Daily Practice (6-20-23)

Good morning friends — I’m reading a collection of poems titled “How To Love The World” (James Crews). The title itself has become my daily practice for now. It is one of the essential religious questions, at the edge of learning and growth. It seems that the more we know, or think we know, the harder it is to love the world. The “facts” are not very encouraging. 

Buddhist teachings have addressed this question for centuries. They teach that what we call the ego – a major part of how we interact with and interpret the world – is biased according to its own needs. The ego in each of us interprets information to satisfy its limited needs and ignores everything else. This “ignorance” is the source of our suffering, they say, and suffering makes it hard to love the world. It takes a courageous outlook to “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ignorance.”  

I’m learning that daily practice is simply a way to try to love the world, every day, over and over again. It is a way to step aside from the ego, a little bit (though whether or not we are ever successful at that I do not know), and let ourselves be present to what is true and real in the moment, starting with breath, air, light, sky, earth, living and dying. Most days, I don’t have a good answer for how to love the world, but almost every day I am convinced that it is worth trying, worth the effort. And I’m pretty sure it can only be done by loving one thing at a time – one thing, and then another, and then perhaps another.  Here in this small part of earth, where clouds move over the hills and the air is cool, I begin again by sending love to you all —  Jill