Monday, February 21, 2011

A Simple Buddhist Prayer:
May all beings everywhere, with whom we are all interconnected, be fulfilled, awakened and free. May there be peace in this world and throughout the entire universe, and may we all together complete the spiritual journey.
The hazy greens walls were punctuated by shots of color in the tanka paintings. Flashes of powdery yellow, like the stain of saffron, and deep, almost black maroon. The painted Buddha was sitting in the lotus position on a cloud. He floated in the sky with a look of perfect serenity and calm.

I was also in the lotus position, still in my flannel pajamas, light brown hair tied loosely at the nape of my neck. Smoky incense, circling up to the ceiling was giving me a tiny headache. The green silk curtain, falling in folds from the top of the arched doorway, puddled on the floor. The murmur of chanting monks in the background, rhythmic and soothing, hummed through my body. The chanting made my breathing steady and measured.

I faced the dark wood altar. A carved, gilded statue of Buddha sat in the center, rice-filled caddies nestling sticks of incense were on either side. The Dalai Lama, in a framed photograph, was witness to my tiny alter. 

Giant floor pillows scattered around the room helped me to sit comfortably. The dense velvet cushions, just enough to soothe the achy feeling of sitting back on my heels.

Muffled voices of kids, playing in the yard just outside the window, mixed with the distant bark of a dog. Cold winter sunlight pushed its way in through a bamboo shade and cast a light across the room. Bits of dust were floating and spinning through the shaft of light. They disappeared at the lights edge like the airy, gossamer snowflakes that vanished as soon as they settled on the kid’s snowsuits.

The curtain moved and bracing air rushed up the stairs. It pushed the silvery fragrance of the incense out, replacing it with the house’s mix of dog hair and Christmas candle.

Moving my legs from under me, I laid face down on the carpet. I stretched my arms straight out above my head, my palms were together, my fingers pointed to the Buddha.  I felt the hardness of the floor on the tops of my feet, on my hip bones, and my rib cage. My nose and forehead pressed into the itchy carpet as I took several deep, full breaths.

I wanted peace and supplication. I wanted to melt into the carpet, then the floor, and then the earth beneath the floor. I wanted to crumble into dust and dirt and talk to the Buddha face to face and thank god for talking to me.

Pushing with my palms, I rose to kneeling, grasped my prayer beads, and began to pray.


  1. I have found Nirvana.

    It's a nice place.

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  3. Bulk Incense Sticks

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