Indra’s Net (The Universe in a veggie omelet)

I often forget to be grateful. There are so many things that I take for granted in my daily life. And, then are times that my simple gratitude seems insufficient. I’m grateful for the reminder today.

I had a simple but meaningful reminder a while ago about my relationship to the Universe and All that is. I was enjoying a great veggie omelet at one of my favorite breakfast places. I started contemplating all the people who made that little omelet possible. I’m no mathematician but I was reminded to feel grateful to perhaps millions of people for that omelet. Yes, you read that correctly, I think it’s probable that millions of people contributed to me having that omelet this morning.

Think about it….the veggies and eggs came from farms. The farms, veggies, and animals were tended by people. The farms were constructed by people and every board and nail was made, transported, and used by people. And, all those people ate food (produced by others) and lived in homes (produced by others) and wore clothes (produced by people) and bought products (produced by people) and used public utilities/infrastructure (produced by people). Then there were the people who transported the veggies & eggs to a store…all the people related to the construction, operation, and use of the store…then to the restaurant and its building, owners & wait staff. Then there are all the people connected to me, my material life, and my work life who provided me the resources to buy this awesome veggie omelet. And, then there are all the creatures who contributed to the whole process from micro-organisms to chickens to water buffalo in Asia pulling carts full of bamboo used for the cutting board in the restaurant kitchen.

We go through our lives feeling so alone which is as far from the truth as we could possibly be. It is wonderful to remember to feel gratitude for all those Beings who are crucial aspects of our existence.

“Indra’s Net” is a Buddhist story that beautifully illustrates our interconnectedness. Here’s the essence articulated by Alan Watts:

“Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image.”        

~ Alan Watts


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