Monday, December 8, 2014

A New Baby Boy On Bodhi Day 2014

Although I am not affiliated with any spiritual or religious tradition, I listen carefully to the teachings of all traditions and find wisdom in each one. Today is Bodhi Day in Buddhist tradition.

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
-- Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

In what I hope is in the spirit in which the Buddha teaches, these thoughts came to mind after reading the above quote because through a process of observation, analysis, and reason, I don't believe that observation, analysis, and reason are everything. There is much to be said for the wisdom and experiences of the heart:

"The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing."
-- Blaise Pascal

"I asked him why he thought the whites were all mad.
'They say they think with their heads,' he replied.
'Why of course. What do you think with?' I asked him in surprise.
'We think here,' he said, indicating his heart."
(Carl Jung, during a visit to New Mexico, in conversation with Ochwiay Biano, a Pueblo Indian, quoted from Memories, Dreams, Reflections)

"I believe in the impossible, you know that I do."
-- Bob Dylan

"I don't believe in Buddha."
-- John Lennon (who died on December 8, 1980)

"Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible"
-- Thich Nhat Hanh (Zen Buddhist monk) from Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

"Because suffering is impermanent, that is why we can transform it.
Because happiness is impermanent, that is why we have to nourish it."
-- Thich Nhat Hanh, 10 June 2014

Today is the 8th birthday of my blog which began in December of 2006 as "Old Girl of the North Country," a vehicle for a 40-year retrospective of my art work. From that beginning, this blog became for me a path of healing from unresolved grief dating back to the last years of the war in Vietnam.

Although I do not post as much as I did that first year or read as many blogs as I once did, blogging has continued to play a huge part in keeping my creative spirit alive. I have immense gratitude to you whose blogs I visit regularly and am grateful to you for visiting my blog.

This past year has brought one dear baby after another into my life, along with a sense of a place of peace within me no matter what happens, and much has happened this year to challenge that peace.

A few weeks ago I began helping a younger friend and her husband who are in their early 40s and have recently adopted fraternal twin infant boys who were born to a meth-addicted single mother who had no prenatal care and simply appeared at a hospital in labor and, through an adoption agency, chose my friends to parent her twin boys. What a joy it is to be able to be part of a group of their friends who are spending mornings and afternoons helping this first-time mother and father by comforting, feeding, and talking to and playing with their baby boys. We are doing our best to take the place of the grandmothers and grandfathers and aunts and uncles who do not live nearby or who are no longer living.

Today on Bodhi Day at 10:38 a.m., a sweet baby boy was born in New York City and one of my oldest friends became a grandmother for the second time and emailed the above photo.

Welcome to L.L.S in his first few hours of his life!

It is only a little planet, but how beautiful it is.
-- Robinson Jeffers


The Solitary Walker said...

So beautiful.

The Solitary Walker said...

And Happy Blogversary! I must have been reading your blog for much of that time, and it never fails to enrich my life. Thanks a millionfold.

Sabine said...

Congratulations on your eight years of blogging. I am very glad I found you - oh those miraculous discoveries on the internet, what would I do without them.

You always offer such clear thoughts and often they tickle my mind and heart in just the right place.

Thank you!

am said...

Solitary Walker -- You're welcome!

Sabine -- You're welcome!