Indra's Net

I had an interesting experience recently while leading an ongoing meditation class at Onsen For All in the Princeton, NJ area. After some time of sitting in the quiet, my children came to mind and I was drawn to noticing the connections between them and around them. The around them connections, those to their parents, friends, other family members, teachers, fellow students – the list goes on, grew and grew. More and more layers of connectedness appeared until there appeared a dense multi-dimensional living web of grey filaments. At each junction there was a nodule that become quietly jewel-like. Ah! Indra's net.


Indra's net is a Buddhist metaphor for the inter-connectedness of the universe. It is a splendid image in which a multi-layered net hangs over the palace of the god, Indra, infinitely stretching out in all directions. At each junction, a multi-faceted jewel sits, reflecting each of the other jewels in the net. It is said that when a change occurs to one facet of one jewel, it is reflected in every other jewel throughout the universe.


In the image held in my mind, several of the nodules or jewels disappeared. There was immediate widespread disturbance as the wounds appeared in the web. After a little time, the web seemed compelled to repair itself. Irrevocably changed, the web continued on in its way, each piece playing its part. A metaphor for life.