All humans are a reflection of the cosmic reality. Buddhist intellectuals repeatedly point out the Universal Mind and Universal Form is distinct. This distinction of Mind and Body in the human being has to be realised through meditation. Achieving this distinction is one of the marks of enlightenment.
Modern Science acknowledges this distinction but sees the two aspects of mind and body as different from each other.
Interbeing is one of the seals of the Buddha. Interbeing is the concept that the reality of the universe is inter-penetrating. Each aspect of reality is simply a reflection of all the other realities in the world present and past. This is illustrated with the Indra`s Net. The Indra’s Net is a huge net where each node is a diamond. This diamond reflects all the other diamonds in the net.
In this same way the body reflects the mind. Within the body, the elements of the body reflect the other elements. The elements of the body are Earth, Water, Fire and Air. We might think for example, how does earth reflect water? Are they not different?
The earth element in the body comes from the food that we eat. The food that we eat is produced in the Farm. Take rice as an example, It needs paddy seeds to start as a plant, the plant needs water to live, Air to breathe in carbon dioxide that becomes carbohydrates, Then it needs light for photosynthesis, the light comes from the sun which is a ball of fire, finally the earth to stand on and get minerals from. If we remove the water, there is no rice, if we remove air, there is no rice and if we remove the light there is no rice.
So in essence the rice we eat is a diamond on the Indra`s net reflecting all realities.
Can we extend the rice in time and relationship to humans to see the mind element? The intention of the farmer to grow rice than other crops. The Farmer`s father and mother who had taken care of the farmer as a child and watched him grow. The farmer works for 6 months on the crop, so the food and medicines he has taken are reflected in the rice. The farmer sells to the businessman who uses his money to buy and they sell through a process by which the rice reaches your plate. Even the loadman who had picked the rice bags in the godown is reflected. The loadman’s family, his needs and difficulties.
So the rice is also a reflection of the mind and it is reflecting all other realities.
Now that we know the preciousness of the grain of rice, can we say a prayer to the Universe and its personification as God? Can we say thanks to the cloud that brought the rain from the distant sea to the farmers field? Can we say thanks to the farmer and his parents? Can we be grateful when we eat? That will be a good start.
The Buddha has given a simple solution when satisfying hunger. He says and I paraphrase “I shall eat till hunger is satisfied and not more which will cause a new sensation of over eating” What this means is that we have to eat just enough to satisfy and not more than that.
If we put together the concepts of Indra`s net and the Buddha`s stipulation that we must eat just right we can reach a simple conclusion. Food and all products are derived from the Universe and the process they come through is tough and precious. We must just take enough to satisfy our need and not for our greed.
May all beings be happy.
-By Mr. Srinivasan Reddy