This morning I was thinking about my wishes and hopes for the new year when I remembered a saying I heard many years ago. That saying is from India, I learned, and goes like this:
A healthy person has 10,000 wishes, a sick person only one.
There must be many millions of people who all have the same wish. May many of them come true.
When I think of the people who have only one wish it is only logical to also think of other beings who wish to survive, species on the verge of extinction, forests getting wiped out for cattle ranches, and so on.
May all beings be safe
May all beings be healthy
May all beings be happy
May all beings be free
Roshi Joan Halifax in conversation with Dan Harris for the Ten Percent Happier broadcast on ABC. Link to podcast.
Roshi is eloquent and sharp and a shining beacon in this time.
Here is the interview I did with Buddhist Geeks.
Digital Dharma preview in New York. An intimate evening of art, music and ispiration.
Click here for more info.
I donated some of my photos to the movie and will perform solo with a new slideshow of my Tibet photos.
I am already on the third installment of John Burdett’s Bangkok series, a book called Bangkok Haunts – I am reading the Kindle version on the free Kindle for iPhone application. In what seems to me typical Thai fashion the book is able to move effortlessly between violence, sex and spirituality. Here is a snippet from a conversation between the main character of the book, a cop in Krung Thep, and a monk:
Saved? There is nothing to save, my friend. You cannot caste yourself into the Unknowable in the hope that gesture will buy you salvation – you have to jump for the hell of it. In a nirvanic universe there can be no salvation because we are never really lost – or found. The choice is simply between nirvana and ignorance. That is the adult truh the Buddha urges upon us. We are the sum of our burning. No burning, no being.
When I traveled in Asia for a year, a long time ago, I was constantly amazed and delighted by the ability of so many people (((seemed like everybody was able to do that))) to switch from the mundane to the spiritual and back in no time at all. Spirituality is not reserved for a fixed hour per week, but is constantly present and referenced.
In Japan, Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated on April 8, but is not a national holiday. On this day, all temples do celebratory events/festivals called 灌仏会 (Japanese: Kanbutsu-e), 降誕会 (Goutan-e), 仏生会 (Busshou-e), 浴仏会 (Yokubutsu-e), 龍華会 (Ryuge-e), 花会式 (Hana-eshiki) or 花祭(Hana-matsuri, meaning ‘Flower Festival’). The first event was held at Asuka-dera in 606. Japanese people pour ama-cha (a beverage prepared from a variety of hydrangea) on small Buddha statues decorated with flowers, as if they bathe a newborn baby.