Wednesday, March 11, 2009
a good day to smile
Words and thoughts for a post buffet around in my mind a lot. Mostly discarded, because time flows and relevance shifts. My littlest dog, Maddie, I think has her eyes set on a post. She has already sent a message to my friend Rabden via chat (yes, really!), and googled for something. I came back to the desk and found the screen open at search results for some obscure medical thing. I guess it wasn't what she was looking for, as she had already departed the keyboard. So maybe she is working up to a tantalising post.
What I will say is that today - a blustery, sunny, wild sort of day at Dakini Valley - is a great day to share words of kindness and support, to be generous and openhearted. To do something that will bring a smile to someone else. To feed the wild birds. To just be be the sort of person we all hope to have around us when things are rough and tough in our lives.
Today is a holy Buddhist day, a day to be mindful of the gifts we have to offer - the positive ones of compassion and basic goodness. I have been fortunate to learn so much about making choices that bring benefit - to myself, to others, to the animals, to the world. I don't always make the right choices, of course, but I know where to turn if things get in disarray: to my teacher, my Lineage and to the incomparable example of the head of our Lineage, HH Penor Rinpoche.
I have had the good fortune to attend HH summer retreats for 6 years, beginning in 1999, when I was so green around the edges (a brand new Buddhist), it makes me both cringe and laugh.
Like everything else, my retreat path has not been linear. I did year 2 three times, for example. And the experience each summer is vastly different than the one before. But what has been consistent and unquestionable has been the unwavering kindness and dedication of His Holiness to each and every student. His teachings, his presence are the purest essence of wisdom and compassion, and if you listen with an open receptive heart you cannot fail to change and blossom.
Over the years I have witnessed his health vary, but never ever, not for one second, did that impact upon his commitment to uphold the pristine teachings of the Buddha, and to offer them to us in ways we can receive, and live. That is why he is there for us, every single one of us - even when he has been in pain, he has never let us down.
What a gift he gives, and that is the gift we can share with each other. Kindness, graciousness, no judgment and blame. A wide open heart that embraces everyone and every being without distinction. Such a simple thing, in this complex world, and yet one available to everyone, wherever, whomever we are. That is its perfection.