by Thich Nhat Hanh: Your Ultimate Reality: No Death, No Fear

Dear Mother Earth,You were born from the dust of distant supernovas and ancient stars. Your manifestation is but a continuation and when you cease to exist in this current form you too will continue in another. Your true nature is the ultimate dimension of reality—the nature of no-coming and no-going, no-birth and no-death. This is also our true nature. If we’re able to touch this we can experience the peace and freedom of non-fear.And yet, because of our limited view, we still wonder what will happen to us when our physical form disintegrates. When we die, we merely return to you. You have given birth to us in the past, and we know that you will continue to give birth to us time and time again in the future. We know we can never die. Each time we manifest, we’re fresh and new; each time we return to the Earth, you receive and embrace us with great compassion. We promise to train ourselves to look deeply, to see and touch this truth—that our lifespan is your lifespan, and your lifespan is limitless.We know that the ultimate and the historical—the noumenal and the phenomenal—are two dimensions of the same reality. Touching the historical dimension—a leaf, a flower, a pebble, a beam of light, a mountain, a river, a bird, or our own body—we can touch the ultimate. When we deeply touch the one, we touch the all. This is interbeing.
Dear Mother, we vow to see you as our body, and to see the sun as our heart. We will train ourselves to recognize you and the sun in every cell of our body. We will find you both, Mother Earth and Father Sun, in each tender leaf, in each flash of lightning, in each drop of water. Diligently, we will practice to see the ultimate and realize our own true nature. We will practice to see that we have never been born and we will never die.We know that in the ultimate dimension there is no birth and no death, no being and no nonbeing, no suffering and no happiness, and no good and no evil. We will train ourselves to look deeply into the world of signs and appearances with the insight of interbeing, in order to see that if there were no death, there could be no birth; without suffering, there could be no happiness; without the mud, the lotus can’t grow. We know that happiness and suffering, birth and death, lean on each other. These pairs of opposites are only concepts. When we transcend these dualistic views of reality, we’re freed from all anxiety and fear.Touching the ultimate we’re happy and at ease—we’re in our element, free from all notions and concepts. We’re as free as a bird soaring in the sky, as free as a deer leaping through the woods. Living deeply in mindfulness, we touch our true nature of interdependence and interbeing. We know we are one with you and with the whole cosmos. The ultimate reality transcends all notions and concepts. It can’t be described as personal or impersonal, material or spiritual, nor as the object or subject of mind. Ultimate reality is always shining and shining on itself. We don’t need to look for the ultimate outside of ourselves. We touch the ultimate in the very here and now. 

Father Sun, My Heart

Dear Father Sun,Your infinite light is the nourishing source of all species. You are our sun, our source of limitless light and life. Your light shines upon Mother Earth offering us warmth and beauty, helping Mother Earth to nourish us and make life possible for all species. Looking deeply into Mother Earth, I see you in Mother Earth. You aren’t only in the sky but you are also ever-present in Mother Earth and in me.Every morning, you manifest from the East, a glorious rosy orb shining radiantly in the ten directions. You are the kindest of fathers with a great ability to understand and be compassionate, and yet at the same time you are incredibly bold and courageous. The light particles you radiate travel over 150 million kilometers from your immensely hot crown to reach us here on Earth in just over eight minutes. Every second you offer a small portion of yourself to the Earth in the form of light energy. You are present in every leaf, every flower, and every living cell. But day by day, your great physical mass of fusing plasma, 330,000 times the size of our Earth, is slowly diminishing. Within the next ten billion years most of it will transform into energy, radiating throughout the cosmos, and even though you will no longer be visible in your present form, you will be continued in every photon you have emitted. Nothing will be lost, only transformed.Dear Father, your creative synergy with Mother Earth makes life possible. Mother’s slight tilt in her orbit offers us the four extraordinary seasons. Her miracle of photosynthesis harnesses your energy and creates oxygen for the atmosphere to protect us from your blazing ultraviolet radiation. Over the eons, Mother has skillfully harvested and stored your sunlight to sustain her children and enhance her beauty. Birds can enjoy soaring through the sky and deer can enjoy darting through the woods because of your creative harmony with Mother Earth. Each species can delight in its element thanks to your nourishing light and the miraculous canopy of the atmosphere embracing, protecting, and nurturing us all.There is a heart inside of each and every one of us. If our heart were to stop beating, then we would die instantly. But when we look up toward the sky, we know that you, Father Sun, are also our heart. You aren’t just outside of this tiny body of ours, you are within every cell of our body, and the body of Mother Earth.Dear Father, you are an integral part of the whole cosmos and our solar system. If you were to disappear, then our life, as well as that of Mother Earth, would also end. I aspire to look deeply to see you, Father Sun, as my heart, and to see the interrelationship, the interbeing nature between Father Sun, Mother Earth, myself, and all beings. I aspire to practice to love Mother Earth, Father Sun, and for human beings to love one another with the radiant insight of nonduality and interbeing in order to help us transcend all kinds of discrimination, fear, jealousy, resentment, hatred, and despair. 

Source: Emergence Magazine