4 Jan
Posted in: Poems, Practice
By    Comments Off on What Reminds You

What Reminds You

“In the name of daybreak, the eyelids of morning, the wayfaring moon and the night when it departs….I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly, as a guardian of nature, a healer of misery, a messenger of wonder and an architect of peace.” — Diane Ackerman


I highly recommend taking some kind of vows every day. They don’t have to be as poetic as these. (Mine aren’t.) They just have to be intentionally made.

I also recommend setting up some kind of sacred/honored space where you can make these vows. It doesn’t have to have a buddha statue, of course. Just whatever reminds you of your deepest values.

This is a photo of my sacred space.

The framed pictures are of my teachers: Mirabai Bush, Lila Kate Wheeler and Phillip Moffitt. The bowl holds some of my treasured retreat mementos: pebbles from various meditation centers I’ve attended; a shell from the beach where I made my own, personal Bodhisattva vows; a tiny buddha left on my cushion by a fellow retreatant whose name I never knew. The color photo is of Guan Yin, the statue we have here at the St. Louis Art Museum, which seems almost sentient to me, and to which I pay a visit whenever I can. Next to Guan Yin is a little brass case that holds colored sand distributed by Tibetan monks who had used it to create — and which later they destroyed — an elaborate mandala at the City Museum. It was given to me by a neighbor in an apartment building I used to live in, who had the delightful habit of spontaneous generosity, and who (not surprisingly) was deeply endowed with an amazing array of fabulous friends.

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