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Aristotle said that in order for people to become virtuous, we need role models—others who have developed their capacities for courage, self-control, wisdom, and justice. We may emphasize different sets of virtues or ideas about what makes a proper role model, but Buddhism also asserts that, as we are all connected and interdependent, none of us can do it all on our own.

Acknowledging this dependency is the first step of real emotional work within relationships. Our ambivalence about our own needs and dependency gets stirred up in all kinds of relationships. We cannot escape our feelings and needs and desires if we are going to be in relationships with others. To be in relationships is to feel our vulnerability in relation to other people who are unpredictable, and in circumstances that are intrinsically uncontrollable and unreliable.

When self-centeredness comes to an end, we discover not that our “self” has ceased to exist but that the self is not what we thought. The self is no longer an inner sanctum of private experience or a narrow set of personal needs or expectations. Our world is our self, rather than our self being our world. Rather than constantly trying to impose our self onto life, we realize that all of life is who and what we are. Or, as Dogen put it: “To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening.

earthdrop
Down the Drain

Only flush the toilet if you need to. It’s staggering how much water we would save if we flushed 2 times fewer a day. In the US alone, that would be (on average) 5 gallons per flush times 2 flushes times approximately 306,000,000 which equals over 3 billion gallons of water per day. That’s a lot of water! On a more personal level, in the average US household (of 2.5 people), that would be 25 gallons per day and 9,125 gallons a year. Small things can really add up. Cheaper water bills and more fresh water on the planet to…

by David

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