“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” Buddha
I found a journal in the bookstore, in the clearance book section that has a quote on each page attributed to the Buddha, I bought it with the intention of using it to take notice of the presence of Buddhism in the serendipitous progress of my life. (although I have not been formally practicing for several months (the excuses are endless but of poor quality) So this is the first post from the book.
The first day of the week, I write, “SORRY” is word that could bring peace.
Later in the week I start speaking about truths and lies and how it is better to speak a thousand truths than one lie.
The day breaks bright and sunny. I am up early with the dog, it is crisp, but if it is anything like yesterday it will be warm, my sunburned face and arms tell how unexpectedly warm it really was. I did not sleep well, my thoughts were full and deep, I think it was the pull of the giant moon. Take me fishing, I tell the pirate before breakfast. The breeze over the reservoir is chilly, particularly in the shade. I cast out long over the water, then sit to wait for the tip of the pole to bob up and down. The kildeer are skimming the water, I can hear a woodpecker laughing, and two red winged blackbirds are calling back and forth to one another as I sit between them. The kid who tried to fish in the same spot as us, before the pirate politely told him to leave, is talking to his dad somewhere around the corner, I can hear them but not see them. The wind is making the waves lap, but here where it is more secluded than the first spot, it is not bouncing the pole. For the briefest of moments I feel whole, at one, complete, I am not doing yoga as I should be, and didn’t go to the Zen Center as I should have, but I am meditative as the sun shines on the camo jacket I bought last week at a flea market for five bucks, the cuffs are not even worn, so it is like brand new. I am sitting in the grass as the dog whines over by the pirate, he is tied to a sapling but he wants to be set free. When the pirate lets him go the dog runs to me and back to the pirate and then he goes in the water and comes out and shakes it off on the pirate’s gear, goes back in the water and shakes it on the pirate, and he does it several times, making him holler; a feeling I know well because later as he mows the lawn and I weed his rock garden I leave the dog’s poop in the yard just to make him yell. It makes me laugh out loud when he does, but back at the water the dog keeps looking up at him and smiling shaking that swampy muddy water off on him.
As I sit waiting for a fish to bite, I think the purpose of fishing is not to catch a fish, rather it is an opportunity to commune with nature, catching a fish is good, but sitting quietly along the bank of some body of water, that is even better. And when I think this, I realize that sitting at the Zen Center may not be the answer, it is formal, and obeisant; there is something to be said for this informal recognition of the connectedness of life for being present in the everyday, to being able to move if my hip hurts, to being able to pet the dog if he comes to say hello, to be able to toss words to the man I love, though we do not talk constantly and we are just as comfortable with the silence. Maybe I have it wrong though, perhaps formal sitting brings some other great reward that I cannot fathom. But honestly, I would rather sit and fish than and come to the revelations, than to sit formally. Catching the fish is not the point. It is the waiting for the bite that brings serenity.
I realize that sorry isn’t the word, the only word that can bring peace is forgiveness, with or without the sorry.
All one needs to be at peace is the ability to forgive, others, ones self, the world, the events that occur, the suffering, the pain, forgive it, forgive.
I think I need to fish some more.