Saturday, October 16, 2010


I had a dog

Who loved flowers

Briskly she went

Through the fields,

Yet paused

For the honeysuckle

Or the rose,

Her dark head

And her wet nose


The face

Of every one

With its petals

Of silk,

With its fragrance


Into the air

Where the bees,

Their bodies

Heavy with pollen,

Hovered-and easily

She adored

Every blossom,

Not in the serious

Carefully way

That we choose

This blossom or that blossom-

The way we praise or don’t praise-

The way we love

Or don’t love-

But the way

We long to be-

That happy

In the heaven of earth-

That wild, that loving.

I wonder if we project our own longings onto perceived enlightened beings. For instance, with dogs I often hear how they offer unconditional love when we don’t really know what they are thinking or feeling, any more than we do of another human. Just because we want it to be so, doesn’t make it so. Dogs have nightmares, spiritual lives, and fits of anger and sadness. It isn’t just dogs. When I see Mary’s Luke easily adoring every blossom, I also see Thich Nhat Hahn (Vietnamese Buddhist Monk) and the Dali Lama (Tibetan Buddhist Monk) acting silly and totally out of control as they giggle their way through a flower patch, loving equally the dying roses and the menacing spiders amidst the buds and the bees. I imagine that they too have not just spiritual lives, but dreams gone awry and episodes of pique. So if I can imagine holy beings perfectly loving and perfectly fumbling and bumbling, might I also not imagine myself as a wholly being, wild and loving? Perhaps my wild love results in actions that appear motivated by loathing of my kind, but I imagine in the very inner core of all of us, no matter our strategies in the world, we are motivated by love and beauty of ourselves and those we care for. We just don’t look as cute as a dog with floppy ears or as noble as a monk donning maroon and saffron robes. We do however have that possibility of happiness and joy because we are the dog, the monk, the flower, and the bee. We are all one in our beauty and the love that comes up through our wild interconnected beings. Peace and heaven on earth? Possible? Yes! I don’t believe this is a projection. We can make it so. One.

Where do you "project" the way you wish the world was (or shouldn't be) onto others and what does it tell you about the way you wish to live?

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