Two Statues

First of all, for those of you who read yesterday’s post, Willie signed at 4:55!

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I’m a Buddhist. I feel it in my bones. Mr. Buddha was a smart guy. He saw that life is not only pleasure, praise, gain and fame. It also has its fair share of pain, blame, loss and disrepute. And we humans can embrace it all.

On my back patio sits a cement Buddha, about a foot-and-a-half tall. His eyes are closed, his head is bowed … perfect repose. I used to look at my friend a lot, but not very much lately. I wonder why. I still meditate about four times a week, adopting the same pose. Sometimes I reach a deep peace, or rather a deep peace comes upon me. And often love bubbles up: for my friends, for all of us human beings, for life. It’s very soft and quiet.

On an end table in my living room sits another Buddha, this one in polished stone, an inch-and-a-half tall. His head is up, his eyes meet mine, his smile includes and his belly rounds. I like him more than my friend who’s just shed his mantle of snow. Hmm.

A few weeks ago, I experienced an orientation to the work of the Evolutionary Collective. It was in Asheville, North Carolina. I got to be in the physical presence of some fine folks whom I had previously only known online. I sum up the experience with one word: “eyes”. We really looked at each other. We talked to each other, often within a sublime space of love.

On my meditation retreats, I was always encouraged to avoid eye contact, to leave people alone so they could deal with their issues. And these were silent retreats. Within them, I felt love for my fellow yogis but couldn’t express it outwardly.

I revere the tall statue
I adore the short one
They’re both fine fellows

Three

It was yesterday evening, and I couldn’t think of anything to write. And that was okay … I knew that sooner or later something would come. The voice inside said “Go meditate. Your answer is there.” My small mind didn’t think so, but since I love meditating I headed for my chair.

Soon thoughts became few and far between, and any urge for a “solution” disappeared. About an hour in, it felt right to stop. My longtime tradition is to caress my singing bowl with the mallet three times as I end. And so I did.

“Three. Write about the beauty of that number.” Thank you, sweet voice.

In one tradition of Buddhist meditation, the three gongings represent the Buddha, the dharma (the Buddha’s teachings) and the sangha (the community of practitioners). Lovely. I feel a sense of deep belonging in that. There’s a togetherness that creates a far more profound happiness than my own spiritual progression.

And now my own name bubbles up: Bruce. I remember as a kid asking my mom for more syllables … one was not enough. My ideal length was always three. Yesterday I watched a champion golfer do his thing. His name was Francesco. Perfect. Just call me “Francesco” from now on, please.

On the train towards Newfoundland a month ago, I was passing through Montreal. A glance to the left showed me the former US Pavilion at Expo 67. Back then, it was a radical new design, from the mind of Buckminster Fuller – a geodesic dome. Its skeleton was composed of triangles of metal tubing. Extremely stable, grounded. Hmm. Thanks to Bucky, the image of a triangle has been firmly planted in my brain.

I think again of the Buddha and me. Another threesome comes to mind: me, you and all of you. Such are the joys of my life. I sit across from you in a coffee shop and we talk about life. Around us are other you’s who need to be included. There’s a lovely balance among the three.

Balance
Strength
Inclusion

Sculpture

I went to a friend’s book launch today but when I arrived she told me it was cancelled, delayed due to some publishing issue.  So we sat around and drank tea.  More people showed up and more tea was poured.

At one point, a visitor was talking about her art at home.  I heard the words “metal sculptor” and jerked up on the couch.  “I’ve been looking for one.”  Indeed I have.

I have a two-piece bathroom on the main floor of my condo, featuring a large blank yellow wall.  It’s come to me that I don’t want a painting there.  I want a sculpture.

Of all the shapes in the world, what do I yearn for in that room?

How about a tree – a symbol of growth and beauty?

Or a perfect circle – a symbol of union and timelessness?

Maybe a star – a symbol of brilliance and wonder?

No.  I want a human being.  For as much as I love nature and geometry, it’s people that make my world.

So what do I want this person to be doing?  Hands in the air in triumph?  Or giving everything in a stride to the finish?  How about hands on the hips in defiance?

No.  I want arms outstretched in welcome, in caressing, in caring.  I want head down in humility.  Something selfless and embracing.  What I do believe the world needs.

I’ll find such a sculptor and he or she will find a person within the chrome.  And I’ll be reminded every day of what I hold dear.

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To those of you who read my last post: four hours of sleep with half a pill on Thursday, eight hours on a whole one last night … and another half soon in my tummy.  Goodnight.