu — “I am because we are;” in the Buddhist precept of interdependent co-arising, which Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh called simply “interbeing.” As he described it:

Continue reading “INTERBEING by Elizabeth Ann Bartlett”

In Memoriam: Thich Nhat Hanh by Elizabeth Ann Bartlett

Yet another of my great spiritual teachers has died. Buddhist monk, peace activist, author, and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh died on January 22nd at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam. I have found wisdom in so many of his books, but it is his The Miracle of Mindfulness that has become almost a daily guide. I discovered it sometime in my four-year wait for a new heart after being put on the transplant list following my second cardiac arrest in my 30s. In that time of living with the ever-present fear of sudden cardiac death, it probably saved my life, and certainly my sanity and spiritual well-being.

Continue reading “In Memoriam: Thich Nhat Hanh by Elizabeth Ann Bartlett”
%d bloggers like this: