from the windows of the kitchen in our new home where i sit each morning for my daily meditation i can see the mountains in the distance. each day they have a different appearance. one morning the clouds were dark and flowed over them rapidly in our direction; another morning the pink glow of the new day peeked over them, bathing them in a beautiful light. this morning the peaks of some have disappeared in a mist, while others are barely visible. i am amazed that each day a new picture presents itself from the kitchen windows. the mountains are unchanged, yet their appearance is always different. how fortunate i and all others who look in the direction of the mountains are!
when i consider the beauty that presents itself each day, i am enveloped in a great peace. the mystery of nature's wonders is the deepest sort of religious experience. in the face of such an experience, all things seem possible: the elimination of poverty, hunger, and homelessness, the cessation of our inhumanity to one another, the end of prejudices and the persecution that flows from them, protection of our planet from the ravages of our greedy ill treatment. one wonders how our race can allow so many evils to continue when it is within our power to change. what is our motivation to harm others and the planet on which we live?
it seems to me that we are presented with two opposing visions of our purpose here. one vision promotes competition between us to control more and more, a constant striving to enrich oneself at the expense of others. the other sees us all in the same boat, needing to paddle in the same direction without any one of us striving for control of another's paddle as we all move in the same direction in a spirit of mutual cooperation. we have the ability to end the suffering caused by hatred, war, greed, and pride, to stop craving that which we do not need and to stop clinging to that which is not necessary for our existence. will we give up the quest for power and control and work together to end as much suffering as we can, or will we continue along the path that pits us against one another?
for me, the mountains are a silent testimony to the right course of action. the mountains make no deals, they do not strive for more and more. they simply are, gracing us with beauty that is fresh each morning. we can be like the mountains, content to be, new each moment yet somehow always the same. we can let go of our clinging and craving and, in so doing, allow suffering to dissipate for ourselves and others.
may we see our common humanity. may we let go of those things which cause suffering for ourselves and for others. may the struggle for power and control cease, as we embrace loving kindness and compassion. shalom.