I recently watched the HBO documentary “The Latin Explosion: A New America.” What an inspiring story about how people can come together. Watching that moved me to reflect on how the Latin influence of salsa music and dance, that was my introduction to dance, changed the life I live in so many profound ways. It moved me to reflect on how the struggle through art to bring out the best in themselves by a singled-out group of people brought about such interconnectedness to the entire world. It also moved me to reflect on how people as a whole can use their struggles to bring them closer together in sharing peace and loving Life – not their life, your life, or my life – but Life.
If you haven’t done so, I would suggest that you visit a salsa club, even if only to observe . If you go to a popular salsa club, you will see people from all over the world dancing together and having fun. In fact, it is common for DJs to call out countries of people who are in attendance. And there is no discrimination among countries.
If we can do it there, we can do it everywhere: It being enjoying peace and celebrating the beauty of loving life with our fellow humans. There is a primal part of us that is tribalistic and easily reacts with fear, distrust, and anger. Yet there is a deeper part of us that was born from the same stardust, that recognizes our own essence in our brothers and sisters everywhere.
The vibrations of music, dance, and other forms of movement and art shakes us to our cores until we are all resonating on the same frequency like the universal recognition of a flower’s beauty. And when we do this, we recognize ourselves in others; they recognize us in them – And we know we are one with life.
We must approach life as art by looking deeper in to see deeper out with the wonder of a child’s new eyes filled with wonder, compassion, and trust. We must do this with wisdom through eyes that have seen violence and hatred carried out by people who are asleep; and on some level carried out by ourselves when we were and are asleep.
How do we help others awaken? We first awaken ourselves into the knowing of our interconnectedness, and keep that as our priority: that being that knowing on the deepest level that there is no us and them. There is only Life. We commit, and recommit as needed. Then we can see ourselves for who we really are – and only then can we see others for who they really are. This state of mindful awareness allows others to see us seeing them, and in turn helps them see themselves seeing us.
When there are people who seem unaffected by this, we must keep planting seeds, wondering about the parts of us that are like the parts of others we fear and distrust, keeping an open heart by offering our trust even after we have been hurt by the world; and know that we are making a difference that is not yet obvious to our doubtful eyes, and is all very clear to our loving hearts and inner eyes. This does not mean trying to convert others into our way of seeing life, but rather to keep on living as an example of a mindful, awakened being.
Surely we have to set relative boundaries at times to protect our bodies from the bodies postured to harm the bodies we embody. But do not think it is your your body you protect. Rather, think it is part of the body of life, as is the body of the the one moving with aggression and violence. Keep aiming toward peace, and peace will be the window from which you see the world – thankfully in large part to the beautiful storms that sculpt you into the work of art that you are, a Flower in the Field of Life.
Everything is connected