Our symbiotic dependence


Is this the meaning of dependent origination?

All things being dependent on causes and conditions, and none of which arising or existing without the other. Which in my view illustrates the symbiosis we all have not only with each other, but all living things. This includes human, animal, plants, and things which are seen and unseen. Yet how easily most of us stumble along in our daily lives without a deeper understanding of this dependence. Without the respect and gratitude for all that constitutes this life and the perception of it. And I use the word perception because that is the key to realizing that our eyes, ears, and thoughts are constantly combining and changing to form our own perceived reality; one that would not exist were it not for all other life. And clearly we can all begin to see that these perceptions are impermanent. Not having one thought or emotion that sits with us without changing and evolving. And therein lies our opportunity for wholesome intention and volition (Cetanā). This is where kamma (karma) generates as either light or dark kamma and offers us the chance to be liberated from samsara. Samsara being the repeating cycle of experiences that we each must relive over and over until we become wise enough and skillful enough to break free of them.
And don’t most of us often feel like we have relived so many of our struggles over and over in this lifetime? The very same ones with children, friendships, partners, finances, religion and so many more.

Kamma, intention, volition, awareness and understanding, are all critical to one another as are all living things dependent on one another. More simply stated, there is no life or life experience without all other life. And this is really the profound connection that we share. When we support and encourage others in a loving way, we do this for the benefit of all life; fully conscious of our interconnectedness and symbiosis. And at the same time, perhaps you can see that none of this is yours or mine. Each of us like a tree, with roots in the earth that support us, and branches with leaves that will sprout and then fall away. And while that tree may grow strong and tall, it too will die and become apart of the earth which feeds all other life.

Right now, today, we each have the chance to move beyond the kamma that drives us and begin to develop and generate kamma that can take us beyond old habits and patterns. There is truly no need to wait for this, or expect more time on the cushion to develop this. One only needs clear awareness moment by moment, and the wisdom will come. And in this clarity, this moment, we have the instantaneous opportunity to use wholesome and skillful intention before we speak or act. Without judging good or bad, black or white, we begin to observe without judgement. And I see this as the beginning of enlightenment for each of us.