Dharma Glimpse by Alison
Recently I met a Chinese speaking Buddhist community in Malvern. After this meeting I realised what I’d been missing. The uprootedness of continually having to leave behind my friends and familiar surroundings, such as when I left Asia after eight years of living there, had left an enormous hole I hadn’t even noticed until I found myself in another Asian community. Sometimes, when we shut out the pain of things taken from us, we can’t always see what causes the pain until we confront it again. I suddenly saw, in a flash, that what was needed to restore connection and to heal this gaping wound, was to begin building bridges. Bridges from ourselves to all the things of our heart.
In England, I find myself picking up all the pieces of my broken life and stitching them back together again. It’s a long and laborious process. I’ve been reminded that, in Japan, there is a tradition of restoring broken objects by putting gold into all the cracks of broken ceramics. This is known as Kintsugi. This has the effect of creating resilience and beauty. The cracks are the most prized parts – they are signs of growth; of hard lessons learnt; of journeys travelled; stories lived; of acquired wisdom through experience. The cracks are what make us resilient and more beautiful. The more cracks we have, the more resilient and beautiful we become.
After having moved about so much, I’m starting to think that perhaps it doesn’t matter whether I can return to all the places I’ve called home, but what matters most are the connections we make here and now. Separation requires connection to heal. What once used to be found by travelling far and wide can also be experienced in the here and now, if we simply remain open and receptive to what is here – right now. There exists the potential to bring the whole world into a single grain of sand. By stitching the past, present and future together we can find Wholeness. Wholeness in this moment now – right here. In order to help restore this Wholeness, we need to build bridges to the things of our heart. Restoring, reconnecting, recreating.
Picking up the broken pieces and stitching them together with golden thread, we can find a beautiful Whole, laced with strands of golden wisdom, beauty and resilience.
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