COMMON GROUND

Be Well Be Happy
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In the diversity that seems to be at the forefront these days, I find it important to speak about a common ground that could be unifying through the diversity. The phrase “common ground” resonated with me during a recent conversation with a yogini (a yogini is a term nowadays for a female who practices yoga). She was upset about the extremes of things and why people have to be so adamantly extreme. “Where is the common ground?” she asked. 

I often thought about a thread that binds us as human beings, as living beings. What is it? What is the thread that binds us? I come to understand that it is life itself. Not the mind, not intelligence, not religious, social, political affiliation, but the fact that we are living. If we look at it that way, we would greatly respect every single human being on our planet, every single animal on our planet, every single plant and organism on our planet. And respecting to me means a certain amount of understanding. With that understanding we can let go of the criticism and start talking about solutions—moving forward. 

Thinking about and finding the common ground in our families, our social lives, our spiritual practices or religions, our politics. This is what has been called “diplomacy.”  Nowadays, we witness the breakdown of common decency, the value of life itself, the respect for all that is living, the understanding of what is important in life. I am saddened by some people’s dismissal of atrocities. And I wonder, “Where do we go from here?” “Don’t people care?” The answer does not lie in the mind and intelligence. The way to get people to care is through the common ground of life—the heartspace that brings us together in commonality at birth, celebrations through life and death. 

During this annual season of light, I invite you to reflect on the teachings of the Dalai Lama, who puts in perspective how to live simply in peace and harmony. Simply is the key word for me as it seems as if everything is so complicated on a daily basis. Maybe the answer is to get down to basics. Love. Respect. Kindness. Compassion. Understanding. Generosity.  Selflessness. Empathy. Happiness. Joy. Peace…and finding a way to deal with and dissolve anger and hatred in our world.

As hard as it may be sometimes, I am extending the intention of light to all—even those who greatly differ and in my view undermine our basic human existence—so that all can come together in peace and harmony. 

May the thread that binds us bring an elevated understanding that we are all one, here on this earth for a short time and we have in common the need to do great things. “To do great things” means doing great for the sustenance of human, animal and plant life, and doing great to live peacefully and lovingly. 

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace.

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