Andy's Headspace - Everything is connected
I remember walking in the grounds of the monastery late one night and experiencing this connection between one and the other in a very particular way. It was a clear night and, far away from any other buildings, the stars and the moon shone particularly bright. As I stood there staring at the moon, I was struck that, as beautiful as it appeared, it was nothing without the vast darkness that surrounded it. It was not the moon that was beautiful, but rather the context, its place in the world and how it was perceived.
It began a way of experiencing things which continued long into the next day, when nothing was seen in isolation and everything was seen as interdependent. Day was seen as nothing without night, the warmth as nothing without cold, the self as nothing without others, and, ultimately, life as nothing without death. All of these things are like two sides of one coin. We cannot experience one without the other and so both are equally precious.
This memory came back to me just recently when I was out taking some pictures in the countryside. A dead tree looked positively miserable on its own and yet, at the right angle, the branches provided the perfect frame for the brilliantly blue sky. Without the tree, there was nothing but blue, no depth, no contrast, no picture. One was nothing without the other.
It is easy to get down about things in life, to focus on one thing and to forget the other. But as long as we can learn to embrace both, to recognise that everything is interdependent, that nothing lives and appears in isolation, then we will always have a sense of perspective in our life.