09 May, 2010

This is Your Mind on Purpose

Philip Anderson artist

There is an older man in my Sangha that I often see in my temple, and other sittings. We have been to one 5-week class together, so at least I am familiar face. Tonight, we sat for a 40-minute meditation followed by a stellar dhamma talk, after which I turned back and saw his smiling face. While leaving, I said, “Keep it fun!” ….putting my hand on his. He said, “You are fun!” and we launched into a conversation about dhamma and life. At one point I said, "The older I get I realize that I don't know anything." He replied, "By saying this you know something." What he doesn’t know he is one of models for how to wisely deal with aging….with a smile. Because no matter how many years you have lived on this earth, if end up being a grumpy, old, “been-there-done-that” kind of man you will never get to share your wisdom with anyone. If you are like this man, smiling even with a body that is falling apart, and skin heading south …then the world is your oyster and people will come to you. You will never die lonely and forgotten wondering what the hell life was really for.

So here is my card to Carlos, when I see him next.

"Enchanted Tripitika", near Patravadi Theatre

I have often look to your smiling face, as inspiration on this path, as so many get caught up with making this a serious, “get it done” endeavor. Your smile rewards people with a vision that is beyond the me, that we so dearly protect and helps point us all to a life that puts aside the misery and fear associated with aging. It signals the lightness of your being that is awake with possibilities of mindfulness, knowing that it is a conscious decision to smile with all unknowns of life. You are one model that comes to my mind on this wisdom path. I am not that far away from you in age but still miles from the smile you share with the world.

Thank you.


G said...

What a wonderful post, Was Once. Full of insight and love - just what Buddhism's all about!

Was Once said...

How often do we think nice things about people and never say anything, we actually wait for some negative thing to say instead? We must start noticing the good in people, thanks G.

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