It snowed last night. Covid is making me fall asleep at 4 or 5 pm which means I am very awake at midnight. The cats and I checked out the snow at 1 am.
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is the Bodhisattva of Compassion. He is enlightened, yet chooses to return to earth over and over, until everyone is enlightened.
In China, he changes gender and names into Kwan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
In college I date a lapsed Jewish Zen Buddhist and I learn to meditate. At the group meetings there are 6 or 7 of us. The Heart Sutra is recited and we meditate facing the wall, sitting on our zafus, for 40 minutes. It is easier to meditate in a group, though I have no idea why. Pride? Some connection to other’s breathing? The breathing will serve me very very well later, when I keep getting pneumonia. The ability to slow my breathing will help me survive.
When we had a group meditation, the Heart Sutra was read slowly and clearly. It has it’s own rhythm. I had lost it and finally found the translation we used. Here it is:
There is more than one translation, here: https://dharmanet.org/HeartSutra.html. I have tapes and books by Jon Kabat Zinn, who has studied mindful meditation for 30 years. He gets better results in his mindful meditation pain classes than opioids, with an average decrease in pain of 50%. His tapes have the same slow gentle speech as our Heart Sutra readers. It is hypnotic and I can relax. Though my oppositional defiance kicks in when he says firmly that I am to fall more awake, not asleep. I listened to that CD every night for a year after my father died. When he would tell me to fall awake, I would smile and slide into sleep, a happy rebel. I was comforted that I did not have to do what he said.
Where is the Avalokitesvara, the Kwan Yin of the West? What examples in the largest religions are there? Someone who stays even after they have achieved enlightenment/heaven because they want everyone there. Not only that, but they believe everyone can be there. And they will not give up until everyone is there.
I was surprised when a Unitarian Minister stated that Unitarians do not believe in Hell, because a loving creator would not consign anyone to Hell. I didn’t really want to give Hell up, but I also agree that a loving creator would not consign anyone to hell. It’s a bit easier for me to think of people as continuing on a wheel of life until they achieve enlightenment than to think of some people going to Heaven, but after all, I don’t know the whole story. No one knows another person’s whole story. I wrote DMV to figure out the Hell/Heaven thing. And the lead character wants to go back, because her work is not done yet.
I am thankful for paxlovid at the moment. I am thankful that I found this translation of the Heart Sutra.
The first photograph is Elwha looking very meditative after going out in the snow. Here they both are in the snow:
For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: solstice.