“We are all connected; to each other biologically; to the earth chemically; to the universe atomically.” That’s from Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, author and Director of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC. His explanation is simple and to the point. It might be easy to miss how profound the idea is.
For much of human history we didn’t have this information. Mystics, shamans, and artists, of course, often tapped into this awareness and tried to convey their experience to others. Now we all have access to the facts. But how do we use that information to inform our lives?
Connectedness means we are all IN the circle of energy encompassing our planet and the universe. Nothing is out. When we tune into connectedness we experience the invisible threads weaving everyone and everything together, providing support, nurturing, and wisdom. There is no place that is not part of us. There is no place that is truly other.
Experiencing connectedness is not something we do intellectually, but we can use our intellect to point us in the right direction. We can direct our minds to contemplate the connections in our daily lives, simply holding the awareness of this network in our hearts.
Gardens and plants are an easy place to begin. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide; trees and other plants breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. That exchange and relationship is vital to life on the planet. A simple mindfulness practice is tuning into that awareness with each breath in meditation. We can then extend the practice throughout the day.
Another easy place to begin is with our food, stopping before we eat to acknowledge all the energies that brought food to our table. Millions of organisms create healthy soil. Pollinators and other helpful insects keep the plants strong. Sun and rain nurture the plants. Even in a backyard garden there are countless energies creating a web of interconnection which we usually take for granted. We can stop and contemplate those connections as we eat our food.
Connectedness is a fact. How do things change if we are aware of connectedness as we move through our lives? How does the world change if we know we are all connected?