on the dharma shelf | december 2017


Image result for quotation marksIn our very bodies, hearts, and minds we are programmed to be in relationship and community together.

Breaking together means, when community gets tough, we can feel how much difficulty, pain, and suffering there is in the community. We break together because none of us wishes to add one more drop of suffering to this world that already suffer so greatly. And we break together to continue, from the sum of our individual selves, to create a larger whole that all of us can be a part of and contribute to — a larger whole whose only destiny is evolution, becoming ever more fully human.

In this way, we aspire toward freedom in the mist of the many forms of suffering, in the mist of the first noble truth. We may not be able to become fully awake in this lifetime. We may not be able to create a perfect, enlightened world irb.larryyang.jpgn this lifetime. But we will create a better world now when we honor the diversity of our differences, tend, care, and restore ourselves when injury and harm are  inflicted, and humbly bridge and connect across our irreconcilable perspectives.

Peace begins with these efforts of dialogue, kindness, and staying in relationship—when we are able to break together, when we are able to shift our consciousness and live in our differences together, and when we are able to awaken together.

When we work with people who hold different views and come from different life experiences, change often takes longer than we think it should, longer than we think is necessary and includes more contradictions than we would like to deal with. Most of all the work of creating community is not about what we think or what we prefer it is about how we treat one another and how we are with each other.

Larry Yang | p. 187


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