To The North a Thousand Buddhas

Not the Northern Lights!
Not the Northern Lights!
I received an email from Michael with this poem. Like the poem published yesterday it speaks to the heart. Written from the heart.
Happy New Year everybody.

Such a lovely black and cold night here. The sky was dancing with northern lights. Here are a few words inspired by Rev. Master Meian’s recent Dharma Talk, These Thousand Buddhas
Stretch Out Their Hands To Us

I follow my headlights through the blackness.
To the north a thousand Buddhas
gaze at me with eyes like stars,
sparkling kindness.
They wear robes the colour of jade
and float weightless over the void.
They are forever.
Now I see them.
Yesterday I didn’t.
Tomorrow does not matter.

Michael Burrows, Alberta Canada.

Sharing in Knowing

One cannot stay on the summit forever —
One has to come down again.
So why bother in the first place? Just this!

What is above knows what is below —
But what is below does not know what
is above.

One climbs, one sees —
One descends and sees no longer —
But one has seen!

There is an art of conducting one’s self in
the lower regions by the memory of
what one saw higher up.
When one can no longer see
One does at least still know.

René Daumal

The above has been carried by a woman for twenty years. The paper it is typed on is yellowing. I’m honored to have her permission, and trust, to publish here for others to appreciate. There is a knowing that we all share in – this is a reminder.

The mountain is not some far off distant place.

Perfectly Pink!

Clearly Mt. Shasta our close neighbour here at Shasta Abbey has moods. And equally clearly people have preferences when it comes to the mood of the mountain. Be that the Alpine Glow of the evening light as below.AlpinglowOr the Perfectly Pink, over the top could pick it up and take it home, look which is one of my favourites. Thanks to the monk who captured these two photographs. And now I’m thinking of a correspondent who wrote recently of her fond memories of the mountain while visiting here some twenty years ago. Fundamentally it is the same mountain, as close as it was back then.

Pink Mountain 2And just as with the mountain and the weather conditions which produce images redolent with feeling, so too with us. We show our moods  in how we appear and in how we respond to those we encounter,  conditioned by our own weather – mental, physical, emotional.

Of late I’ve been holding off a cold and I’m seeing myself responding to hands of concern and voices of sympathy and advice in a somewhat frosty way. The other evening I pulled a face  so unlike me that I even shocked myself! Yes, I guess we would all like to appear as we would wish others to see us. If not perfectly pink at least something close to a glow. And certainly not appear such that others recoil in horror! As happened the other evening.

This post is for a cat who is struggling to live and for her care taker who appeared in my dream last night – her face a saintly glow. Oh and for my patient and caring fellows who can see past appearances. Thank goodness!


Cakes – Non Traditional

The day before Christmas?
We bake, roll almond paste,
Melt chocolate, decorate.
Non traditionally.

And tonight we sing,
Read from the
Light of Asia
Eat dainties.

Bowing to
Smiling with
Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett

In The Morning – Light Shines

Mt. Shasta, Northern California in late December.
Mt. Shasta, Northern California in late December.

One of the monks took this photograph of Mt. Shasta this morning. I’ll call him an ‘associate photographer’ for Jade – there are others of course. This image really struck a note with me and so here it is for readers and viewers to enjoy. Last year the mountain had only a light dusting of snow and this year it’s fully iced. I’m thinking in cake terms as we are heading into cake decorating tomorrow. Something I always loved to do with Rev. Master Jiyu presiding over the holiday treat making.

The longest night passed without comment this year. Over on Warp and Weft Knitting there is this post, Lightly Held, on the Longest Night and wanted to draw your attention to it. If you are a knitter, there is much on this site to appreciate. And if not there is much you will appreciate especially the light touch and humour behind the whole blog. Keep on blogging. In the morning light shines, unrelentingly.

Thanks you people for returning again and again. Please do subscribe to receive blog posts directly via email. If you have trouble doing that leave a comment and I’ll write back. I’ve not sorted out the contact form and there is little chance of doing that before the end of the year. Oh, and please do leave comments. Reading them and responding is all part of the blog which I continue to enjoy writing and photographing for.