I’m feeling a bit more settled this week. More than I have in months, in fact. Last week’s visits to prisons in western Canada may have had something to do with it. I’m also reading a sappy little meditation book by Thich Nhat Hahn. It’s borderline “Chicken Soup for the Buddhist Consumer,” but the message is solid. The foundation is impermanance. The past doesn’t exist, nor does the future. Life is only this second. For me, my life is writing this blog. For you, it’s reading it. Thanks!
Likewise, we aren’t born and we don’t die, much like waves on the sea. They’re all just water, changing. I like the sense of interconnectedness of Buddhist teachings. It speaks to me because I was raised in the Christian tradition, which promises reward as an escape from the present moment. That’s no way to live.
The only problem with lay-person Buddhism is how a deepening appreciation of its most basic principles reveals the utter stupidity of most of what we do every day. Like sit at desks on sunny days, or worry about earning money at jobs that merely perpetuate distraction from things that really matter. Why do we choose to spend more time at work than with our kids, for instance? Really. I’m thinking a lot about that.
Today at work I proposed that we surprise the staff tomorrow by whisking them all away — in the middle of the day — in rented vans to play for an hour by the water at Mooney’s Bay. It would probably cost the company about $200 but be an enormous morale boost on one of the last warm days of the year. The idea was rejected.
An anecdote from this little meditation book has stuck with me: Two astronauts on a mission to the moon realize that a mechanical failure has left them with only two days of air — not enough to get back to Earth. No rescue mission is possible. As they sit in their little landing craft, gazing at the Earth, one observes that absolute bliss would be possible by just being on Earth, able to feel the warmth of the sun, to play with children, sit in the grass. Why do we need any more than that?
Get outside tomorrow, if you can.