Of all the kind and amazing things I have received in my life - the gift of P'howa and the connection to the dharma teachings surpass them all.
I have failed to produce much good in this world. But I can look at my parents, my friends, and even the total stranger serving me dinner... and know that I have a gift to offer. It is now in a growing phase-finding its way to the surface... But it is alive and it os LOVE.
They may (or may not) meet or even lay eyes on Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo in this life-but her blessing is training me. Teaching me the ultimate kindness, the Way of The Bodhisattvas. She teaches me what Jesus began in this life and perhaps before... She makes my existence make sense and shows the method for growth.
When I want to grow angry at evil as I judge it- she has me step back, breathe deep, feel compassion.
I cannot imagine a world without Rinpoches. I do not have to- thanks to some amazing karmic good fortune. And I wish you all the feeling of embracing the Christ, the blossoming of Bodhicitta in your mind... That you may love thy enemy as thy self, turn the other cheek and dedicate your self (or absence thereof) to the end of suffering for every living being. I have a long way to go... But when I get there I am yours to do with as will bring you benefit. As she has taught, and teaches every moment.
May the road rise to meet you, may the wind blow at your back...
Atypical... not "a typical" and I don't even know if there are "typical" days any more? Do any of you have them?
I am amused, to say the least, by the CONTROVERSY of our President addressing students today. I am sure there are plenty of "righteous" arguments for those who opposed - but I must say... Get a life! We all know kids LOVE assemblies that get us out of class. And compared to the asinine things we got called out of homeroom for when I was in school, seems to me that a speech by the incumbent president is not only historically relevant to education, but the man is an inspired orator.
Then again... people would probably find fault with Jesus if he showed up to preach on any given Sunday - so I will step off my soapbox...
My day started under the weather - no doubt my body building its immunities against the onslaught of swine flu that all the media has promised me that I must catch this fall. This morning was a mere headache and I laid in bed until it was obvious that the passive holistic temple massages and neck kneading maneuver were not going to suffice. I grabbed the nearest mega bottle of ibuprofen and shook a few down the gullet with an Arnold Palmer chaser. Ahhhhhhh. Swine Flu THIS!
Feeling MUCH better after several hours of errands and then some down time surfing (mostly Face book - that life sucking worm hole that usurps hours of my life each time I click onto its demonic presence...) and now I am about to go feed Maggie Gumbo (one of Tara's Babies Katrina rescues.) Any of you who were at the Valley might remember Cowboy/Duke and Maggie - the two Bulldogs in the central pens. He had the two toned eyes and she is the gorgeous junkyard dog that was rescued from the Hurricane, only to learn that was the LEAST oppressive of her experiences. Maggie had been a fighting bitch for pit bull trainers. Her teeth had been filed down so she could not injure the Pits that were released on her to learn fighting. Unbelievable that in a wild kingdom of predators and prey - we humans have nothing better to do than teach things to kill for sport.
Her story before being rescued by Jetsunma is heartbreaking - but now Maggie lives in style with 2 delicious prepared meals a day, toys galore, and her choice of comfy beds around the house where she resides at KPC. A monk is her primary caregiver - though this week she has yours truly keeping her company overnight and AniPalmo slipping her yummy treats and meals while she works around the kitchen.
I have simultaneously been re-reading the book REBORN IN THE WEST by Vickie McKenzie while I stay at the lineage house. It is sort of like reading the history of the roof over your head. Thus my "atypical" day. During the day I run to central Poolesville and try to do some organizing/unpacking - and as I sidle from box to box in our wee little apartment, I relish the times that have brought me from the lost person I was in Atlanta, cruising gay bars as a shadow - so afraid to be seen in my own skin... and even worse to be outed to friends and family... to this day where I wake up in the presence of the Buddhas, serving a Buddha, caring for a pet rescued by a Buddha, reading about the appearance of the Buddhas in America and the Western Hemispheres... and knowing that Americans can't even decide if we want our highest elected official to have the audacity to inspire our kids during a *GASP* school day.
Our enlightenment hovers not even a breath away from our own heartbeat - and yet we classify, judge, label, argue with and deny the very displays of our world... it makes me sad for the loss that we have by simply not seeing what is in our midst.
I paid a price for my emotional post of recent days. Not a big price, in the grand scheme of things. I had to admit I am weak, and afraid, and shockingly ~imperfect~ (I know, you'll get used to the idea though). My dad called me the night I was moving (and yes - literally John and I waited until the NIGHT we had to move to decide on a place, make arrangements, start packing, clean the house - the WHOLE shebang.... another dreadful habit I have had in this life of procrastinating and surrounding myself with others who empower me to do so!) But when I called Dad (against my wishes at that vulnerable moment, but to respect his request that I do so) we had a sweet conversation. Albeit I felt like an ass ~ and that is a pattern I also struggle with... not wanting my family to see what an ass was raised amidst their successful developments ~ but he kept saying " you want me to jump in the car and come down there son?"
I did, but I didn't --for very obvious reasons. If my parents ever saw how I live - they'd be HORRIFIED... perhaps even disclaim me. I am only half kidding. It is not that I did not appreciate what they taught me about cleanliness, planning and organization... its just that I never got good at it. And now I am so busy with "life" that I never get around to "home life".
John and I joke about not having that gay men's gene that makes you want to decorate your house and keep things tidy... we both ended up with something more akin to that vagabond gene that makes it easier to lay on the bed covered in laundry, with the dogs hopping into the pile, and us eating on the same bed - cave man style with our food in our hands like common simpletons. Not a pretty visual eh? I exaggerate only a TAD bit here. We are some scary queers.
But that is us. It is why we work so well together - if somewhat lazy in outer display... the inner posture is always "are you able to generate some merit today?" WE skimp on the house chores - but we will pile on the moral support. Encouraging each other with movies and snacks when we know that an already long day of work will be followed by a late night foray into the prayer room. Small gestures to keep all hope from fading on an arduous journey we agreed to almost instantly after meeting.
So we are co-dependant, a bit slovenly (and HOW) and a tad retarded in our interpersonal communication skills (not RETARDED as in... an insult to persons with mental challenges... but "stuck" somewhere in the developmental stages of 2 adults sharing a life together.) Truth be told we have walked on the wild side and swung back to the repression of all vices. We have tried many versions of our life together. But being friends and being parents to the ~TWO cUtEsTDogSEvER~ is not our only bond. The strongest tie is that we are practitioners of the Vajrayana path together. We are married spiritually, even if we have no piece of paper on our wall to show for it. And our marriage ain't no picture book wedding. (If ya'll are just dying to send a toaster though - we could run out and register ral quick!) ; )
This fall, as we enter our 12th year together... maybe John and I can start to support each other in some of those healthy adult habits like economizing and budgeting, auto maintenance, laundry and dish duty. Those life skills that have taken a back burner to making sure we are each able to stay focused and prioritize our dharma commitments. But if we don't - I think we may still be okay! (We just will never have you guys over for dinner parties!)
So in closing... I revere my atypical days as an American Buddhist. We always refer to ourselves as Tibetan Buddhists, but I believe that is where our practice comes from, not necessarily where it IS or where it is GOING. Jetsunma is the source of all of our blessings and yet I don't post about her every day because I become BLIND to what it is she has given us. ALL of us. You too.
You needn't be aware of the workings of the earth to benefit from the many systems that keep this planet supporting life. You don't have to understand gravity, revolutions and orbits, weather systems and seasons to enjoy a gorgeous day or sulk at a bad storm that ruins your weekend plans. Likewise, you needn't be aware that there are beings who manifest with ONLY ONE THOUGHT for you --- yes YOU. They wish your suffering to end. They know that every effort you make in this world will come to nothing but dust (sorry, that sounds harsh - but not ONE authentic spiritual teacher has ever taught differently...) So they wish you to become inspired by TRUTH. Religion literally means "to bind back" to the original source. So that is more the method that you chose. But that source is not outside of us, even if we have separated it from us. We think of religion as the building we go to or the books we read or the check box we fill out on a form. Some person called it something fancy in Latin and made it holy and thus we became unholy participants trying to acquire it.
But none of that is the truth. The truth is, we are confused... and seek enlightenment. It is what makes you seek out things that make you HAPPY... whatever those things are. They are underlined by the quest for bliss... that reunion with what you fundamentally remember as your nature but walked away from ~~ out of mass confusion ~~so long ago.
So the Bodhisattva's take birth among us, teaching both in formal ways and in their very display. And should we be fortunate enough to behold a Bodhisattva (of ANY tradition)... may they inspire us to have an atypical day... THIS very day.
Born and "brung up" in Georgia, moved to Baltimore... then Sedona AZ (by way of a mystical Valley) and now working on the path from Poolesville MD! A dharma student with a rain(BOW) flag and a bull(DAWG) bite. Welcome to Bowdawg's endless ramblings.