I am astonished to see a sharp-shinned hawk alight in our back yard. I assume the raptor dropped its prey from the juniper above and desires to retrieve it. As I gently move toward the bird, it gives me a wary look with steel-like eyes until recognizing I am not a threat. The hawk relaxes, and we share a few more moments wordlessly experiencing some kind of interspecies agreement.

This agreement says something about natural rhythms, the wildness we share—something my species seems to forget. Engaging in non-verbal communication with this winged predator, I touch upon something that keeps me insulated from my animal heritage. I have a compelling urge to fly with the hawk, to soar high in the sky while gazing down on a single integrated planet. The view from above brings everything together.

I think this is what Buddha saw in the spaciousness of his own mind—a view from above. He recognized the interconnection of all things and experienced boundless love for all beings equally. On the other hand, when we experience a disconnect from the natural mind and develop a myopic human-centered view, we lose perspective and inevitably cause harm to all species. Buddha understood that a disconnect from wildness is what causes suffering on the earth.

It is important to remember our wild nature, free from an ego-centered point of view. This reminds me of Henry David Thoreau’s simple statement in his essay “Walking”:
“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

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