Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zendot Turns Two, No Tantrums, Please, We're Buddhist

Two years ago today, I wrote my first post on blogger. I was dipping my toe into the cyber ink pot (now that's better than ambidextrous, don't you think?). I had posted some art on etsy and the etsy tips suggested a blog was a good thing. Sure why not. I didn't have a clear idea of where I was going but I pulled on my blogger boots and headed off down the trail, posting my first piece of art called "Post Apocalyptic Buddhist Graffiti" Three passions bumped into each other on the trail, my love of writing, exploring the Dharma and art. Here was a place they could hang out together, meet, shake hands, have a coffee, do the hokey pokey, anything within the boundaries of reasonably good taste. It didn't really matter if anyone read what fell in the blogger forest, I was balancing precariously on a little cyber soap box. It felt like a strange mix of offering and opportunity.

It has been an interesting journey, sometimes with many consecutive days of disciplined writing (100 days of Dharma) and as a personal challenge, 30 days of art. At some point I decided I didn't want to post everyday just for the sake of posting. I wanted to write when something in my life or on my mind beckoned me to the page.

I found Dharma friends along the way and blogs that resonated with me, bloggers filled with wisdom and passion who offered sips and deep drinks from their wells. My Dharma has always been about the koan of everyday life, not so much what I find in books or scriptures. It has been my aim to share my life with some transparency without being too much of a Zen Soap Opera. I try to balance the suffering with some joy and find the Charlie Chaplin in the suffering. Irreverence and foolishness are important qualities to me and I try to bake a little into each batch of Dharma biscuits.

The little paper doll Buddhas in the picture above are sharing the coffee table with a book called "Pain Free" (it's written by a physiotherapist, no Dharma intended) but it struck me that often that's what we're up to, trying to escape from our pain, whatever it might be. I have been learning that pain is a little like the monsters in nightmares, you've just got to turn around and look them in the eye. I have been learning that there is so much sweetness and wisdom in the darkness, in the pain. It is full and ripe and just what you need. You just have to learn how to shine the little bike light from your Christmas stocking on it and find the hidden treasures.

That first Dec 30th, 2008 blog post contained these words from 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 thougths 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."

What more can we ask for really to wake up each day with the aim to "wake up"?


  1. Happy Birthday! And am I ever grateful you were incarnated in this form! What I love most about your blog is the absence of Soapy Operata - leaves no slimy film of sweetness and Goo! You have been such an inspiration for me - both in your dedication to practice and in the community you have opened up for a timidly blooming artist like me.

    This morning, I awake.
    Twenty-four brand new hours before me.
    May I live them in mindfulness and love.

    Thank you for practising,

  2. That is essentially the prayer I wake with each morning before I open my eyes...thank you Holy Blessed One for returning my soul to me...for another day, this precious gift that is LIFE.

    Happy New Year to you Carole...may it be one of learning to look into the shadows, finding friendship, compassion and solace in the pain...and peace and joy as you relax into the moment at hand.

  3. Congratulations on 2 years of authentic blogging full of integrity, practical Dharma insight and passion for the Path - wonderful ingredients in your delicious biscuits :) It's been a pleasure and inspiration reading them, getting to know you in the process. And of course, your "Buddha Art" that I love so much with those wonderful faces of the Buddha that light up my heart...

    Looking forward to another year of "shining the light."

    Heart Hugs - Christine

  4. Thanks to everyone for coming to my party

    108ZB - Lovely how the inspiration works back and forth! I learn so much from your blog, your generosity of spirit and wise training (and of course your book shelf!). So nice to be winging it on this plane together. Another slice of cake?

    Laura - Happy new year to you! And thanks for the kind wishes. I am learning slowly to see the richness in the shadows, So nice to share this journey with you.

    MeANderi - It seems you have been keeping me company and offering support and wise words since almost the beginning of this blogging life. So glad to be traveling in your company, hanging out in your cave, sniffing the cool night air at the window with you. Always my pleasure.