The theme of Connectedness brought hundreds of people to Kenchoji in Kamakura for the annual Zen 2.0 conference. In the opening session I told a story about a fire in my youth that left me with no material possessions but my guitar. Facing my vulnerability awakened me to the truth that I needed to restore broken connections in my life. These connections were revealed to me in this prayer:
Oh my god, YOU are here.
Oh my god, I am here.
Oh my god, WE are here.
YOU is the connection to god, the universe, or the mystery of life. I is the connection to a self. WE is the connection to other creatures.
The people gathered then spent the weekend exploring and cultivating these connections that sustain our lives.
Satoshi Ikeno and I spoke on "The light and shadow of the mindfulness boom -- thinking of the future," warning of the political, economic, and social aspects of the movement. We encouraged all of us involved to make mindfulness more than a tool for increasing the health and finances of a privileged few, instead making it a heartful, compassionate way of living with freedom and justice for all.