• Mindfulness of the

    World Interdependence Day!

    A Reflection by: Dr. Manijeh Motaghy

    If there isn’t a World Interdependence Day, there should be one! More and more, not only scientists
    and philosophers but also those who practice the art of reflection are becoming aware of how
    dependent we all are and everything in the world really is. Without something being there already
    something else doesn’t come about. For example, without the conditions of oppression and freedom
    from it, a national Independence Day would not have come about. Human life and life, in general, is
    really a mystery. Who knows why there are darkness and light in nature and within the human heart and
    mind? Viciousness and goodness have lived and worked side by side since the beginning of time.
    Perhaps without goodness viciousness would not exist and vice versa. I believe these kinds of thoughts
    are for philosophers to ponder on. As for me observing, seeing, and reflecting with an open mind helps me
    see this web of interdependence and suspend the reactive “know it all mind,” for however long that it can last.

    I was reflecting today about a small group of ants who showed up around the small trashcan near the
    tea/coffee area at our office. I suggested instead of killing them let’s just clean the area and most likely
    they will go out the same way they came in. In concept and practice, this is so that we don’t take the
    life of another precious being. Later, the ant situation gave rise to a clearer insight where I realized
    how everything that comes to be has a cause. Ants just like humans work hard for their livelihood.
    They have communities, teams, individual roles, and strengths. Their lives are structured with a
    surprising high intelligence and precision. What is interesting, to pay attention to, is how they run
    around and try to hide when danger threatens their lives. Their lives matter to them perhaps as much as
    our lives matter to us. And so if they are working to find food and we have some laying around, how
    can we blame them and judge them? Worse than that, kill them for trying to live their lives? When there
    are no traces or smells of eatables the scout ants leave and communicate with others there is nothing
    here.

    However, our minds have become closed to the bigger picture of interdependence, causes and effects
    and particularly our role in this universe. Closed to the fact that we impact the universe by mere
    breathing and by everything we think, choose, do, say and by the tone and intention of how we show up
    in life. This closed-mindedness is not a fault, rather a condition that has developed throughout the
    human history causing grand pain and suffering for humanity. Suffering is felt in the mind that is
    disconnected from the interdependence of all things. The mind becomes agitated, upset, afraid and
    unhappy.

    As we celebrate Independence Day perhaps we can expand the edges of our thoughts, perspectives and
    reality to reflect on how all beings, no matter how unsightly, vicious, dark, frightening or unskillful
    you think they are, also care for their existence, life and comfort. All non-beings (animate or inanimate)
    objects also come about as a result of something else being there first. An idea, a resource, an energy, a
    karma (actions with intention), must first be there for any being or non-being to come to life.

    Wishing you a safe and joyous 4th of July. Let us also celebrate and acknowledge a World Interdependence Day!

    With love,
    Manijeh