I was told today that a long time resident of the retreat had a member of their family move on to the next stage of their journey. Her grandmother passed yesterday. While this is a passing and a farewell, the effect this person had on her life is intimately felt, as is the sorrow. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, the memory and effect of this person and their passing will be present for years to come.
The roots of a tree.
A spider’s web.
Rivers twisting towards the sea.
Everything on the planet is interconnected in some way. This concept has been explored more times than is truly worth noting from a variety of perspectives. Some would say that the mighty rule the weak, as in the animal world. Others would see every organism in the world as equals. How it is seen and how we react to it is a matter of perspective and path for most. As individuals, we each walk a personal path. That path includes the people and creatures we meet along the way. How we treat those meetings shades not only the world around us but also what kind of lens we view the world through.
In that regard, we could say that no one that enters our life truly leaves it. Everything from a simple smile on the street to a great love causes a ripple upon the pond of our life. These ripples extend out from the contact point, the primal cause, echoing forward and backward. When the ripples meet, other movement begins as cause and effect move back and forth. For good or ill, every move we make, every footstep along the path is governed by connection.
For this reason, many monks and devotees will move into a hermitage. They remove themselves from the greater pond and begin to travel along less used pathways, seeking the reflection in the still water. The hope is that this reflection will be the truest view of us within the current world. Others will submerge themselves within the roll and boil of life, watching our the links between them and the world play out, watching the ripples connect and bounce. In the end, it is a personal choice and a journey.