Buddhism tagged posts

Here Then Gone: The Short Half-Life of Ecstatic Moments

 It was one of those Moments. The daylight waning, the sky a magnificent stew of cirrus wisps both vertical and horizontal to the west and south, stratus puff balls north and east, the trending-toward-full moon already up and peeking from behind the latter.

At that still-point dusky moment transitioning from day to early eve, with the world perfectly poised between its in- and out-breath, the color palette of pale oranges, golds, purples, pinks, magentas and more seemed both fathomless and intoxicating.

And then came the geese.

They were in their classic extended V formation, winging southwest towards their home in the Laguna de Santa Rosa after their usual daytrip to the cozy confines of Spring Lake Park, where I assume they came across plentiful tasty creatures to slide down their impressive gullets. (“Oh, to have a neck like that,” I hear every model and ballerina in the world sighing…)

And mere ...

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Editing the Buddha: (Musical) Notes on the Beautiful and Holy

It’s a hard life we lead, no one able to stand apart from or rise above the suffering that snags us—or at least snips at our heels—in one way or other at every turn. That said, beauty exists, too, as valid and true and eternal as the suffering we endure. So at the considerable risk of editing the Buddha, I am proposing a little add-on to the First Noble Truth—“Life is suffering”—that would go something like: “Life is suffering—and beauty.” (Indeed, we can even put the two together in noting that many people suffer intensely for beauty. Another name for these people: “artists.”)

True, the capacity to appreciate beauty can be suppressed or waylaid when one is in the throes of intense physical pain or depression, but the beautiful things of the world, their sense of sacramentality we discussed here several weeks ago, also act as a balm, a healing agent, a gateway to the holy...

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