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Lions Roar : May 2013
Interdependence means we are continually interacting with the world around us. This interaction works both ways—it is a mutual exchange. We are receiving, but also giving. Just as our presence on this planet is made possible by many factors, our presence here affects others in turn—other individuals, other communities, and the planet itself. Over the past century, we humans have developed very dan- gerous capabilities. We have created machines endowed with tremendous power. With the technology available now, we could cut down all the trees on the planet. But if we did so, we could not expect life to go on as before, except without trees. Because of our fundamental interdependence, we would all experience the consequences of such actions very quickly. Without any trees, there would not be enough oxygen in our atmosphere to sustain human life. You may wonder what this has to do with the choices we make and how we live our life. That is simple: We all need to take inter- dependence into account because it influences our life directly and profoundly. In order to have a happy life, we must take an active interest in the sources of our happiness. Our environment and the people we share it with are the main sources of our sustenance and well-being. In order to ensure our own happiness, we have to respect and care about the happiness of others. We can see this in something as simple as the way we treat the people who prepare our food. When we treat them well and look after their needs, only then can we reasonably expect them to take pains to prepare something healthy and tasty for us to eat. When we have respect for others and take an interest in their flourishing, we ourselves flourish. This can be seen in business as well. When customers have more money to spend, businesses do better. If we wish to flourish individually and together as a soci- ety, it is not enough for us to simply acknowledge the obvious interdependence of the world we live in. We must consider its implications, and reflect on the conditions for our own welfare. Where do our oxygen and food and material goods come from, and how are they produced? Are these sources sustainable? Relating to Reality Looking at your experience from the perspectives of emptiness and interdependence might entail a significant shift in how you understand your life. My hope is that this shift can benefit you in practical terms. Gaining a new understanding of the forces at work in your life can be a first step toward relating positively to them. My purpose in raising these issues is certainly not to terrify you by confronting you with harsh reality. For example, I have noticed that some people are uncomfortable when they are told that change is a fundamental part of life, or that nothing lasts forever. Yet impermanence is just a basic fact of our existence—it is neither good nor bad in itself. There is certainly nothing to gain by denying it. In fact, when we face impermanence wisely, we have an opportunity to cultivate a more constructive way of Mind Whispering: A New Path to Freedom from Self-Defeating Emotional Habits with Dan Goleman & Tara Bennett-Goleman May 11, Minneapolis, MN Tergar Practice Retreats West Coast Summer Retreat with Tim Olmsted July 19 – 25, Portland, OR Midwest Summer Retreat with Myoshin Kelley August 9 – 16, Marathon City, WI Europe Summer Retreat with Myoshin Kelley & Antonia Sumbundu August 26 – 31, Denmark Visit our website for Mingyur Rinpoche’s centers and upcoming programs in the U.S. Mexico, Canada, Europe, Africa, and South America. Visit learning.tergar.org for a free intro to meditation course, monthly video teachings by Mingyur Rinpoche, community forums, and more. Under the guidance of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche Tergar www.tergar.org 2013 TERGAR EVENTS Myoshin Kelley Tim Olmsted Tara Bennett- Goleman Dan Goleman SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2013 25