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Saturday´s supplication … May I be thankful!

September 1, 2012

‘Nothing is permanent. You don’t want to possess anything that is dear to you because you might lose it’  Yoko Ono (1933-)

Coming to Karma Guen is always a challenge. Of course, it is my holiday and my hosts are very welcoming and kind.  However, this is a Buddhist retreat and the home of wrathful, benevolent and kind gods.  After a few days when I have lulled myself into a false sense of security; the holiday mood and warm hospitality often does this to me. So the gods disguise themselves and play tricks in order to get my attention.  
Throughout the year I have gone about my duty; earning the money and time to spend as I can choose for my annual holidays.  Along with all the other joys of life that I have become attached to and take for granted.  
I have forgotten to offer at least a cursory thank you to life; who has treated me so well.  Yet when the slightest assault happens I am eager to blame and disregard.  
So here I am, more vulnerable than ever; but clutching my chest not wanting to share;  let alone giveaway to those less fortunate than myself.
Yesterday, a friend strolling along the water’s edge; arranged his expensive sunglasses to protect his eyes against the sun.  When a mysterious gust of wind knocked him and his shades into the the sea.  Pulling is beloved specs. away across the foam.
He had a choice to accept the fact that the glasses had gone; with bitterness and grief.  Or offer the glasses to the sea as a gift; to sacrifice his good fortune to the gods.  To be thankful for his brief but pleasant good fortune for his holiday and the spectacles and their kind protection.
However as he contemplated his misfortune; his glasses rolled in on the tide and unhurt by the previous turbulence.  
My friend didn’t say which route he had taken; but took the episode as a reminder that life´s pleasures or displeasures are not for us to keep.  Even displeasure may be considered a test or an opportunity to learn or gain credit.  Life is a gift.
May I not treat my fortune and misfortune as a right or a punishment,  but a gift to be traditionally repaid with honour and respect to the gods; playful or otherwise!

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