What I Learned on 9/11

LighthouseI originally posted this to my personal Facebook page yesterday evening, September 11th. Preserving and sharing it here as a reminder of that day:

14 years ago this night, I lit prayer candles on my street corner in Arlington, Virginia, mere blocks from the Pentagon, in vigil for the memory of those lost in the tragic events of 9/11. Earlier that day, after being wakened by the sound of a plane immediately overhead followed by quakes in the ground that shook the building and left cracks in my walls, I rushed outside to witness a thundering plume of smoke that lasted for hours and hours. When I ventured up the road on foot, I passed terrified women and men fleeing their workplaces, and soldiers in tanks with machine guns arming the streets, helicopters and ambulances racing to assist, and a vehicle quarantine of the area that would last a week. Experiencing the shock, sadness, and utter disbelief we all shared, as a nation and throughout the world, I stood there on that street corner watching cars go by in a quarantined parade of solidarity that spontaneously arose that evening, before the era of Facebook and so much “social media.” There were tears and there were cheers, loss and grief, pride and shame. Through it all, I was struck by the positive response of love, connection, and transcendence – across any differences – as we rallied together and understood our mission to support one another, to be ONE. There was a shining light in the darkness of that day, that we must be reminded to carry within each of us every day. This light is within us – in each moment. Beyond the politics, ethnic relations, religions, and whatever other separation man can create, we are the same. We are together in this existence here – and it is up to each “one” of us to carry the light, even in the worst possible situations, even in the most desperate of moments. Be the light. Live the light. Become the Lighthouse in the darkness, with this short time you have here on the Earth. There is no higher calling, if we can just do this… one simple thing.

Love  and light,

Samadhi ✸