Thinking of You

Thinking of You

by Jeffrey Brooks

From a distance we can see how things fit together. From a mountaintop we can see roads connecting towns and cities, the sky, and the land rolling out beneath it.

From a distance the people we know look different. We see the ones we love with even more tenderness. We wonder about people we have hardly paid attention to before; about what they want and how they feel, what they have done, what they learned and what they think will happen next. And the people who caused us trouble, whose presence we felt as an affliction now seem to have no power at all.

It’s easier to let go of our grievances from a distance. In a movie, when the character looks down from heaven or from death or from the afterlife we see the world, through their eyes, from a distance. It is moving. The distance releases us from the narrow concerns of self interest and we feel uplifted and relaxed and we have to smile at the petty things that concern us so much day to day.

We see a painting of a mountain landscape framed in the foreground by the graceful arc of a blossoming cherry tree. We are reminded to look at the vast interrelationship between things, as we notice the beauty of what is close.

We see a painting of a luminous hillside framed by an arched window and the graceful shoulder of a girl.

Something feels good to us when we see our world from a distance. It’s like looking back over your life, after you have lived it. Or some of it. Or most of it. It looks different.

People go to the mountaintop for a reason. We need to overcome gravity to do it. It takes an act of will.

We need to actually do it; we cannot watch someone do it or hear about someone doing it, and expect the same result.

As we train ourselves in bodhicitta – the feeling of deep compassion for the suffering of beings which leads us to take responsibility to reach Buddhahood to save them – we learn to see the vast interdependence of things, from a distance as well as from up close.

As we train ourselves in wisdom we learn to see things and people and our own hearts and minds as inseparable from each other, inseparable from what we think, say and do,  inseparable from what we have done and from what we will do and from every one we ever knew or will know or will never know.

This gives us the freedom to do right and to work hard for the sake of others and to free ourselves and them from suffering and ignorance and loneliness.

We get a taste of this in the way the world looks from a mountaintop, in friendship, in family life, in brotherhood, in parenthood, in making someone else feel happy even for a moment, in forgetting grudges and forgiving fools.

We have all come so close so many times. But it’s easier to see from a distance.

2 Comments »

  1. ana sanchez said,

    June 17, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    i wll read this over and over untill the concept of interconectedness is semented in me. i need to learn to let go and forget grudges

  2. Administrator said,

    June 17, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    Hi, Ana,
    Reminding yourself of the interconnectedness will definitely help! Giving yourself Reiki every day, and share it with others when you can will help, too – then you’ll gain more and more of the calm that helps distractions fade. Then you’ll begin to feel the interconnectedness first-hand and it will be something that isn’t just an idea for you, but something you can remind yourself of, because you’ll be feeling it more often. And also remember to be kind to yourself, too – do your Reiki practice and give yourself gentle reminders, and just let everything fall into place on its own. No need to force that, either.

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