by Dubby Riley
By the Chinese calendar, starting on "our" February 3, 2011, we'll be in the year of the rabbit. This blog was started by Jo Floyd Lucas and I as an experiment under the Chinese Zodiac of the Golden Tiger. It has served its purpose and fulfilled a need. At this time it will move forward under Jo's absolute care.
All the world will be able to be uplifted and benefit by her generous spirit and we'll also be spontaneously renewed by her potential. What form and by what symbols she employs will be our treasure too but we'll only know it when we see it.
The image of five elements imbedded in the five pointed flower was significant to the origin of this blog. Now that composite, has blown like a puff of perfume to another resting place and what will become the banner for Jo's Smiling Heart remains to be seen, but my instinct tells me it will be something precious.
I'd like to refer to an ancient Taoist text called Anthology of Cultivation of Realization as my New Year's tribute to all who find comfort here, from before or in the future. These references are drawn from the chapter called MISTAKES, which seem to me to be excellent material in a time set aside for resolution.
"Master Zhu said, "In the course of daily activities, when you realize something is wrong, then do not act that way. This is how to get rid of sicknesses."The unknown writer, thought to have recorded the text during the Ming Dynasty points out three working elements of what is referred to as PURE LAND BUDDHISM--verbal, physical and mental. He or she says it is easier to be faultless verbally than physically and less difficult to be faultless physically than mentally, and then goes further to suggest that determined people will choose the hardest method to be reformed quicker... meaning of course to work on yourself by mind (introspection, prayer, meditation, self cultivation--my words added).
"It is sometimes asked whether people who have done wrong can repent. Whatever you have done in the past, whether major or minor, cannot b grasped when you search for it, inside or outside--this is called true repentance."
What a lovely blessing to bestow on yourself! To realize that whatever sin you've committed has vanished because it JUST ISN'T THERE! Earlier today, our dear friend Reya reminded us that we have been given a clean slate for our New Year's gift. How true!
The ending is subtle and difficult to grasp for people of our age, including me. I think it is OK to resolve to act in a certain way. If you look closely and penetrate to the true meaning, you'll see that it isn't in the definition but in the method. So whether or not we resolve to add or subtract from our behavior, or decide to instead never stray from the center, in which case there is no need for resolution--it isn't so much a matter of words as how we behave.
"It is also asked what people should do when they have vows they fear to break. When you are confused, you talk of promises; when enlightened, there are none at all.
Try to look for them right now--where are your vows?
In this way you can attain great liberation."
May the Year of the Rabbit see you through great liberation!
And now, I'll turn the stage over to our lovely Jo Floyd...