Not a Buddhist
In my early 20′s when I was shopping around for a spiritual path to replace the theologically uninteresting Presbyterianism of my childhood, I lived for a year at the Lama Foundation, an eclectic spiritual “intentional” community high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. The Buddhism practiced there was Zazen, which seemed to me designed by sadistic depressives. I would sit in fiery physical (and sometimes mental) agony trying to “watch” my breath, eat in silence (cross legged on a zafu), sit still for what seemed such a long time, walk excruciatingly slowly, sit, “chop wood, haul water,” sit (again!)…. The “chop wood, haul water” part was fine for the young back-to-the-land hippie that I was, but my legs, my back, my spirit were in such pain from the sitting still, with my scoliosis, my busy mind. Where was the fun, the playfulness, the ecstasy that I craved? And so from the smorgasbord of spiritual paths practiced at Lama that year, I chose Bakti Yoga. It delighted the hypomanic part of my bipolar self, which I still hoped was the “true me.”
Now a Buddist
Decades later, bipolar disorder finally stabilized (naturally–thank goddess those tricyclic meds didn’t work for me!), my metaphorical cup is no longer less than half full but actually overflows frequently with creativity and happiness. When I learned of the Goddess revival, I finally found my “true religion” and I became a born-again” pagan. That wasn’t enough to cure my bipolar (natural minerals and NLP did the trick), but it kept me alive during some really hard years. Now my Earth-based spirituality feeds my senses, grounds me, and helps me soar from time to time.
I am creating my life now, rather than letting it happen to me. I plant seeds of intentions in what I call my Gratitude Garden: seeds of okayness, seeds of peacefulness, seeds of happiness. Seeds of the life I desire: health, community, home, right livelihood via a heart-based business. I’ve been planting these seeds so my “garden” (myself!) will flourish all through my “wisdom” years. Some seeds are already blossoming, others still germinating. Wondrously, some have borne fruit already (thus I’m able to “open shop” as a creativity/ life coach, to help others bloom).
Changing the garden metaphor a bit, I’ve pruned out some unopened buds of outdated dreams, and some shriveled fruit that never ripened. This allowed new buds to emerge (via self-evolution and conscious intention) on the tree of my life, buds of peace, happiness, abundance, home, community…. Each bud opens “in the fullness of time,” showing first color, then opening slowly (but more frequently now, rapidly!) into full flower, then ripening into fruits that can be shared with others, seeds that will grow in their gardens.
and the occasional fern frond or cottontop grass (even some wild oats in remembrance of my crazy youth, and occasional baby’s breath for gentle youthenizing!). This varied boquet pleases my senses and nourishes my spirit; its colors and textures suit my “multifaceted” personality.
Are you a Buddist too?
What buds are forming on your Tree of Life? Which buds are showing first color? (What color?) Which are in full bloom? Any buds or dried up fruits you need to prune out? What fruits or seeds are ready to share with others?
Rainbow blessings that your Tree of Life receive the nutrients it needs, warm sunlight, plenty of rain… Be a Buddist and blossom!
via Nature Wisdom Journey » Blog http://naturewisdomjourney.com/2013/08/06/we-are-buddists-here/