A new book has entered my life. It is exactly one and a half inches thick, with gold/yellow writing set into the blue cover, and red grid lines separate the titles of the five books contained within the one book. It is smooth to the touch, I didn’t weight it! That’s one and a half inches of solid reading. Rarely do I remember titles however any book that I have picked up more than a few times is remembered by its cover, the colour most especially. This book is the colour of the much treasured Lapis lazuli, a toned-down version of Winsor Newton’s, Ultramarine. Historically that colour was comprised of pulverize Lapis mixed with binding agents to make a powerful paint used by Old Masters. As with the paint so with the book, it contains much treasure, Dharma Treasure. Hopefully, I’ll be able to draw on and write about some of the contents as I travel through it over the weeks to come.
Many thanks for this book, it’s a valued gift.
Two people sent me links to a news item about the search for a person to play the role of the Buddha in a proposed film. ‘Somehow’ they were going to make a virtual image of an idealized Buddha and then search for a good match via Google. (“Could that be right?”) Anyway, since the Buddha did not allow images to be made in his lifetime they are relying on a number of references to come up with a likeness. I wish them well and await the outcome with interest.
The arrival of the book, my initial involvement with its outward appearance and the news item set me to pondering. It is so easy to evaluate, to judge by surface appearances, and much of the time that’s how we normally operate. We don’t contemplate the deep nature of the bus, we just need to notice that it is number 9, or not, and get on it. From somewhere I remember a saying: “Look with the eye of a Buddha and you will see the heart of a Buddha”. This points to making a deliberate effort not to travel the surface of life, to bring the mind of meditation along with you. No matter how unlike our assumptions, all have the heart of a Buddha.
Everything teaches and the Number 9, in so many ways, has become a ‘Buddha’ for me. It’s the biggest, bendiest bus I’ve ever been on and you meet such interesting people too.