This saying echoed throughout my trip to SE Asia a few years ago. It started with a 2 year old in Bali; She was examining essential oils and after much sniffing said “same same”. Her Mom added “but different.“ The next day our taxi driver used it to describe his way of life in Bali vs. ours in Canada. This expression continued throughout the trip; a monk in Thailand said it while comparing lifestyles, a villager North of Chiang Mai used it, it was written all over t-shirts in Cambodia.
"Same same, but different.”
For me, this expression defines the word community.
We need each other to survive. Sure we’re different but we’re also the same. We breathe the same air. My inhale is your exhale and vice versa. We coexist. We need each other and our differences to evolve and when we come together as a community, we’re at our best.
One of my teacher’s says that the next Buddha is the Sangha. Meaning, the next enlightened one isn’t one, but instead a community of ones. I love that idea.
“We all need community, because to realize our potential as human beings we need the love, the support, and the evolution of valuable conversation. As yogis we mean to engage deeply, to yoke ourselves. To what? To each other, to the things we understand to be of worth and value, to the possibilities a universe so vast offers. … We become better, greater when we realize that we can accomplish more together, far more, than we could ever achieve alone. Enlightenment is a collective experience.“ Douglas Brooks