According to the teachings of the Buddha, at least in the Mahayana movement, form is emptiness and emptiness is form.

Empty, in the sense of being filled with the non-existing of a permanent, independent, inherently existing, unchanging entity or identity.

The same is true for sensations, thoughts, impulses and consciousness.

Walking around Ithaca yesterday, I couldn’t contemplate transcendent wisdom any more than I could contemplate the state of the nation.  I’ve long avoided politics in a fashion similar to Buddhism avoiding theism-being non-political and non-theistic has been my traditional stance.

Yet of course here in the United States, I got my voter registration information up-to-date yesterday.  Yes elections sadden me, as do gray days in Ithaca.

But something I’ve mused as I keep finding my footing in this country is that I do have faith in something nonetheless.  When I really accepted in this pandemic that there’s no jetting to Europe, no jetting to Asia, no jetting to Central and South America, and no going anywhere, I’ve been able to pause and remember seeds of these teachings as they play out in a larger world.

I want to say that I do have faith in the American people.  Despite shortcomings, despite tragedy and loss in history.  Regardless of election results, I trust in an intelligence at work.  I trust in the minds of individuals here to keep learning and unfolding emptiness and work to yield to these profound truths to help free all beings, undo harm, and ultimately cast the visions for a better collective world.

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Shayna Grajo