Thursday, December 01, 2005

Sitting Still

"Don't just do something, sit there."

--"Buddha Rising," National Geographic
(December 2005)

How encouraging to think that Buddhism is on the rise. Instead of war, peace. Instead of materialism, spirit. Instead of fear, meditation. Healing, on this day of Aids awareness.

The Buddha of Hawaii
(photo by Jameson)

For myself, agreeing with Siddhartha that the way is individual, that my own thought and mind offer the right path to enlightenment, I have sought my own middle way-- between the extremes of hedonism and stoicism. Call it Epicurean Buddhism, meditation in the garden of delights.

Buddha taught detachment from desire as the cure for suffering in the world. For me, detachment involves engagement. Become engaged in the pure delights of Nature. Pay attention to the meandering of a monarch butterfly. Watch as the stars of Orion come into view in the winter night sky. Sit and listen, eyes closed, to the sound of a waterfall. Meditate on moments of love from others.

More active engagement, politics, protest, civil disobedience may be part of the way to enlightenment, as well. The Bodhisattvas postpone personal enlightenment until they help others obtain the path (Dao). There are many Buddhist Masters among us, subtle shepherds offering us guidance. Compassion.

For now, I'll just follow Pan. Listen to music, wander to the waterfall, swim in the ocean of being. Take along some loving friends. Next stop, Kalani, Hawaii.

"It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing."

--Gertrude Stein


Horoscope for December 1:

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): With a new moon in the skies it is time to reconsider the little things in life that make you happy.