We’ve had some hot days this summer and often I’ve taken my meals or a snack outdoors in the garden, sat on the garden seat in the sunshine. Sometimes it has been so hot that I have had to move the seat into the shade of the tree. I can sit there and drink my coffee and eat a peanut-butter sandwich and it’s very pleasant; and I can reflect that these peanuts, for instance, probably may well have grown in Africa where the sun is even hotter than it is here. And the bread comes from wheat that may have grown in France or may have been imported from some other part of the world, but in any case, has grown under the beneficent rays of the sun. Because all of the energy that there is on this little world of ours comes from our neighbouring star – the sun, Sol, whom we revolve around. Thank you, Sun! Thank you, Sol! I say a prayer for you. You are my great benefactor.

Without the earth element, or the water element, or the air element, I wouldn’t last very long, but without the energy provided by the sun, I wouldn’t last a moment. Energy is a very difficult thing to completely understand in a scientific sense. We know that we can convert energy from one form to another. We can burn petrol and propel our car. The energy of that combustion is turned into kinetic energy which drives the car forward.

This is a kind of miracle and science can say that it understands that, but all it means is that it can write an equation about it. Nobody really understands the mystery of energy. But it is our great benefactor, we can’t do without it.

This energy comes from the sun, grows the peanuts, the peanuts go into my sandwich, I eat the sandwich and then I use that energy to do my work. The word energy means: something that makes work possible. So, the work I do is little fragments of sunshine. Everything that you do is a little bit of sunshine. All day long you are expelling, as it were, or enacting sunshine. The whole of one’s life is sunshine.

This is something to be humble about, something to realise that we are dependent upon. Sunshine energy is not me, not mine, not myself. Often, we talk about interdependence, but the sun doesn’t depend on me. I depend on it and I receive this wonderful radiation and it makes my being possible. This is a very important reflection. Without the sunshine I am nothing; and even that petrol that goes into my car, that petrol comes from the bodies of billions of little animals that lived on this planet millions of years ago and soaked up sunshine. Now we dig up their remains and refine it and make it into petrol. Isn’t this a most remarkable circumstance?

Energy is a cosmic force, a power. A power that is not myself, upon which I am completely dependent, without which I would vanish completely. This is worth a prayer or two.

Namo Amida Bu
Thank you very much


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