Today is the Feast of All Saints, which traditionally began a month of reflection on letting go and endings, and remembering those who have gone before us. One of today’s themes is the inter-connectedness between us and our ancestors, those who have shaped us – even over the centuries – into who we are today. As Jung said, more than the lived parts, the “unlived parts” of our parents lives have a profound impact upon us. Another theme is that of thin places, the closeness between this world and the spiritual world, which gives rise to the sacredness of all reality, not just those moments or people who stand out. All of the places in our lives are temples, not just the ones which have candles and incense. Can we notice this in the simple things and moments of this day?
For a table to exist, we need wood, a carpenter, time, skillfulness, and many other causes to be. The wood needs the forest, the sunshine, the rain, and so on. The carpenter needs his parents, breakfast, fresh air, and so on. And each of those things, in turn, has to be brought about by other conditions. If we continue to look in this way, we will see that nothing has been left out. Everything in the cosmos has come together to bring us this table. Looking deeply at the sunshine, the leaves of the tree, and the clouds, we can see the table. The one can be seen in the all, and the all can be seen in the one.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo rick harris