Tag Archive | bodhisattva vow

Aspiration

Jizo 10One of my favorite Buddhist verses, the aspiration from Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara, here interlaced with some commentary of my own that keeps occurring to me as I do my morning breathing exercises with this aspiration at eye-level:

May I become at all times, both now and forever

     today, tomorrow, this very breath, every breath until I have no more

A protector for those without protection

     including those who need protected from their own delusions

A guide for those who have lost their way

    including those who threw away every map, every compass

A ship for those with oceans to cross

     including those running away from whatever they refuse to face

A bridge for those with rivers to cross

     including those who have burnt the very bridges they now need

A sanctuary for those in danger

     including those who are their own greatest enemy

A lamp for those without light

     including those who will not open their own tightly clenched eyes

A place of refuge for those who lack shelter

     including those who have rejected every shelter offered them

And a servant to all in need.

     including those who are difficult and those I dislike. Including every sentient being. Every single one.

Simplicity

Jizo 17[Happy November! It’s the first day of National Novel Writing Month, popularly referred to as NaNoWriMo. As I plan to participate in the awesome craziness of writing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, I have prewritten my blogs for November and loaded them to automatically post on the appropriate days. So they are not as immediately relevant to my life as prior blogs have been; however, they are just as true reflections. Enjoy and if you’re a fellow Wrimo – happy noveling!]

With the arrival of colder weather and the typical interpretation of Thanksgiving and Christmas as feasts, November always seems to me to begin a winter season that resolves around food. Therefore I will be diverging this month from the spiritual into some discussions about food. Of course, everything is interconnected, so there is actually a great deal of the spiritual in food.

One of my favorite cookbooks is More-with-Less. It is not a fancy cookbook; it’s certainly not as exciting as any of those written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. But when our kids move out, I will be giving each of them their very own copy of the More-with-Less Cookbook, something my son has already asked for because he’s leaned to do a lot of cooking from that unassuming little book, filled with Mennonite simplicity and big-family efficiency. The book offers more than just a wonderful homemade alternative to Bisquick, which can be used to make the very best pancakes and biscuits, more than just filling casseroles and stews. It contains quite a lot of thought-provoking text about how we can make our diets more reflective of the world reality, which is that most people live in state of not having enough to meet their needs. Its sister books, Extending the Table and Simply in Season, continue that conversation with advice on how we can bend our diets to match the realities of the natural cycle, rather than bending the entire world to meet our every culinary whim. Continue reading