Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Precious Human Life Meets Summer

Here's a new piece, 20"x 24". It's called Andy's Buddhas. I know you can guess why. Each little Buddha is wearing a verse from the Dhamapada and the bottom block of green has the words from "This Precious Life" by the Dalai Lama:

Every day, think as you wake up, Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use All my energies to develop myself, To expand my heart out to others, To achieve enlightenment for The benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry, Or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others As much as I can

Yesterday as I was hanging the laundry (a favourite meditation of mine) I felt this deep sense of being home, of true joy. I am generally a slightly grumbly type but this place just fills me with gratitude. Everything about it seems just right for me. There is privacy and quiet and a beautiful rural quality to the place. I can hang out in the garden. I can water the plants in my pyjamas with my hair standing in ways that would frighten small children. I can spend endless hours messing around with art materials. I have found placement for my art in several venues and the natives here seem uncannily friendly when you go into town.

I realized as I counted my blessings that these were all outward manifestations that could change at any time and that true equanimity comes from being okay with whatever comes up. This in fact deepens the gratitude and joy for me, knowing how special and fleeting such things can be. Appreciating and enjoying the small pleasures of life does not stand against knowing that our true essence lies somewhere deeper. The most "spiritual" beings I have met are filled with laughter and joy. They are also filled with faith and trust in what presents itself. My old Dharma teacher recently gave a talk on the Rolling Stones line: "You don't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might get what you need." Who knew the Rolling Stones were Dharma teachers?

So while the weather isn't overly cooperative in this part of the world we are enjoying the pleasures of summer. Yesterday we wandered a bit in the local Saturday market, picked a huge bowl of strawberries from the patch down by the pond. And following the lead of merci 33 I decided to sleep outside under the full moon. No matter I needed long underwear and a wool sweater. And I slept under the covered part of the deck so when the rain started at 3 in the morning I simply rolled over. The night air was filled with the sounds of frogs and the occasional hooting of owls. Yet at 3 in the morning silence had the upper hand. The moon moved in and out of the clouds and skirting along the tops of the fir trees.

What will you do to welcome this delicious, delicate, fleeting season?


  1. Yes, to not count at all.
    As for welcoming the season, the truth is that I always begrudge summer at first. But then I make my amends:)

  2. Andy's Buddhas are marvelous...and your place in the community sounds as if it is gently falling into place. Good luck at the Starfish gallery!

    Hanging laundry on the line is such a fine meditation.

    And I really hear this when you write:
    "I realized as I counted my blessings that these were all outward manifestations that could change at any time and that true equanimity comes from being okay with whatever comes up."

    That's a wonderful reminder on this summer afternoon, thank you.

  3. The summers there sound wonderful!

    Have you ever heard of "The Curve of Time," or "Voyages to Windward"? They're two nice books about Vancouver Island and sailing the inside passage there.

  4. Thank you, thank you, for gift of your happiness, so lovingly shared. I get a sense that you have found your home, both inner and outer, and that is so inspiring . . .

  5. I especially love this one...multiple images and the beautiful piece by Dalai Lama.
    Your words greeted me this morning with such openness...thank you.
    Wow, sleeping outside, what a treat, not an easy treat with the bundling but a treat all the same...Home.

  6. Mmmmm... I'm savouring your words as I stuff myself with strawberries and yogurt. Hanging laundry is awesome meditation. Almost as powerful as watching it flutter in the breeze. I miss my clothesline. We welcomed this season with a set of new compost bins and had fun all evening filling them... like Eeyore and the honey pot. :-D

  7. I studied printmaking through out university, your works have similar characteristics,like painted prints. Do you incorporate some print techniques?

    I hope to welcome the season with as many trips to the beach with my daughter that we can manage! ^^

    thank you~


  8. As always, everyone, your visits and comments are savoured!

    DQ - I sense an autumn lover like myself?

    Merci33 I imagine you with your beautiful journal, in your garden on these summer afternoons.

    Chong Go Sunim - I am not familiar with these books. Will have to check the local library which is a delightfully homey place. Love those title before I even read a word!

    Marguerite - And while I know that home is really somewhere inside us all, you are right, I feel very much like I have landed somewhere that resonates deeply within.

    Blue Sky Dreaming - Thank-you! And sleeping outside was a treat. I am looking forward to some long-john free nights out there.

    Genju - ah the pleasures of the season. next comes cherries! ah the delight of new garden things. What fun to start the garden season with new compost bins, a place for the pits and seeds.

    Joseph - Interesting about the printing. I do a lot of image transfer and collage and I can see the similarity to printing. I have taken a print making class and loved the surprises that came out of the press. Have fun at the beach. Sand stupas?

  9. To feel such resonance with life as it is - with whatever is presented - sounds delightful! Am so happy for you that you are having this experience!

  10. hi carol
    i'm happy for you that you're enjoying your new home...being an islander myself, i can relate to the wonderful way you describe life there...summers on the islands are's the winters i have trouble with.
    be well

  11. sand stupas... great idea! ^^