Sunday, December 1, 2019

The day the Buddha sat down

Maybe some of you have seen this already.  It just came to my attention yesterday.

Today while beginning my December tradition of reading a chapter a day of A Winter Walk, I saw that some December since 2006 (when the book was published), I had made a note about Bodhi Day, which comes on December 8.

I had written:

The day the Buddha sat down.  He was 29.

On first watching the video and not paying close attention, I didn't realize immediately that the walking person was a young woman.  I was struck by what I thought was the vulnerability of a very delicate young white man whose physical presence seemed to have little to do with the voice of an edgy elderly Jewish/Buddhist man as his death approached.  Now that I know that the walking person is a young woman, everything shifts.

This November was the month when I finally cried long and hard and felt relief.

Here is what November looked like in Bellingham, Washington, this year:

Another yearly tradition is purchasing a Nikki McClure calendar.  I bought my 2020 calendar as soon as it was available.  The November page for 2019 celebrates a quiet family moment, and it gave me a sense of peace each time I looked at it.  Maybe I will give it a permanent place on the wall next to my drawing table when January 2020 arrives.

It was only on a second viewing of "Happens To The Heart" that I saw that the sitting figure rose into the air.  Too much like Mary's Assumption.  Oh well.  I experienced that rising with a sinking feeling. I wonder what Leonard Cohen would have thought of that image accompanying the end of his haunting song.

Then I remembered William Blake's words:

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

And this:

If you don't realize the source, 
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from, 
you naturally become tolerant, 
disinterested, amused, 
kindhearted as a grandmother, 
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao, 
you can deal with whatever life brings you, 
and when death comes, you are ready.” 

 Tao Te-Ching


Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful, multi-dimensional, awesome post. I've never heard the Leonard Cohen song before. I love the photos, a great balance to the haunting music. Thank you for all of this, am.

Sabine said...

That young woman in the video reminds me of a friend from long ago who returned from one of these epic journeys to India (in the early 1980s) as a Buddhist nun. She spend some of the long early hours when I was in labour with me. I have no idea where she is now.

Thank you for your wonderfuls views. I love that you live near to open water.

37paddington said...

Oh, thank you for this rich and loving post, especially the photos, the wisdom at the end, and the sharing of your vulnerable heart, weeping, and finding relief. Hugs, dear friend. You are the woman walking.

beth coyote said...

Thank you for this, all of this.

Tara said...

yes, a multi-dimensional awesome post, as Robin says. I know the song but had not seen the video. It brought tears to my eyes. So many emotions and memories. Of course I am curious as to why the dam finally broke for you in November, but if it was sweet relief, then I am very glad for you.

Yes, the quote at the end. It made me cry, too. Such an emotional experience reading all of your words today, and seeing the beautiful photographs. Thank you.