Meditation: recognizing the mandala of existence

Life is a mandala: a manifestation of myriad components. Each nanosecond is an arising of a plethora of factors; each emotion, thought, memory, belief, craving, avoidance, snowflake or breeze as well. Everything, every experience, from the most unrecognized subtle to the seemingly obvious are all demonstrations of multiple rubrics of causation and conditioned conditioning that display as one’s experience through one’s linked set of causative perceptions.

The chai I just made is. It is a collection of particular spices, type of milk and honey, temperature of them plus the amounts of each, but also the one cup used habitually, the smells of the layered combination, the emotional preferences that want chai rather than a fruit or mint tea, the result of lucidity in common mental processes due to a little caffeine, the honey, and the spices.

But this is not enough to recognize of the chai moment. The cinnamon is from Saigon, thus Vietnam, and the farmers of Vietnam regrowing their lives, fields, and culture after napalm and war, birth defects from Agent Orange, French colonization, American pummeling, and communism arising. The black pepper is from Pakistan, another war-torn country, basically created by division in religious understandings. The coconut cream and coconut milk is from southeast Asia, probably from Vietnam again. So, in sharing the karma of the USA, my cream and milk are likely laced with napalm and Agent Orange. If so, may pollution and emotional affliction be removed from our collective human experience so that we all can move forward together in understanding and acknowledgement.

Then there’s the method of transportation for each of these -petroleum based in all regards-, the water from my well which comes from the mountains and the Oglala Aquifer, the electricity to heat the water in a hot-kettle and the propane to heat the milk. And, all of these considerations are only the surface of the cup of chai. I love chai because of my Indian-Himalayan past lives.Himalayan salt is the only salt used in my kitchen for the same reason. I resonate with Vietnamese cinnamon because of Theravada lives there.

Mandala. Every second of our lives is a mandala.

About Donna Mitchell-Moniak

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