Sunday, May 30, 2010

Medium-sized Buddha waits for the Big Buddha

We don't know when it's coming, but we have received many gifts in preparation for it. The man who dug up the driveway for the new sprinkler system donated beautiful local gravel for the garden that will hold our new Big Buddha. Some sangha members, including Ray, Chumkee, Jamie and Jason, have donated their sweat and expertise to preparing the ground. We have also received a few unsolicited monetary contributions. The Big Buddha waits somewhere, meditating peacefully. The medium-sized Buddha waits on the gravel pile. The universe is moving along, in its complexity, to bring these two together. The timing, as with everything else, seems to be out of our control. Nothing to do but sit and wait. As usual!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Big Buddhas, Little Buddhas

The Temple has recently been offered a huge Buddha statue at a very reduced price. My husband and I have decided to purchase it as a gift to the Temple. (See his blog : for the full story. It's been quite "karmic" in its unfolding -- many causes and conditions -- just as the whole Temple adventure has been.) The big Buddha is five feet tall and four feet wide, and made of granite. (In case you're wondering, he's the one in the picture at the bottom of this post.) For many years, I have been collecting Buddha, Bodhisattva and monk figures, which come to me in very unusual ways -- tag sales, discount stores, Goodwill stores, gift shops and, of course, actual gifts. One of my friends called our former home the land of a thousand Buddhas. The little fellow smiling at you in the picture directly below is about 3 inches high and lives on the desk in my office. I believe he will welcome his new friend with the same calmness and sense of amusement he seems to bring to everything. He is a little walking monk -- wind him up and he walks on for quite a while. (As the old woman said to Zhao-zhou. "A good respectable monk, but he too goes on like that.") The new big Buddha figure, once he is set down by the crane (he weighs many tons) will not move again, we hope. He will sit and welcome visitors, letting anyone passing by know that something unusual is going on at the big white house on Pleasant Street.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Zen Romance

Sam and Betsy met at a practice period at the Berwick Street Zendo in 2004, and according to Sam, it was love at first sight. Today they're getting married -- our first wedding at Boundless Way Temple. Betsy is a cello player, and her string quartet is playing in the entry hall, with Sam's daughter Sarah substituting for Betsy's cello part on trombone. The music is glorious and delightful.

The soon to be married couple couldn't resist taking a turn around the dance floor. Happy Wedding Day, Betsy and Sam!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ready? Smile!

There is a koan in the Gateless Gate collection that goes like this:

The priest Ruiyan called "master!" to himself every day and answered himself "Yes!"

Then he would say "Be aware!" and reply "Yes!"

"Don't be deceived by others!"
"No, no!"

One of our tasks as students of the Way is to understanding the meaning of "others." Who is this lovely and humble old man Ruiyan talking to? Are you talking to me? Who are you? What is this? Who is taking the picture? Ready?


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The children have just left the Temple after the children's service, and all is fairly quiet. Birds sing, traffic goes by, and a walk by the gazebo reveals a little altar, carefully and slightly wildly put together by the children and their parents. Jizo stands next to a feather found at the Ecotarium, and sand from a Tibetan mandala sits between the cracks of special rocks and sticks. All Buddhas, throughout space and time, finding a home together.