A Healing Moment, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, April 1997
The day after our meditation for peace on the 7th of the month anniversary of the dropping of the bomb in Hiroshima, I was walking down the path near the dining hall when I saw one of the Japanese women I had sat and meditated with the previous evening. A thought passed through my mind – ‘make a connection with her’. Following the thought, I stopped, smiled, bowed at the waist and expressed my pleasure in being with her and her friends the previous night. Then, before I could edit my thoughts and words, I continued with an apology for what America did to her country.
Still looking directly into my eyes, she took my hand into her two hands, smiled, and said, “And we are all one.” I could not move! The world stopped and expanded time for me. And even now, as I sit here and write this story to you, I feel chills throughout my body. She spoke a deep truth.
We are all one. How could I have ever felt alone? How could I have lived my life not being aware of these deep connections between people? How could I have felt isolated and powerless? I laugh now at how I have been walking around appearing awake. There are many of us sleepwalkers. Why would I think I am any different? There is so much pain that arises for me around being alone, not included, separate, different. If I am really connected to everyone and everything, then I am never alone and their pain is my pain. The bomb physically landed in Japan and I too was and am affected by that decision.
In Judaism we are taught to remember and never forget. I see this as remember the past and let that affect how you do not forget. We must act on the idea that this will not happen again. And what does that act look like? I will move forward and then I will understand. Everything I do affects someone else somewhere. If not now, when?