Who is Nisi? Who am I? Interesting questions. Am I a particular person, born on a particular date, living at a particular address, etc., etc.? If I offered you enough descriptions and information you might have some idea of who I am, but would that be the whole picture? What did I leave out? If you really think about it, how would you be able to tell someone who you are?
Many years ago, I wrote a research paper about women’s many identities. One thing I found was that the women I researched had many ways to describe who they were, depending on the circumstances and who they were talking to. Isn’t that really the same for all of us? For instance, I can see my mother in me, my father in me, and my grandmother in me. If asked, I could describe that to you–sort of. One time I was looking at a photo of my dad’s grandmother and realized that I had her eyes, her chin, her smile. Sometimes I am surprised at how my son is very much like my brother. My parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and ancestors are all a part of me. Without them, I wouldn’t be the “me” I am today. The same is true of my community, my culture, my society, the earth, the air, water, sun, wind, etc. Without any one of them, “I” would not be possible. Thay would say that “I” am made of non-“I” elements. He calls this “interbeing.”
I feel like I am a different person than I was even one year ago. We are always growing and changing, and it never stops. The food I eat, the interactions I have with others, the current state of the weather all affect who I am at this moment. Thay said we can never step into the same river twice. It means that the river of life itself is always changing. Impermanence is good, necessary. Without impermanence a child could never grow up, a relationship could not be mended. Everything in the universe would stop.
So back to the original question. Who is Nisi? Even with impermanence and interbeing, you still may want to know a bit about the Nisi who lives and breathes in this world! Practicing with eyes that see the nature of impermanence and interbeing can help us develop more happiness and peace. Yet in the world of everyday life, we use language, pictures, sounds, etc. to communicate. So if you want to know more about the Nisi who lives in the everyday world, check out my blog posts for bits and pieces!