This is a song I wrote to help kids understand (and remind myself of) the interconnectedness of all things. If we look deeply, we can see all the causes and conditions that come together to produce an orange, a burrito, a sandwich, or anything else we're eating. The song is meant to be sung before a meal and it can also be discussed: "Where does our food come from? How does it get to our plate? Who grows it? What do vegetables or grains need to grow? How is bread made? How does food get to a store?" The questions and dialogue can go deep. Enjoy!
In October of 2015 I went to a week-long retreat at Deer Park Monastery, one of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Buddhist monasteries. One of the themes of the retreat was recognizing false perceptions, the notion that what we perceive is limited and, because it’s only a piece of the whole picture, usually wrong. The classic metaphor is a bunch of blind men touching an elephant, they all touch a different part of the animal and each think an elephant is something different. Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is, “Are you sure?”
I came home questioning everything and realizing just how judgmental I had been, even though I’d been studying this concept for nearly two decades.
I exclaimed to my wife: “You know. It’s crazy, I never thought I was judgmental, I just thought I was right!” It felt like such a radical realization.
I’m still laughing.Read More