Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.One day Marie asked, "Does that say 'in the midst of the mall'?" We all agreed, that worked. Rest like a great tree, in the midst of the mall. That was back before the crash, so we felt ourselves to be in the midst of the consumer society, trying not to be swept by it.
This quote is about maintaining equanimity, not being pushed off balance by our experiences. I had a funny little push recently when the blogger minddeep named me one of 15 Buddhist women's blogs she especially liked. This has led on the way karma does. Today I had an email from a University press that wants me to send me a Buddhist book by a woman. This is the second time this has happened this month, probably people in publishing checking minddeep's list. But it feels like praise. Like being special.
This heady acclamation has subtly nudged me to feel more Buddhist, to slant the blog more Buddhist, if you know what I mean. When I started this I was all over the place, not knowing my identity, though my blog name itself makes some of it clear.
I am uneasy about writing for "an in-crowd" and shutting everyone else out, but it is probably inevitable. And what a pleasure it is to talk to faithful readers who talk back, to read your blogs, to be able to speak comfortably from my framework. Talking to other Buddhists I know some of the things we all believe in, like compassion and non-harming. In the same way, I go to my church and know I can talk as a Unitarian, that is, people I know there share my liberal political and social views. In this day of a gathering storm of sheer hatred calling itself the Tea Party, it's nice to have homes like this.
The photo today is Snowgirl 2010, by Susan Michael Barrett. She was made in Texas - something I wouldn't have believed last year - and began melting as soon as her garland was placed, a vivid testimony to change. She is all organic.