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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
45 summer 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly It’s not necessarily common understanding that one needs to fix the healthcare system, for example. The understanding is more widespread than it was, and the suffering of people is more widespread than it was, so it’s sort of a wake-up call. But there are many people who don’t understand that we are interconnected, and that someone else’s difficulty and pain reflects back on the quality of our own lives. We could propagate the idea of interconnectedness at times like these, and that doesn’t have to mean we are propagating Buddhism. The fact that we’re all interconnected and that our choices are interconnected is not a Buddhist idea alone. It is simply a values-based vision of life. It also just happens to be true. John TarranT: David Patterson, the governor of New York, said something the other day about the other plane crash, the one in Buffalo, where everyone died. He said, “We’re all con- nected, and we find out how connected we are on days like this. We try to love our neighbors as we would love ourselves, but today we love our neighbors because we realize they are ourselves.” You can’t get much more of a Buddhist statement than that. buDDhaDharma: The Patterson quote could have come from the Dhammapada. Sharon SaLzberg: Yes, it could have. buDDhaDharma: But isn’t it practice that gives one a more sustained discovery of interconnectedness that goes beyond the intellectual notion, something that would have a more profound effect on how we work with money and economy for example? Sharon SaLzberg: Definitely. The practice of insight is seeing things as they are, and that’s very compelling, but I’m also fascinated by even the intellectual understanding out there, and frankly it’s sometimes quite visceral, foundational. There seem to be many openings today, because we live in a time when you can’t so easily believe that what you do over there will stay over there rather than filter back to what’s happen- ing over here. The financial crisis, global warming—these are www.PHotosfroMtHedePtHs.coM