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A Universe of Interconnectedness (Sharon Salzberg)

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  • antony272b2
    As long as we remain on the surface of life, everyone and everything seems to exist as isolated entities. But when we look below the surface, we see strata
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 12, 2011
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      "As long as we remain on the surface of life, everyone and everything seems to exist as isolated entities. But when we look below the surface, we see strata upon strata of dynamic interconnectedness. If we look to the greatest depth, Buddhism says, we will see a world where no one and no thing stands apart.

      A plate of spaghetti for dinner, for instance, isn't just a jumble of noodles to which we add tomato sauce. Those noodles have emerged out of someone's labor in growing the wheat, their hopes and fears and dreams for their children, the soil and air and rainfall and sunlight that nurtured and supported the growth of that crop. These elements are themselves interactively affected by depletions in the ozone layer and by the loss of the Amazon rain forests, by global warming and by acid rain. A host of environmental degradations, neglectful industries, government regulations, and hopeful interventions are among the conditions giving rise to our plate of spaghetti.

      Included in our dinner as well are the efforts of those who shipped the wheat, and those who milled it, and the shopping we ourselves did the night before at our local neighborhood grocery store, kept open by the young proprietor's fearful obsession with a secure old age. Also included is the culinary history of Italy, where pasta became a staple, as well as that of China, where laborers on vast paddies were among the first to eat noodles.

      And still this is just a tiny part of the converging conditions. What about the conditions that affected our childhood food cravings, and then our lifelong eating habits? What about the latest board meeting concerning the advertising budget of the company that enticed us to buy their particular brand of pasta? Looking below the surface, we see revealed a world in which a single plate of spaghetti comes out of an entire universe of interconnectedness."
      http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/excerpts.php?id=20330
      From: The Buddha Is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom by Jack Kornfield
      Buddhist spiritual teacher and writer Jack Kornfield has created this top-drawer collection of 75 contemporary writers on wisdom, compassion, freedom, and enlightenment.
      The above excerpt comes from "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg

      Antony: In Buddhism there is no "out of sight, out of mind": where things come from affects the mind. I haven't been a vegetarian for many years but appreciate that meat means more than just neatly packaged products from the supermarket. On the positive side it is profound that inanimate objects are not lifeless but all have a story to tell. I used to think that such reflection was mental proliferation but I now think it is a valid path to insight especially when trying to overcome boredom and complacency.

      With metta / Antony.
    • antony272b2
      As long as we remain on the surface of life, everyone and everything seems to exist as isolated entities. But when we look below the surface, we see strata
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 12, 2012
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        "As long as we remain on the surface of life, everyone and everything seems to exist as isolated entities. But when we look below the surface, we see strata upon strata of dynamic interconnectedness. If we look to the greatest depth, Buddhism says, we will see a world where no one and no thing stands apart.

        A plate of spaghetti for dinner, for instance, isn't just a jumble of noodles to which we add tomato sauce. Those noodles have emerged out of someone's labor in growing the wheat, their hopes and fears and dreams for their children, the soil and air and rainfall and sunlight that nurtured and supported the growth of that crop. These elements are themselves interactively affected by depletions in the ozone layer and by the loss of the Amazon rain forests, by global warming and by acid rain. A host of environmental degradations, neglectful industries, government regulations, and hopeful interventions are among the conditions giving rise to our plate of spaghetti.

        Included in our dinner as well are the efforts of those who shipped the wheat, and those who milled it, and the shopping we ourselves did the night before at our local neighborhood grocery store, kept open by the young proprietor's fearful obsession with a secure old age. Also included is the culinary history of Italy, where pasta became a staple, as well as that of China, where laborers on vast paddies were among the first to eat noodles.

        And still this is just a tiny part of the converging conditions. What about the conditions that affected our childhood food cravings, and then our lifelong eating habits? What about the latest board meeting concerning the advertising budget of the company that enticed us to buy their particular brand of pasta? Looking below the surface, we see revealed a world in which a single plate of spaghetti comes out of an entire universe of interconnectedness."
        http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/excerpts.php?id=20330
        From: The Buddha Is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom by Jack Kornfield
        Buddhist spiritual teacher and writer Jack Kornfield has created this top-drawer collection of 75 contemporary writers on wisdom, compassion, freedom, and enlightenment.
        The above excerpt comes from "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg

        Antony: It is profound that inanimate objects are not lifeless but all have a story to tell. I used to think that such reflection was mental proliferation but I now think it is both an indirect and a direct path to insight especially when trying to overcome boredom and complacency.

        With metta / Antony.
      • Tep Sastri
        Dear Antony (and Sharon, others) - After reading the article Faith by Sharon Salzberg, I can t help wondering as follows: If we look down from the surface
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 13, 2012
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          Dear Antony (and Sharon, others) -

          After reading the article "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg, I can't help wondering as follows:

          If we look down from the "surface of life" to the strata below, how many of them do we need to look before we become enlightened?
          The spaghetti example involves many variables like the wheat farming that produce flour (for making noodles), the farmers and their families, the soil, air, rainfall, a host of environmental conditions, etc. Should we bring the whole universe of infinite galaxies and stars into the analysis as well? What for?

          The Buddha teaches the Dependent Origination that involves only eleven variables (avijja, sankhara, vinnana, nama-rupa, ..., birth and death) that are enough to understand the Noble Truths about dukkha and cessation of dukkha.

          "Both formerly & now, it is only dukkha that I describe, and the cessation of dukkha." [SN 22.86]

          Be well,

          Tep
          ===
          --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "antony272b2" <antony272b@...> wrote:
          >
          > "As long as we remain on the surface of life, everyone and everything seems to exist as isolated entities. But when we look below the surface, we see strata upon strata of dynamic interconnectedness. If we look to the greatest depth, Buddhism says, we will see a world where no one and no thing stands apart.
          >
          > A plate of spaghetti for dinner, for instance, isn't just a jumble of noodles to which we add tomato sauce. Those noodles have emerged out of someone's labor in growing the wheat, their hopes and fears and dreams for their children, the soil and air and rainfall and sunlight that nurtured and supported the growth of that crop. These elements are themselves interactively affected by depletions in the ozone layer and by the loss of the Amazon rain forests, by global warming and by acid rain. A host of environmental degradations, neglectful industries, government regulations, and hopeful interventions are among the conditions giving rise to our plate of spaghetti.
          >
          > Included in our dinner as well are the efforts of those who shipped the wheat, and those who milled it, and the shopping we ourselves did the night before at our local neighborhood grocery store, kept open by the young proprietor's fearful obsession with a secure old age. Also included is the culinary history of Italy, where pasta became a staple, as well as that of China, where laborers on vast paddies were among the first to eat noodles.
          >
          > And still this is just a tiny part of the converging conditions. What about the conditions that affected our childhood food cravings, and then our lifelong eating habits? What about the latest board meeting concerning the advertising budget of the company that enticed us to buy their particular brand of pasta? Looking below the surface, we see revealed a world in which a single plate of spaghetti comes out of an entire universe of interconnectedness."
          > http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/excerpts.php?id=20330
          > From: The Buddha Is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom by Jack Kornfield
          > Buddhist spiritual teacher and writer Jack Kornfield has created this top-drawer collection of 75 contemporary writers on wisdom, compassion, freedom, and enlightenment.
          > The above excerpt comes from "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg
          >
          > Antony: It is profound that inanimate objects are not lifeless but all have a story to tell. I used to think that such reflection was mental proliferation but I now think it is both an indirect and a direct path to insight especially when trying to overcome boredom and complacency.
          >
          > With metta / Antony.
          >
        • antony272b2
          Dear Tep, Yes I haven t found anything in the Pali Canon about thinking of the universe of interconnectedness in all objects. I think it is a Mahayana concept
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 13, 2012
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            Dear Tep,

            Yes I haven't found anything in the Pali Canon about thinking of the universe of interconnectedness in all objects. I think it is a Mahayana concept called interpenetration.

            One idea is that "looking below the surface of life" is a prompt for remembering all beings rather than drawing boundaries between parts of the world that are beings and parts that are inanimate.

            Thanks for the feedback!

            With metta / Antony.

            PS Are the rupas in the Pali Abhidhamma fundamental building blocks of matter or are they more than three-dimensional?

            --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "Tep Sastri" <tepsastri@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear Antony (and Sharon, others) -
            >
            > After reading the article "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg, I can't help wondering as follows:
            >
            > If we look down from the "surface of life" to the strata below, how many of them do we need to look before we become enlightened?
            > The spaghetti example involves many variables like the wheat farming that produce flour (for making noodles), the farmers and their families, the soil, air, rainfall, a host of environmental conditions, etc. Should we bring the whole universe of infinite galaxies and stars into the analysis as well? What for?
            >
            > The Buddha teaches the Dependent Origination that involves only eleven variables (avijja, sankhara, vinnana, nama-rupa, ..., birth and death) that are enough to understand the Noble Truths about dukkha and cessation of dukkha.
            >
            > "Both formerly & now, it is only dukkha that I describe, and the cessation of dukkha." [SN 22.86]
            >
            > Be well,
            >
            > Tep
            > ===
            > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "antony272b2" <antony272b@> wrote:
            > >
            > > "As long as we remain on the surface of life, everyone and everything seems to exist as isolated entities. But when we look below the surface, we see strata upon strata of dynamic interconnectedness. If we look to the greatest depth, Buddhism says, we will see a world where no one and no thing stands apart.
            > >
            > > A plate of spaghetti for dinner, for instance, isn't just a jumble of noodles to which we add tomato sauce. Those noodles have emerged out of someone's labor in growing the wheat, their hopes and fears and dreams for their children, the soil and air and rainfall and sunlight that nurtured and supported the growth of that crop. These elements are themselves interactively affected by depletions in the ozone layer and by the loss of the Amazon rain forests, by global warming and by acid rain. A host of environmental degradations, neglectful industries, government regulations, and hopeful interventions are among the conditions giving rise to our plate of spaghetti.
            > >
            > > Included in our dinner as well are the efforts of those who shipped the wheat, and those who milled it, and the shopping we ourselves did the night before at our local neighborhood grocery store, kept open by the young proprietor's fearful obsession with a secure old age. Also included is the culinary history of Italy, where pasta became a staple, as well as that of China, where laborers on vast paddies were among the first to eat noodles.
            > >
            > > And still this is just a tiny part of the converging conditions. What about the conditions that affected our childhood food cravings, and then our lifelong eating habits? What about the latest board meeting concerning the advertising budget of the company that enticed us to buy their particular brand of pasta? Looking below the surface, we see revealed a world in which a single plate of spaghetti comes out of an entire universe of interconnectedness."
            > > http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/excerpts.php?id=20330
            > > From: The Buddha Is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom by Jack Kornfield
            > > Buddhist spiritual teacher and writer Jack Kornfield has created this top-drawer collection of 75 contemporary writers on wisdom, compassion, freedom, and enlightenment.
            > > The above excerpt comes from "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg
            > >
            > > Antony: It is profound that inanimate objects are not lifeless but all have a story to tell. I used to think that such reflection was mental proliferation but I now think it is both an indirect and a direct path to insight especially when trying to overcome boredom and complacency.
            > >
            > > With metta / Antony.
            > >
            >
          • Tep Sastri
            Dear Antony and other members - ... It helps me reflecting on the Abidhamma ideas about materiality. In short, rupas in the Abhidhamma consists of the four
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 14, 2012
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              Dear Antony and other members -

              Thank you for asking the following question:

              >Antony: PS Are the rupas in the Pali Abhidhamma fundamental building blocks of matter or are they more than three-dimensional?

              It helps me reflecting on the Abidhamma ideas about materiality. In short, rupas in the Abhidhamma consists of the four great essentials (mahaabhuuta ruupa) and "material phenomena" derived from the four great essentials; they are known as upaadaaya ruupa).
              See Chapter VI, Compendium of Matter, of the "A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma" a translation of the Abhidhammattha Sa"ngaha by Mahaathera Naarada and Bhikkhu Bodhi.
              [Buddhist Publication Society, Sri Lanka, 2006. ISBN-13 978-955-24-0103-9]

              I guess they are intrinsic nature(sabhaava) and as such they are not describable as building blocks of matter or cognizable as three-dimensional (or higher).

              Regards,


              Tep
              ===
              --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "antony272b2" <antony272b@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Tep,
              >
              > Yes I haven't found anything in the Pali Canon about thinking of the universe of interconnectedness in all objects. I think it is a Mahayana concept called interpenetration.
              >
              > One idea is that "looking below the surface of life" is a prompt for remembering all beings rather than drawing boundaries between parts of the world that are beings and parts that are inanimate.
              >
              > Thanks for the feedback!
              >
              > With metta / Antony.
              >
              > PS Are the rupas in the Pali Abhidhamma fundamental building blocks of matter or are they more than three-dimensional?
              >
              > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "Tep Sastri" <tepsastri@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Dear Antony (and Sharon, others) -
              > >
              > > After reading the article "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg, I can't help wondering as follows:
              > >
              > > If we look down from the "surface of life" to the strata below, how many of them do we need to look before we become enlightened?
              > > The spaghetti example involves many variables like the wheat farming that produce flour (for making noodles), the farmers and their families, the soil, air, rainfall, a host of environmental conditions, etc. Should we bring the whole universe of infinite galaxies and stars into the analysis as well? What for?
              > >
              > > The Buddha teaches the Dependent Origination that involves only eleven variables (avijja, sankhara, vinnana, nama-rupa, ..., birth and death) that are enough to understand the Noble Truths about dukkha and cessation of dukkha.
              > >
              > > "Both formerly & now, it is only dukkha that I describe, and the cessation of dukkha." [SN 22.86]
              > >
              > > Be well,
              > >
              > > Tep
              > > ===
              > > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "antony272b2" <antony272b@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > "As long as we remain on the surface of life, everyone and everything seems to exist as isolated entities. But when we look below the surface, we see strata upon strata of dynamic interconnectedness. If we look to the greatest depth, Buddhism says, we will see a world where no one and no thing stands apart.
              > > >
              > > > A plate of spaghetti for dinner, for instance, isn't just a jumble of noodles to which we add tomato sauce. Those noodles have emerged out of someone's labor in growing the wheat, their hopes and fears and dreams for their children, the soil and air and rainfall and sunlight that nurtured and supported the growth of that crop. These elements are themselves interactively affected by depletions in the ozone layer and by the loss of the Amazon rain forests, by global warming and by acid rain. A host of environmental degradations, neglectful industries, government regulations, and hopeful interventions are among the conditions giving rise to our plate of spaghetti.
              > > >
              > > > Included in our dinner as well are the efforts of those who shipped the wheat, and those who milled it, and the shopping we ourselves did the night before at our local neighborhood grocery store, kept open by the young proprietor's fearful obsession with a secure old age. Also included is the culinary history of Italy, where pasta became a staple, as well as that of China, where laborers on vast paddies were among the first to eat noodles.
              > > >
              > > > And still this is just a tiny part of the converging conditions. What about the conditions that affected our childhood food cravings, and then our lifelong eating habits? What about the latest board meeting concerning the advertising budget of the company that enticed us to buy their particular brand of pasta? Looking below the surface, we see revealed a world in which a single plate of spaghetti comes out of an entire universe of interconnectedness."
              > > > http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/excerpts.php?id=20330
              > > > From: The Buddha Is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom by Jack Kornfield
              > > > Buddhist spiritual teacher and writer Jack Kornfield has created this top-drawer collection of 75 contemporary writers on wisdom, compassion, freedom, and enlightenment.
              > > > The above excerpt comes from "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg
              > > >
              > > > Antony: It is profound that inanimate objects are not lifeless but all have a story to tell. I used to think that such reflection was mental proliferation but I now think it is both an indirect and a direct path to insight especially when trying to overcome boredom and complacency.
              > > >
              > > > With metta / Antony.
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • antony272b2
              Hi Tep, Sharon W, all, Sorry about the tone of that post. I completely forgot about Hurricane Sandy, even though it got a lot of coverage on Australian TV. I
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 16, 2012
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                Hi Tep, Sharon W, all,

                Sorry about the tone of that post. I completely forgot about Hurricane Sandy, even though it got a lot of coverage on Australian TV. I decided not to watch the pain in New York.

                I forgot about the drought as well.

                With apologies / Antony.
                >
                > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "antony272b2" <antony272b@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi Tep, Sharon W, all,
                > >
                > > Here's some of what Thanissaro Bhikkhu had to say on this topic:
                > >
                > > "On an affective level, a sense of connectedness may relieve the pain of isolation, but when you look deeper, you have to agree with the Buddha that interconnectedness and interdependence lie at the essence of suffering. Take the weather, for instance. Last summer we had wonderful, balmy weather in San Diego — none of the oppressive heat that usually hits in August — and yet the same weather pattern brought virtually non-stop rain to southern Alaska, drought to the Northeast, and killer hurricanes with coffins floating out of their graves in North Carolina. Are we supposed to find happiness in identifying with a world like this? The suttas are often characterized as pessimistic in advocating release from samsara, but that's nothing compared to the pessimism inherent in the idea that staying interconnected is our only hope for happiness."
                > > http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/interview1.html
                > > From: A Question of Skill
                > > An Interview with Thanissaro Bhikkhu
                > > by Insight Magazine Online
                > >
                > > With metta / Antony.
                > >
                > > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "antony272b2" <antony272b@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Dear Tep,
                > > >
                > > > Yes I haven't found anything in the Pali Canon about thinking of the universe of interconnectedness in all objects. I think it is a Mahayana concept called interpenetration.
                > > >
                > > > One idea is that "looking below the surface of life" is a prompt for remembering all beings rather than drawing boundaries between parts of the world that are beings and parts that are inanimate.
                > > >
                > > > Thanks for the feedback!
                > > >
                > > > With metta / Antony.
                > > >
                > > > PS Are the rupas in the Pali Abhidhamma fundamental building blocks of matter or are they more than three-dimensional?
                > > >
                > > > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "Tep Sastri" <tepsastri@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > Dear Antony (and Sharon, others) -
                > > > >
                > > > > After reading the article "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg, I can't help wondering as follows:
                > > > >
                > > > > If we look down from the "surface of life" to the strata below, how many of them do we need to look before we become enlightened?
                > > > > The spaghetti example involves many variables like the wheat farming that produce flour (for making noodles), the farmers and their families, the soil, air, rainfall, a host of environmental conditions, etc. Should we bring the whole universe of infinite galaxies and stars into the analysis as well? What for?
                > > > >
                > > > > The Buddha teaches the Dependent Origination that involves only eleven variables (avijja, sankhara, vinnana, nama-rupa, ..., birth and death) that are enough to understand the Noble Truths about dukkha and cessation of dukkha.
                > > > >
                > > > > "Both formerly & now, it is only dukkha that I describe, and the cessation of dukkha." [SN 22.86]
                > > > >
                > > > > Be well,
                > > > >
                > > > > Tep
                > > > > ===
                > > > > --- In Buddhaviharas@yahoogroups.com, "antony272b2" <antony272b@> wrote:
                > > > > >
                > > > > > "As long as we remain on the surface of life, everyone and everything seems to exist as isolated entities. But when we look below the surface, we see strata upon strata of dynamic interconnectedness. If we look to the greatest depth, Buddhism says, we will see a world where no one and no thing stands apart.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > A plate of spaghetti for dinner, for instance, isn't just a jumble of noodles to which we add tomato sauce. Those noodles have emerged out of someone's labor in growing the wheat, their hopes and fears and dreams for their children, the soil and air and rainfall and sunlight that nurtured and supported the growth of that crop. These elements are themselves interactively affected by depletions in the ozone layer and by the loss of the Amazon rain forests, by global warming and by acid rain. A host of environmental degradations, neglectful industries, government regulations, and hopeful interventions are among the conditions giving rise to our plate of spaghetti.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Included in our dinner as well are the efforts of those who shipped the wheat, and those who milled it, and the shopping we ourselves did the night before at our local neighborhood grocery store, kept open by the young proprietor's fearful obsession with a secure old age. Also included is the culinary history of Italy, where pasta became a staple, as well as that of China, where laborers on vast paddies were among the first to eat noodles.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > And still this is just a tiny part of the converging conditions. What about the conditions that affected our childhood food cravings, and then our lifelong eating habits? What about the latest board meeting concerning the advertising budget of the company that enticed us to buy their particular brand of pasta? Looking below the surface, we see revealed a world in which a single plate of spaghetti comes out of an entire universe of interconnectedness."
                > > > > > http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/excerpts.php?id=20330
                > > > > > From: The Buddha Is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom by Jack Kornfield
                > > > > > Buddhist spiritual teacher and writer Jack Kornfield has created this top-drawer collection of 75 contemporary writers on wisdom, compassion, freedom, and enlightenment.
                > > > > > The above excerpt comes from "Faith" by Sharon Salzberg
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Antony: It is profound that inanimate objects are not lifeless but all have a story to tell. I used to think that such reflection was mental proliferation but I now think it is both an indirect and a direct path to insight especially when trying to overcome boredom and complacency.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > With metta / Antony.
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
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