#2302 - Monday, October 31, 2005 - Editor: Gloria
Blessed by the Truth
From the time there appears in this world one who has seen the
truth, a fully awakened one, blessed by the truth, abounding in
happiness, a teacher of wisdom and goodness, a buddha. He, by
himself, thoroughly knows and sees this universe, and knowing it,
makes his knowledge known to others. The truth, lovely in its
origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation, he
proclaims. A new life he makes known, in all its fullness.
From "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne
Today my neighbor J. walked into the garden and told me he
nearly died of cancer, he had been three weeks in hospital and
had undergone surgery. I was shocked to see him in the state he
was compared to the end of September. I was typing texts on
compassion and enlightenment oblivious of the fact that my
neighbor was fighting to stay alive and not leave his family
behind so unexpectedwhich as he told me was his main
concern. I dont have words for it at the moment.
I intuited he was afraid to be alone in his house when his wife
and son were not there, so he just walked in. It is hard to be
alone sometimes I was thinking aloud.
So the man just walked into the garden when he saw the three of
us arriving home in the car. The first thing he said was how
beautiful our daughter is. There was certain awareness in what he
saidit was not about our daughter, it was something of a
different order. There was a certain appreciation and clarity in
his slow gestures and tender, bright smileweak as he was.
We had a very light hearted, humorous, zen-like talk on life and
death and we reached out to each other. It was such a beautiful
dayit is the end of October but it could have been spring
or the beginning of August. Ill never forget it. And may I
be forsaken if Ill ever forget it. I WILL BEAR WITNESS. I
WILL BEAR WITNESS. YOU MAY REMEMBER THAT. ILL BEAR WITNESS
OF EVERY TEAR AND SMILE IN THE WORLD. JUST BECAUSE IT IS
IMPOSSIBLE: ILL BEAR WITNESS.
We will go for walks together. Hell have to undergo chemo
and I offered him to go for walks or help him with chores in and
around the farmhouse he is rebuilding and wont be able
during that period. What can I say? What can I offer?
Just because there is no suffering Ill volunteer to bear
witness, to live. Just because there is the unconditioned Ill
enter the condition opened, vulnerable and awake.
However I was not there for his wife and son when he was in the
hospital. I correspond with people from all over the world and I
am not aware to what is happening 20 meters away from
where I sit?
I know I can go deeper, must go deeper into impossibility. There
is no end to it.
Today Avalokiteshvara walked into the garden. Where was I?
Yesthough it is impossible I will!
Good. I am with you. Ill bear witness too. I will
never forget you.
meshed with Tuesdays
and the week with the whole year.
Time cannot be cut
with your weary scissors,
and all the names of the day
are washed out by the waters of night.
No one can claim the name of Pedro,
nobody is Rosa or Maria,
all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain under rain.
They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
of Chiles and of Paraguays;
I have no idea what they are saying.
I know only the skin of the earth
and I know it is without a name.
When I lived amongst the roots
they pleased me more than flowers did,
and when I spoke to a stone
it rang like a bell.
It is so long, the spring
which goes on all winter.
Time lost its shoes.
A year is four centuries.
When I sleep every night,
what am I called or not called?
And when I wake, who am I
if I was not while I slept?
This means to say that scarcely
have we landed into life
than we come as if new-born;
let us not fill our mouths
with so many faltering names,
with so many sad formalities,
with so many pompous letters,
with so much of yours and mine,
with so much of signing of papers.
I have a mind to confuse things,
unite them, bring them to birth,
mix them up, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the oneness of the ocean,
a generous, vast wholeness,
a crepitant fragrance.
Thought for the Day:
Your life needs one crucial ingredient:
by Gloria Lee
One of the true joys of the
internet is discovering and meeting some delightful
person you would otherwise never know. Such is Dusan
Pajin, an author, an artist, and a scholar of Buddhist
and Eastern philosophy and art. One may see on his
webpage 70 paintings from an exhibition in Taiwan in
1996, so only a couple of examples are shown here.
Keeping culture alive in times of war shows us the best
of the human spirit. Perhaps this is easily seen in art
and music and intellectual pursuits. Though his exquisite
vision is most evident through his artwork, may I share
only one small story of his that serves as an
introduction to Dusan Pajin's inner seeing.
"Several days ago I entered
a bookshop in the Belgrade city. Inside was a woman in
conversation with the saleswoman. Her son - perhaps a boy
of four- noticed me. He addressed me: See, I have got
some sweets he said and showed me a little box with
sweets (I believe it is the brand known as "M 'n'
M's"). I said: "Yes, I see." Then he
opened the little round tube, and said with simplicity
(praised as the highest spiritual goal by Taoist, Zen,
Sufi and Christian masters): "Do, have one". I
was caught by surprise, and said: "No, thanks, not
today - perhaps, next time when I meet you".
Actually, I was confused, and overwhelmed with joy - as a
Christian would be, on entering paradise, or a Taoist,
when reaching the island of immortals. I thought - maybe
this is it: maybe this is the good omen, for which I was
craving since 1991 - when the Yugoslav fratricide
bloodshed started - may be this is a sign that things are
taking a different turn, since 1991... This joy was with
me for several days."
They say you cannot say
When will she appear,
Wherefrom will she come.
For ages I searched perfections
In old sutra
I saw them exemplified in sculptures
On the bodhisattva faces.
In time of great need
Surrounded by cruelty and suffering
Immersed in the great destruction
Complaining about my karma
On a rainy afternoon
Suddenly I met Kuan Yin.
Claiming to be ignorant of Buddhism
She manifested perfections
Giving free lessons in kindness,
Wisdom in disguise
With virtue complete.