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Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Reciprocal Nature, inter-being, interconnectedness, symbiotic, give and take….regardless of the language this concept is the foundation of everything. Without this universal principle, we would not exist. The reciprocal nature of the Universe is the living and breathing movement of the creative process. We know that we are always creating, and when I say we I mean all living things, whether intentionally or unintentionally. This creation sets in motion all that we see, and yes, even those things we can’t see. We are connected to one another through this very process. The great buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn called this connection inter-being. I can’t get the implication of that word out of my head. It cuts to the very core of what it means to be human, and so vividly explains how we are intertwined with one another. The very foundation of the universe is wrapped in the principle of reciprocity. This is more than an idea of give and take. It speaks to the power that I possess to create, and the power you possess to create. Our beliefs, thoughts, actions have power and are created in all that we see. But this creation does not occur in a vacuum. I do not create separate from you, or separate from all of life. Instead my creation is intertwined with everything. To understand the truth of this at its most basic level is to realize our responsibility to all things. Notice I didn’t say for all things, but to all things. Understanding our inter-being creates an awareness that what I give to the universe impacts not only me, not only you, but all of us. Wow! When we can fully grasp this, not just in our brains, but our whole being, we can begin to understand the magnitude of our connection. We can begin to understand the power of creating a world where empathy, belonging and connection are the norm. Where the decisions in my life support justice, peace, love, equality in the lives of others. Reciprocity does not say “I am going to give so I can get….I am going to take because there may not be enough….you get to have this but only if your can prove your worth”. Instead the principle of reciprocity says when we all bring what we have to the table, everyone is fed.

Rev. Ryan

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