Friday, March 23, 2007

The jewel that is the Valley

Please click for a beautiful slide show of Dakini Valley, and Tara's Babies Animal Welfare. It moved me to tears to see this precious land, which is my home, and to be reminded of its potency - our potency - which can be realised in immeasurable ways. I am truly blessed to live here, and thank you all for the ways in which you support me and every compassionate activity, which is the true sustenance for us all.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

the union of pure love

The sun is female, the moon is male.
Kyabje Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam'phel
photo : Vision magazine of the Aro lineage, 2001

My big brother is marrying his partner of some years this weekend, in Australia. They have two most beautiful young children, whom I know through photographs. Their family is larger than that, though - my brother has other, older children from earlier marriages, whom I also barely know, and of course there are the families of my brother and his partner, which no doubt extend further than I imagine.
I would not describe us as a close family - not through discord, by any means - but by geography, life choices. We each - and I have 3 siblings, all living in the vicinity of Sydney, where we grew up - have carved out lives for ourselves, and, as can happen, these lives do not intersect with any great regularity. Certainly this is the case for me, as I have spent much of my adult life living in other states or countries.
But, this does not negate deeper bonds, that cross beyond this life. My family was the earth in which I took root, and from which I have grown. Without their presence, their contributions, I may not be where I am today, who I am today. Of course, I am responsible for the choices I have made (wise and foolish), yet I am linked to my siblings by our shared past.
My big brother is seven years older than me, which, for a child, can be a great number of years; though the age differential has shrunk over time. I would not say we were close as children, yet one fond memory is of me very small, and my brother wrapping me up in a blanket early one Sunday morning - as snug as a bug in a rug, he said - to carry me into my parent's room to snuggle. I have no recollection of events prior to or after I was wrapped, but that one snapshot is strong and vivid, encapsulating love, tenderness, caring and belonging. Qualities he displays today; especially since my parents' deaths he has maintained the links amongst us. The family is alive in our hearts.
When I was growing up I dreamed of getting married - the whole romantic, white picket fence routine; i love Meg Ryan moves, if that gives you an idea. The first time I seriously thought of it I was about eight years old, and my best friend, Peter B. and I discussed getting married. The one presenting problem was that he was Catholic and I was not, and we knew you could not marry in a Church if that was the case. Such serious issues for small children to ponder; i think I planned to convert. As we grew up we grew apart and, most sadly, I heard Peter died when still a young man. He was most definitely my first love, with a kind and gentle heart.
My mother kept many of my school books - essays, drawings etc - and I found one I wrote at about the same age, perhaps a year or two later, entitled "My 40th Birthday". It was so humorous to read when indeed I turned 40 - I was married to a space traveller, we had at least 8 children (2 sets of twins), I spent my days tending them and cooking and cleaning (my birthday gift from my husband was a robot to help with these chores!). That dream ran deep in my psyche.
In fact, one reason I chose to be ordained was because this yearning has been so strong in my life. Its not that you can't be a Buddhist and be in a relationship, or that I thought there was a problem with sharing your life happily with someone else. It certainly wasn't about denial or repression. It was a deep understanding that - for me - I needed to let go of the premise I had held for so many years of where I would find happiness, in order to embrace my spiritual path in the way I needed to. It was a purely personal choice, based on knowing myself, my patterns, the habits that I needed to loosen my grip on (or their grip on me!). My partner and I had been through some tough times - had been to counselling, worked very hard - and had reached a place that it seemed my dreams could come true, especially as we began to connect with Buddhism. This made it such a more challenging, yet precious, decision to make; leaving a bad relationship would have made so much more sense to the wider world.
A few years ago I had the honour to be one of three witnesses at my ex-partners joining ceremony with her new partner. Jetsunma, who is a certified marriage celebrant, performed the ceremony, in the living room of a friend's home. It was very simple - a beautiful altar, with flowers, candles, White Tara; they each had written their own vows, which they spoke for all of us to share. Jetsunma gave the most exquisite blessing, speaking of the richness of a loving relationship, how one can support the other to grow on the Path. I wept the entire time, bathing in Jetsunma's joy, my friends' joy; the room, the world was alight. Of course this, ceremony has no legal stance, especially in Arizona, but Jetsunma referred most pointedly to that; for she, with unbounding love and wisdom, would never deny or condemn the relationship of two people, whomever they may be, if it is grounded in love and commitment and honour and trust. For her, it is a union to be blessed, and from which goodness will arise.
It was interesting for me - as bridesmaid, as I teased my ex-partner, who had never embraced the idea of such commitment to me! - to participate in this ceremony. I watched, kneeling close to Jetsunma's side, as they spoke, exchanged rings - both teary-eyed, a little nervous. (I had shopped with them for days to buy just the right outfits!). I felt great happiness for them, but not one iota of remorse at the choice I had made to become ordained. In a way, I was watching my own dream play out, with someone else in the leading role, and I was contented - joyful - to be where I was, who I am. I am happy for that dream or that choice for anyone else, and yet I am certain that having let that dream go, I discovered different opportunities for living my live fully, with laughter and joy.
I chose the photo for this post because I think it is exquisite; it is the lead photo for a teaching by Ngak'chang Rinpoche of the Aro lineage on Vajra Romance. Rinpoche and his wife, Khandro Dechen, are the holders of this pure Nyingma lineage, and offer extraordinary teachings and insights, which have helped me immeasurably. I cannot do justice to Rinpoche's words or the depth of meaning they convey, for they arise from Wisdom mind, but I would like to share this brief extract, without suggesting that it in any way contains all that Rinpoche's teaching is really about:
So falling in spoken of as being a nyam, and a nyam is a spiritual experience....And this is where we see for a moment, or a day, or a month, an aspect of our entirety. So one comes to value the other person a great deal. One automatically engages in the two prongs, or the two forks, of spiritual practice according to Buddhism, which are...wisdom and compassion. Wisdom equates to being open, compassion equates to being kind.
Everybody who falls in love becomes open and kind to their partner, at least for a period of time. And the more open and kind you are, the more openness and kindness you get back; so the more openness and kindness you put out."
We live in an imperfect world, with imperfect lives. We rise to joy and fall into suffering. We try to find answers, or even frame questions. We each make sense as best we can with what we uncover in ourselves, our environment. And on this journey there are people with whom we share our lives - sometimes by choice, sometimes simply so, because they are there. Each of these encounters is an opportunity to look, to learn, to hear, to change. To make the world a true home, embracing all. There is no moment when this potential does not exist; it is the richness of who we are, who we can become. For those of us who choose to share our lives and hearts in a partnership of trust and commitment, to honour that basic goodness as the fertile ground of all possibility - to Tim and Leanne - and to everyone who knows and treasures that deep bond to another, I wish you every happiness, always.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


These posts are read by a varied audience - my Dharma brothers and sisters, some of whom I have never met, friends from different times and places, people I may never meet and my family from this very life. Diverse in age, culture, geography and beliefs, yet somehow linked through this precious valley and my presence here.
As i began today to trim the disorder from the garden, in preparation for Jetsunma, I thought about how foreign it can be to understand the relationship to a Teacher, in the sense of the Tibetan Buddhist path, which I have embraced. There was no framework in my up-bringing to prepare me for the life I chose - if indeed "choose" is the right word to describe the unfolding of events, the sense of knowing that arose from a place beyond articulation. Before asking Jetsunma for her blessing to take robes, I wrote a short essay - for myself, and for her - reflecting on the journey which had led to that request. I wrote "it is required of me" - not by anyone or anything external, but from some internal recognition that spoke as my heart. Just as I know that my breath - one after the next - occurs without thought, and provides me with life, so was, is, the connection of my life with Jetsunma.
I know some people have thought perhaps I was in a cult. In our world, there are such relationships, which cause havoc and destructive behaviours that bear no good fruit. But this is not the case. My commitment to - and deep devotion towards - Jetsunma and all she represents arises through reflection, critical thinking, contemplation, making choices and trying to understand the results. Although it its well-spring is an undeniable, indefinable bond, it is nurtured by the process of hearing her teachings and applying them, as best I can, in my life. There is no great mystery, really, this Path in essence is profound in its simplicity. And, for me, Jetsunma is the presence who can enable me to unravel the layers of confusion, to live this simplicity of compassion and wisdom, purely.
I cannot explain devotion; words somehow fail me. It is as if the heart sees its own reflection in a clear, still pond - sharp, vivid, wondrous. And in that spontaneous, indescribable recognition is the certainty that this bond, this connection is the one thing - beyond all else - that has meaning or value of any consequence. It is neither only of the intellect, nor the heart. It is deeper, wider, fuller, less tangible than either or both of these. Yet both are involved in allowing this relationship to realise its magnificent potential.
This does not mean I never have doubt; I am, after all, a very ordinary being, and doubt is a frailty of being human. It's not a billboard sort of doubt, of thinking this is untrue or invalid or crazy. Its a much more insidious subtle doubt, whereby I make choices that do not honour my commitment and devotion, my vows - not perhaps in an outrageous way, but still it's what I do. For if I had no doubt, if my faith was infallible, there would never be a moment - not one - where my mind was not turned to the clarity and certainty of this spiritual path, and the belief in cause and effect.
So doubt is a sidekick who trails along, and I acknowledge its presence and work to reduce that habit. With the certainty that the more I engage in what my heart tells me is true, the less potent the doubt will be.
In a beautiful teaching she gave over a decade ago, Jetsunma spoke of longing for the Guru. It is a teaching I refer to - especially in difficult times - because it reminds me of that moment when I first knew with certainty that I had discovered something that had never been lost, my relationship with my Teacher. She speaks of the longing we may know, but do not know how to name. Perhaps a spiritual search for happiness, or meaning, which within our cultural frame of reference we could not realise. She says:
"You were born with the longing to awaken. You were born with a longing to know your own nature, to taste that nature. You were born with a longing and homing instinct to find your Teacher. You were born with a longing to find a pure path and there were no words for it when you grew up."
In connecting with Jetsunma - although I was on another continent, and had only seen her on video tapes - it was as if I had stumbled into a stream which flowed through my heart, yet of which I had never been really aware. Not so much a great big ahhah!!, as simply knowing here was someone who spoke to me in a language inscribed on my cells, in my mind, to the very core of my existence. I was fortunate to follow this stream, to immerse myself as best as I can, for it has become a journey of such immensity, beyond imagination.
Before his untimely death, John Kennedy Jr. interviewed His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although I cannot remember his exact words, Kennedy noted that when HH left the room at the end of the interview, it was as if we were in a darkened room, and the man holding the light had left.
This so eloquently describes the Teacher; the room is our life, the Teacher the illuminator to enable understanding of that life. The light will have different shapes, forms, colours and intensity for each and every one of us. It is a very intimate relationship. And by honoring this intimacy, by treasuring its potential, we can can come to know that the light is really the flame in our very own hearts.
Not every one will choose a Path such as I have. Yet its source is present in all of us - it is the call of compassion, the wish to live our lives fully, with joy. It is wanting to make the world safer, kinder. It is the sponataneous urge to give a gift to a friend, to stop and smell the scent of spring. It is the ocean of basic goodness in each and every heart. However we may respond to its call, may its brilliance shine forth for all.

Friday, March 16, 2007

singing a song

Jetsunma at Dakini Valley
Guru Yoga Retreat, 200o
photo: Wib Middleton

I am writing this with Humpty Dumpty's head - hard boiled - on my shoulders. It seems we have by-passed spring and moved straight into summer; don't let the morning chill fool you, as it did me. I went to work with the rescue dogs this a.m. - with freshly shaved skull - and for one reason and another, morning turned into early afternon. Sharp blue sky, fading the mountainside colours, irrepressable sunshine. And no hat. Karen had borrowed the truck, filled with the delectable aroma of decaying trash, for a dump run, so I didn't want to walk in the heat down and then back up the hill to get a hat. For a while I wore two pieces of soaked paper towel draped on my head - a fetching accessory - but the wind disallowed that remedy. As is so often the case, it is only now, hours later, that I recognise the full effects of overexposure to the sun. Which may have moved inside my skull.

But it's glorious weather, in truth. The sky stretched vividly across the valley, the birds alive with joy, buds beginning to ornate the trees . I heard the first humming bird this week. It is definitely time for me to turn my energy back to Jetsunma's house and garden, both sadly neglected over winter. And most especially, and joyfully, because we have just heard she is coming to stay here in May!!! This is the most exhilerating news I have heard in a long long time.

When Jetsunma moved back to MD last summer, there was no sense of when those steps back to the southwest might be retraced. It was quite an adjustment for me - for all of us - to work through and live with. Not that anything in this world is certain or fixed , it was a good lesson in that, but of course, as creatures of habit we get used to a certain rhythm in our lives, on which we begin to rely. That was all swept away with a stiff, sharp broom. I sat for quite a while in a vacuum, unsure of any familiar point of reference. Of course, in a way, my surroundings had not altered, yet something fundamental had shifted. It was an opportunity to journey into myself, to re-align. To recognise that absence is potent with presence, if I choose to live it that way. This precious Valley - the place of Dakinis, of which Jetsunma is one - has been my home for 6 years now. I know she always here, in my heart. Or there, in yours. The person, the physical presence, is the treasured gift who teaches us this truth. So in some ways, the absence can be most illuminating, enabling us to begin to consider the continuum that cuts through time and space.

But still, one has to live through it, shaping one's life as best one can. Not knowing what the future will bring, but trying always to live with awareness, mindfulness, compassion and kindness. Because in its simplest form, this is the presence of our teacher, from the inside out.

So now I need to shift gears again. There is a great deal to accomplish in the next eight weeks. When I open my eyes and really look, i see the scruffy shambles of an unkempt home, and that has to change! It can, and will - as I strew the seeds, they will grow; as i water the plants, they will blossom; as I sweep the stairs, the way will be clear; as I wash the windows, I will again see; as I feed the birds, they will sing with contentment; as I hang the prayer flags, the blessings will flow. As I open my heart, with joy, my teacher will be here. This is the song I sing for us all.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Well, I know some cat lovers read this, so here is a cat who knows her tune!

Friday, March 09, 2007


When I was getting ready to move to the US, and quite recently ordained, I did what so many of us do again and again in our lives - i sorted through my things. Memories mostly, in the sense that what inhabits most things is some recollection of time or place or people, which can be as weighty as the object itself.
One of my favorites was a beautiful scarf I had bought in Nepal in my very early twenties - on my first big adventure overseas, alone. That journey was monumental on many levels, I am probably still sifitng through them now. It certainly is where I circumambulated a Stupa for the first time in this life.
The scarf was of yak's wool - softer than a kitten's underbelly - and striped in narrow, crooked lines of subdued rainbow hues. I had mulled over its purchase in the crowded markets of Katmandhu - not wanting to spend my precious money, which needed to stretch until I didn't know when. I spent several days wandering hither and forth, and always drawn back to that tiny stall embellished with colour, garlanded with scarves; I would look and feel its almost gentleness on my skin. Really, I knew from the start i would buy it, yet I had to do this dance with myself; one I am so familiar (and often bored!) with, which perhaps has diminished over the years.
It stayed with me, even as I moved and travelled here and there, it remained a beloved possession - so warm and soft and beautiful. And the remaining souvenir of an overland trek which took me from Nepal, through the Khyber Pass and Afganhistan (where i had the great blessing to witness the majesty of the Bamiyan Buddhas, now erased) - through a region now torn and bloodied with war.
However, I knew the time had come for me to let it go. I could not imagine wearing it with my robes, and it seemed pointless to keep it just for the sake of not giving it away.
In my hometown there was a woman who had once told me she loved it. We were neither friends nor colleagues, but our paths crossed with regularity through our work. We met at meetings, events etc., and had done so for some years. She was not a woman I always found easy to be with. Perhaps we shared some similarities in being outpsoken and forthright in our viewpoints, which did not always agree. It was not that I outright disliked her, it was just often I found myself tightening, prickling. This, of course, was all from my side - she was most probably entirely oblivious to it. She was always, genuinely, friendly.
In the the interesting twists of life unfolding, she took over my job when I resigned. I visited once or twice - talking about the workplace, what was happening etc. One day she was wearing a scarf; i think she had a cold. I went home and pulled out my rainbow prize and sat with it. It was hard enough to give it away, harder still to think of giving it to someone who made me prickle. I clung for a day or two - the same dance, in reverse, as when I had bought it.
Then I took it in and gave it to her. Her face opened, smiling. She was touched and happy to receive this unexpected gift. Her delight was deep and infectious. "Are you sure?", she said (for after all, we were not close). "Of course", I replied - for in truth there was no more perfect recipient than her.
We both received a gift that day - and mine was much more valuable and lasting than hers. In giving something so dear to me to someone who was not, I began to understand the richness of generosity. It is not easy to let go of things we treasure, even if they have no worth, or in the case they do. We cling, we dance, we fear the enormity of loss. I still do. But in that moment of letting go, to benefit others, we open up that corner of our hearts wherein lies abundance and joy. Her smile alone repaid me for any apparent loss; I walked away from my old office enriched by the exchange, and grateful for the chance to see that being generous is truly its own precious reward .

Sunday, March 04, 2007

mother's day

local widlflowers, photo by Mary

As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was a holy day, where thoughts and actions become more potent, like the way your voice is amplified when you speak through a cardboard tube, or multiple echoes reflect back again and again what you have said. For this reason, as a practitioner, one tries to be even more mindful during the day.
Well, being an ordinary mortal with a mind that can be a stew pot of emotions, I found myself reacting to circumstances yesterday that were not on the positive side of the scale. I became frustrated, compounded further by having a mental list of things (all "good") I wanted to accomplish on this special day.
In the midst of this, I was standing in my room, all churned up, when I glanced out the window. There, by the barn, was one of our visiting cows - a rich dark brown beauty with impressive horns - licking the face of her small calf, standing knee high at her side. Everything stopped as I watched them. It was a simple and touching scene, yet I intimately experienced her love for her child, and my inner whirlwind ceased instantly. I remembered the real purpose of a sacred day is to understand and contemplate the presence of loving kindness and compassion in our lives. Present in every moment.
In that potent way of synchronicity, I listened by phone this morning to Mugsang Rinpoche teach in Maryland. Rinpoche is a revered Teacher in our lineage, a heart son of our Throneholder, HH Penor Rinpoche. During his teaching, Rinpoche reminded us of the compassion that our parents, our mothers, have offered us from before our very birth, through the nurturing of our childhood - feeding us, clothing us, tending our wounds. Without that kindness and concern for us, we would not even be alive today.
In this hustle bustle world we sometimes forget that, forget the people who have provided us with support and guidance and love - those people who nourished us with the nectar of goodness from their own hearts, sometimes doing without so that we would benefit. Not that we probably didn't all experience anger, frustration, tension - especially with our mothers!! - but, at the core there was the gift of life, of potential, of doing the best for us, in the way that they could.
Yesterday, in one brief instant, the big brown ignorant cow showed me this; displayed for me a tenderness that is mine and yours, that was offered us by our parents. The tenderness of a good heart, of loving-kindness, of wanting to nurture and protect. I hope through my life to honour my parents and this gift, that it may become more than even they could ever have imagined. There is no way to repay others for what they have given us, except through the goodness of our own hearts and lives. May this be the gift we give each other, in every moment, every day.

Friday, March 02, 2007


There are some that say the world is divided into dog people and cat people; if that is the case, i am not sure where my feet are placed. As a child I was undoubtedly a dog person, living with cats. A dog was a member of our family for a period of time - i am unsure how long. S/he wandered into our lives at some time when I was very small- and, interestingly, was named Gyp by my parents - and then some time later, wandered on again. I have no recollection of the animal itself - gender, breed - but I still remember the faint echo of sadness when I realised s/he was gone forever. I loved her dearly - my mother told me that when she could not find me, she would look in the dog house, and we would be curled up together, asleep.
The three cats - Pinky, Spotty and my brother's ginger, Nicky - were all I had in the way of furry animals, and not so satisfying at that. The 2 white ones (pink nose, black spots) were not overtly friendly - not cuddly lap cats at all. I was always overjoyed when they condescended to sleep on my bed, and would curl my small body around their lumps, and happily abandon the blankets for their comfort; a habit i continue today, which is more challenging with one ( or more) 40lb dogs.
When I turned 12 I was allowed to get a dog of my own - a gorgeous golden retriever called Lisadyce; I remember so vividly her presence in my life: I adored her (the only remaining cat - Spotty - did NOT feel the same way). She expanded my life with her wagging tail, and swims in the pool, and after school walks. My father and I would go to dog shows and talk about showing her - she created quite a bond between us, of jaunts and outings. I was a very shy and awkward child, and Lisa was someone to be myself with, and relax into true happiness. When I left for University, she traipsed with me from shared house to shared house, like a well-loved security blanket; only when I went overseas did she stay with friends. On returning to Australia for the second time after a long stint away, in my mid-twenties, I was heartbroken. My now silvered and arthritic girl had developed dementia, and did not recognise me. The pain was sharp and penetrating; I wanted so badly to have my dear friend to stroke and love as I always had, but she had left. I realised she was happier staying with my friends and their menagerie, where she was loved and cared for with devotion, to the extent they carried her outside to the bathroom when her legs gave way. In that moment a precious piece of my childhood was lost to the past, and I wept deeply. She lived some years longer, and was buried on a farm where my sister lived, on the outskirts of Sydney. I was not there; my friends planted a tree, I hope it has grown strong and tall.
Somewhere in my adult life, cats began to infiltrate my heart. I had never disliked them, but they had been second choice. There is a robustness about dogs - the walks, the licks, the wags - that is so solid and energetic, which nourishes me. The interaction is present, vivid, dynamic, sure. Cats are more subtle in what they offer, no less rewarding, but not so assured. I will say, however, that there is perhaps nothing as comforting or soothing as a purring cat on your lap or the bed. The sound, the vibration - it ripples through the pores of the skin and settles the mind to a more tranquil place. Unfortunately for me, most of the cats I have owned have not been affectionate lap cats, much too independent for that. So, on the rare occasions it happened I would stay glued to the chair, not wanting to move for anything, just to allow that experience to stretch for as long as possible.
When the Katrina rescue animals were being transported here, I insisted we maximise the number of cats. The poor woman doing the checklist had to deal with my repetitious - WE HAVE ROOM FOR 6 - again and again. She came through, and we indeed had six in our small cat rescue room, and I was the cat lady. When we were down to the very last one - an extremely affectionate calico - after the rest had been fostered or adopted, i was worried she would be lonely, so dragged my sleeping bag into the cat room, and surrounded by dangling toys and baskets, slept there. That was exquisite; here was a cat who had been loved in a home, then thrown into the chaos of the post-hurricane trauma, and who had not slept on a bed, with a person for months. She purred and cuddled and trampled her little paws all night, in and out of the covers, she was so happy to be loved and held in that constant way again. I cried when she was adopted, but rejoiced later to hear she had eventually been reunited with her original family. I can only imagine what that meant for her and her owners.
Well, on Sunday my feline yearnings will again be fulfilled. Zeus, pictured above, is coming to live with us. I have been busily planning and building and nailing for a couple of weeks, in preparation; it has been extraordinary fun. I have created a small fully enclosed outdoor yard (I have to protect the darling birds I feed), and filled it with cat things to climb in or on. Of course, I needed a cat door to get into the room, and so pulled off a small square board from the side of the log cabin. Amazingly, it was perfect; instead of a cavity, as I expected, there was an old hand-made brick as a base, and bits of tin as wall, and an opening the perfect size for a cat. I sawed out a hole on the inside planks, and attached some shelves to the wall, so now he can get in and out with ease. Future plan is to enclose the back porch with screen, and create a covered walkway from the yard to that, so he has 3 places to enjoy. Right now it is the room (maybe 18' x 18') and the yard. And 3 dogs.
I have explained to the three of them why I am doing this, and they have been interested to investigate and help. However, I don't think the word CAT is truly in their vocabulary, at least not in a permissible way. According to Milo's report card from the Shelter where I got him, he had, as a puppy, lived with 2 cats - with whom he played roughly (he was as a 6 month old puppy relinquished to the pound because of his energy). So I think he will come through. Gypsy will be horrified and stare at me with those round brown eyes, but she is ageing and arthritic and will deal with it. Nyima is the wild card - loves to chase, including the barn cats - now gone - whenever she gets a chance. Actually, all 3 of them hunt squirrels, and a cat is not so different. But there will be no place for chasing, and besides, the lady who rescued Zeus some weeks ago recommended he get placed here, because he has that masculine authority (look at those eyes!) to deal with dogs. He is currently living with 3, and holding his own - sometimes friendly, sometimes, beware! She assures me he is also a lap cat.
It will be a challenge to keep him inside, and teach the dogs they don't have free access all the time. I have hung a door between the small kitchen and the main room, which has already surprised them, but we will all adjust.
So, only 2 more sleeps and my family will expand, and I am sure some chaos ensue. But i am looking forward to it very much.
In the meantime, tomorrow is a wonderful day - a sacred day for Buddhists - where we try and devote as much time as possible to prayer, and deeply recognising the essence of kindness and compassion, where the potency of whatever you do or think is magnified. So I wish every one a day - a lifetime - of joy and accomplishment and prosperity, that the goodness in our hearts may ripen and flourish. And I also wish you lots of fun, because getting ready for Zeus has reminded me that simply having fun can soften some abrasive edges, and make the sun glow golden inside your very heart.