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Today we went to Vulture Peak, the place where the Buddha first taught about emptiness: All things come to be in dependence upon other things. This is sometimes called "mutual interdependence."

Many things follow from this. All life is interdependent, nothing exists on its own or is isolated from other things. Nothing is permament and unchanging. All things that come to be pass away as well. It is futile to try to hold on to what is, to keep it from changing. What is now will pass away, and something else will arise. But everything that once was leaves its trace as well. It is all part of the whole.

As I write this, I think of a friend who has written to me about someone she knows who is dying of cancer. She is trying to find answers, to understand why her friend is dying even though so many people are praying for her. I have no answers, I just know that life is like this. But I try to remind her that today, her friend is still with her. I think about the people in my own life who have passed away... my father... Kathleen... . I see in my own life, today, that there are more than traces of their presence still remaining. They are still present to me. They are still Present.

The photo was taken on Vuture Peak from the spot where the Buddha taught. The mountains in the distance perfectly echoed the teachings.

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