Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Sunday 15 February 2009

Pilgrim sites: communication without words

What are the eight great places of Buddhist pilgrimage we are visiting, telling me? How can I better phrase it than the great Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, who wrote in 1935: "I once had gone on a visit to Bodh Gaya, and it had thrilled me to think that he who hallowed the earth by the touch of his feet had once come to that very place in the flesh. Why, had I thought with a pang, had I not been born in this day, that I might have received his holy influence directly with all my mind and all my body." Visiting the sites on which between 500 BC and 1200 AD stupas and temples were build, reminds me also of the Teachings: developing a strong sense of compassion, responsibility and concern, cultivating sensitivity and sharing, developing deeper human insight, refraining from violence, engaging in social action that benefits society. In many places there is only a few hours electricity; our mobiles don't work; the beds in the viharas are hard; there is little water; we have to cook ourselves; the roads are dusty and full of pot holes; everywhere beggars flock - almost aggressively - around us: a training in patience and compassion. In the end helping to make the earth a better place by "living" the sustainability ethics, serves our own happiness.

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