The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When I sit down to throw at the potter's wheel, my hands naturally make bowls.  All kinds of bowls.  Sometimes very big, sometimes tiny.  Tea bowls, cereal bowls, incense bowls, pasta bowls.  Formal, funky, ordinary, every once in a blue moon, extra-ordinary.
I've always thought that even the potter's wheel wants to make bowls, and if left to it's own devices, spinning freely with a mound of clay and no hands to manipulate it, a bowl, albeit a shallow bowl, would appear.
Bowls intrigue me.  Maybe it's the tension between interior and exterior, both visible, one surface as important as the other.  A union of balance, or imbalance, whatever the intention might be.  I can only understand the exterior of a bowl by considering its interior, by considering how one shape yields to accommodate, while the other supports.  
A bowl is a good place to understand Non Duality.  A bowl is a place to contemplate Emptiness.  A bowl is a place from which to manifest the Bodhisattva Vow--

Sentient Beings are numberless, I vow to liberate them.
Delusions are endless, I vow to end them.
The ways of compassion and wisdom are boundless, I vow to embody them.
The Way is unattainable, I vow to attain it. 

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