A Gab with the Buddha

Buddha sat crossed legged on a grass mat. “Ok, sister, let me have it.”

I picked at a corner of my thumb nail I thought… the problem was that I had so many questions I didn’t know where to start. “I’m not Buddhist, you know…”

“Yeah,” he smiled softly. “I get that. Try not to get caught up in labels. Just let it fly, don’t think about it first.”

I mentally reviewed how I managed to be here, sitting in front of Siddhartha… One minute I was rubbing a laughing Buddha belly at the counter of the Natural Foods Cafe, and the next, I found myself in this ethereal forest breathing Nag Champa incense.

Strangely accepting of this surreal moment I leaned forward. “Can you foresee the future? Or are just going to tell me to look within? Because I’ve tried that. There’s not a lot there.”

“So you think there’s a within… and a without?”

I blinked.  “Isn’t there?”

He smiled.  “I can see the future sometimes… but to be specific, I can definitely see your future now. And here’s the fortune in your fortune cookie: You’re going to live a long life.”

I cringed. The suckage that was my existence stretched into a distant future. This wasn’t exactly good news.

Narrowing his eyes, he continued. “Yeah, a long life. Along the way you’re going to be surprised by yourself. You’ll make some bad choices, some elegant choices, and then you’ll come to a ‘big decision.’ I’m not talking about something like should you take a new job or stay where you are, growing your 401k. I’m talking about life. And death. Bliss.” He settled deeper into himself, closing his eyes. “You’re going to decide if you’ll become … me. And that decision will come up again and again until it gets answered.”

The incense started to burn my eyes. A vibration started at the base of my spine like the singing of a Tibetan bowl. Time was almost up.

Suddenly the light around me grew brighter and brighter. I could barely see Buddha’s outline as I became engulfed in golden flame. “Om mani padme hum, sister.” He opened one eye and winked. “Just remember… being the Buddha is no excuse to let loose on the donuts. A big belly is optional. And one more thing… I believe in you.”

The buzzing sensation grew louder, until I couldn’t think. As quick as a snap, I was back at the cafe. “Well, miss, have you decided yet?” I looked at the cashier, my eyes wide. “Yes.”

Questions…

water nymphe

Can there be anything sweeter than the kiss of a mind gone mad?
What magisty of noise and purpose!
Do you think God loves the crazies?

Those folks with hearts bigger than Texas and minds that have no idea what to do with them?
What about our bodies?
Do they forgive us our overindulgence, our stuffing down of pain?

Vows of suffering and poverty…
What place do they play in the soul’s evolution?
Can we chose again this lifetime?

Will we burn in hell?
Oh, those shackles of thought
…No story ever told is true


“Shackles” prompt courtesy of OSI

Photo courtesy of Alice Popkorn

Gratia

Red M&Ms when I want blue
Questions and pleadings to beings more enlightened than I

All so hollow

And then
A flash, an internal answer

What if some dreams (maybe even your biggest) weren’t meant to come true?

What if you were given a reason?
…And it had nothing to do with being unworthy, or being punished for the past, or that you have karma to work out

What if grace was leading you to better dreams…

Would it make a difference?

Like chain smoking, misery is a hard addiction to break.
How do I define my life without the push and the pull?

Today I received an angelic communiqué.  Yes, I’ll just come out and say it…

Grace blew me away

Angel photo by LocalTravelPhotos
The prompt “Hollow” courtesy of the ever wonderful OSI

Bad Bangs

(for Evelyn and Bad Bangs across America…  )

I did it to myself

Followed the directions to a T.

Stepped into the shower and washed out all the goop.

Dripping, I entered a steamy world of white.

The mirror showed me nothing.  Not yet.  Too soon.

Rub, rub… oh the toes were a-tapping.  Time to peek?  Just a little one?

Now…

Grab the hair dryer… Point at the mirror… flip the switch and let it roar.

Oh… soon!  Soon the New Me!

Perfect circle forms on glass too revealing, too sharp.

I stand transfixed.

This cannot be…there must be some mistake!

My hair is strawberry-yellowy?  Incandecent orange?  WHAT THE HELL IS IT?

I grab clippers and feel the vibration in my hand as I ponder.

Bad bangs were the least of my problems.

I must stop doing this to myself.

And I will…

Right after I fix this.

Just this.

Thanks to OSI for the awesome prompt, Incandescent.

Dare, Essence, Practical

“I don’t even know where this leaves me…”

Marty squinted against the high desert sun that couldn’t be muted with the darkest eyewear.  “I’d say the practical answer is, deal the hand that’s been dealt you.”  She raised her shoulders.  It wasn’t much but she knew there was no answer that would satisfy Luce’s need.

“You did not just say that.  What do you call what I’ve been doing  – what?  My whole life?  I’ve been showing up.  Meeting the moment, as you put it.  God, M.  There’s got to be more.”

“More…”  This was the refrain, the background hum to her sister, Luce’s life.  It didn’t define her, exactly.  It wasn’t her true essence, rather a cloud of suffering that followed her no matter what her life circumstances.  “Honey, open your eyes to what you have…”

Luce bowed her head.  “I know.”  She brushed wispy, honey colored hair off her forehead.  “Don’t think I don’t know.”  And then the groan.  “I love my son, my husband.  I love this place, I appreciate the gifts of grace, the moments of joy.  And still.”  She shifted on her rock, the blue New Mexican sky caressing her profile.

“You still don’t get it,” Marty said.  “No, you’re not a doctor, a lawyer, a candlestick maker.  That oneness you’re looking for, that sense of purpose…. It can’t be found by what you do.”  She paced across Luce’s backyard, small but Zen-tranquil.  Her sister couldn’t even see the connection – Luce designed this space.  She was a flame that didn’t see her own light.  Could not sense her inherent worth…and nothing Marty said would ever give it to her.  “I’ve got a dare for you.”

Luce blanched but rose to the challenge.  “What?”

“I dare you to stop running.  To stay with whatever comes up, good, bad, numbing, terrifying, boring.  For ten minutes a day, stay with it and see what lies underneath.  Meet the shit that you avoid – see just how empty this yawning emptiness really is.”

“Ten minutes?  That’s the dare?  I don’t see how that could even make a difference…”

Marty leveled an aquamarine stare at her sister.  “I thought you said you’d do anything?”

It took a minute.  A full minute, but Luce nodded once.  “Okay.  I’ll try it.”  She rose from her rock and paused at the sliding glass door.  “For a week.”

“Two weeks.”

“Ok.”  Luce gave a small smile.  “Talk to me in two weeks.”

Big thanks to Three Word Wednesday for this writing prompt

Quagmire

She felt her thighs quiver

Pushing against her middle an “Oh hoo hoo” escaped before she could stop it.

The Pillsbury Doughboy always had the last word.

And though she’d love to spend every last cent on fashion

She paused.

The quagmire was this:

Glossy images or better health?  Shoes or self-realization?

Biting her nails, feeling her heart skitter like Chie Mihara heels against a hardwood floor,

She made her decision and closed the laptop.

Was it thunder she heard in the background or perhaps, just maybe,

Her integrity?

(Thanks to OSI for the writing prompt, quagmire.)
(photo by SashaW)