Monday, February 28, 2011

Stepping Off The Flagpole

Leaves of thought
Bud, flourish and fall
In an eyeblink

All through the day, random thoughts form in my head.  Some are welcome, like an insight into a problem or a spontaneous urge to express affection.  Others are merely distractions.  The special ones are thoughts of envy and resentment and superiority.

All thoughts are just things my brain produces. If I hang on to any of them, they will get in the way of whatever I’m doing next.  My aim will be off.  I have to let them all go.

Paddling down the rapids
No time to reflect
On skilful strokes

What about the special thoughts?  Of course I have to let them go as well.  But envy and superiority remind me that I continue to compare myself with others, to see myself apart from others, and as being separate from everything else.  They present a wonderful opportunity to let go, just for a moment, of my illusion of being just the temporary whirlpool in the river, and for a second or two, to be the river as well.

Until the next thought comes along.

Stepping off the flagpole
A hundred times a day
A cup of tea would be nice

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Oak Tree in the Garden

Fearlessly unfolding
Destination unknown
The oak tree in the garden

Sometimes when I set out to write a new blog post, I lose my nerve, thinking of all the wonderful, brilliant, heartfelt posts being written every minute. I started blogging because I wanted to make a difference, and felt sure there was more I could do on the internet than click the Hunger Site every day.

I want to make a dent in all the suffering out there, but my problem is believing the fallacy that I need to make a dent that is significant to me.

But how is it possible to know the effects of even the smallest action? In a very real sense, I have no idea what I'm doing or what the universe is doing.

The first of the Bodhisattva Vows is a daunting proposition:  "All beings without number I vow to liberate". To keep our vow, we can only speak and do the things that seem right at the moment - hopefully things that are kind, helpful and sincere - and leave the consequences to themselves.

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