Yesterday a friend shared with me three questions Norman Fischer asked her Sangha to discuss in small groups on Zoom.

  1. What is the difference between inner and outer life?
  2. If there is a difference for you, what does the difference feel like?
  3. Again, if so, what would it be like to bring the two together?

I’m with these questions.  Considering them, I become porous, and there is no difference between in and out.  I think of the Pixar movie Inside Out.  How much of what we see and interpret comes from inside, not out?

This morning lying in bed I listened to birds as they chirped the morning to light.  I felt my skin touching in and reaching out, receiving and negotiating like an airport controller leading planes to land and take off.  

I visualized myself as an airport, wondering if planes have attachment to their hub, if they prefer gathering with other planes painted like them, or enjoy the diversity of different colors and patterns on planes.  Of course, planes aren’t “human”, and yet, what is this world in which we immerse?  What is our response to different colors and shapes?

Today I learn that on the International Space Station, experiments are being conducted with a fifth state of matter.  We know about gases, liquids, solids, and plasmas, but in a lab, 25 years ago, scientists created a fifth state of matter, Bose-Einstein Condensates.

According to LiveScience, “when a group of atoms is cooled to near absolute zero, the atoms begin to clump together, behaving as if they were one big “super-atom.””  This way to explore the quantum world is more easily explored in the microgravity environment aboard the ISS.  

What an exciting addition to all that’s happening here on earth.  

The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky said that “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”   Clearly, we in the U.S. have a long way to go, and yet, I’m inspired by Wendell Berry.

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go

we have come to our real journey.

– Wendell Berry

We’re in this together my friends as we welcome new ways of understanding and coming together as this fifth state of matter is explored.

Morning Sky – the moon is there too –

On the ridge

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