The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You are an aperture through which the universe is looking and exploring itself.

--Alan Watts

Monday, July 7, 2014

We put 30 spokes together and call it a wheel:
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the vessel depends.
We pierce doors and windows to make a house;
And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends.
Therefore, just as we take advantage of what is,
we should recognize the usefulness of what is not.

--Lao Tzu

The image above was created one day after mixing glazes in the Ceramics Studio--after the water and glaze had settled, a perfectly round enzo was left behind of pigment .  I laid newsprint over the top of the glaze.  It soaked into the paper, dispersing water and one of the dark glaze ingredients.  Later, after it had dried, I taped the paper to a big window where the sun could shine through.
Now it is several years old, and the paper has become brown with age.
A ring of fire.  A full moon. A drum head.  A mandala.

Friday, June 27, 2014

We shall see but a little way if we are required to understand what we see.  How few things can one measure with the tape of understanding!  How many greater things might one be seeing in the meanwhile?

--Henry David Thoreau

It's been some time since I left an entry in the BLS blog--my apologies for dropping off the map--and though my apology is sincere, I smile and sigh a little, none the less.  No need for apologies.

In the time that I've been away, Spring Ango has come to a close, I've made a decision to take a 6 month sabbatical from all Sangha duties, I have reduced my work hours to 32 a week, a new baby grandson has been born and I've walked around Walden Pond under the sun of a late May afternoon, all 6 senses ablaze.
A hundred times since, I circumambulated the pond in my heart-mind, my footsteps falling where Thoreau and millions more have walked.
A hundred times since, I've laid the new grandson on my chest and listened to his small sounds, so much like a little wild animal, and stroked his cheek….again, in my heart-mind, for he is far away.

This being a first Ango, there were surprises all over the place that couldn't have been anticipated.  It wasn't hard to notice aversions (meditation again??), attachments (hey, great meditation) and all manner of silliness from the ego self (you're so cool, you're doing Ango!).
But it was a big surprise to realize that I need a break.  That time is more fleeting than I previously understood.  That I have nothing to prove. That there is a deep well yet to be plumbed.
How will the well be plumbed?

After 7 years facilitating the Sangha's Thursday Night Meditation group, I need time away.  It took me a year to make this decision, and Ango helped to make this finally clear, so that the final decision and the utterance to make it so came without a whimper or a doubt.

So, I will see the Sangha again in November.

In the meantime, I will do as my granddaughter did one May morning--drag the cushion out to the porch and regard the world around me.  I'll turn the inside out and offer it up to whatever arrives to share the energy.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

When we become truly ourselves, we just become a swinging door, and we are purely independent of, and at the same time, dependent upon everything.

--Shunryu Suzuki