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This spider web is a snapshot of how I see my life. Which I guess makes me the spider, at the centre…? Not my favourite self-image! But nonetheless more accurate than not. A spider builds her web, however — she doesn’t inherit it. It’s not created by the interactions of other beings (although the rips & tears certainly are).

No, a spider weaves her own web: connecting radials with spider silk, orb weavers create the iconic polygonal web we associate w/ Charlotte, and other arachnids.

Maybe atomic physics is a better metaphor for the Buddhist life, connected as I feel to every breath ever taken. There are invisible lines of energy, I’m quite certain, between us all. And the breath, of course….The breath is the glue. The force. The thingie that makes it all happen. In Sanskrit, the word is pranalife force. In Chinese, the word is qi — also life force.

So when I say to a friend, as I did today, that “the heart of my spiritual life is a belief in the connection between all things,” I am saying I believe this literally. Not simply as a metaphor, but that the Saiga antelope that died this spring (tens of thousands) are US. We have breathed the same air, we have slept beneath the same sky. We are the same stardust. To me? That’s a sacred connection. One we all need to remember.

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