Saturday, March 10, 2007
Getting Stepped On
After the walk our western lay sangha conducted a 5 mindfulness trainings ceremony and 8 people took the trainings. Conducted by our lay dharma teacher Tony Mills and others, it was a very nice occasion in the Buddha hall. In the afternoon our sangha organized and conducted a very sweet tea ceremony. People offered gratitude, stories, poems and songs, to enjoy along with fresh tea, cookies and other treats. On the way over to the ceremony I saw the photographer and his assistant selling pictures that, amazingly, had been taken that morning. Looking through them I found this picture that looked like it could have been taken from on top of me. It was nice of him to offer it to me for free. Perhaps he recognized his footprints.
During the tea ceremony I sang a song and shared the story of the picture and turned around to show my muddy robe. The incident seemed like a metaphor for my experience with this international sangha; it's peaceful mostly, then at times like getting stepped on, as sometimes I perceive happiness from the others, and other times it seems less happy. I realize that it is my own mind causing me suffering and I have another opportunity to practice beginning anew with myself. We have been practicing as well as we can to go with constantly changing schedules, activities and locations. This is a beautiful pilgrimage with Thay. Fortunately the mud came off in the hotel bathroom sink.