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My Teaching Schedule: No public classes at this time, sorry.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

My Begging Bowl

What to do when your bowl is filled with something you don't want? When I was little and my mother would feed me a food I disliked, it got secretly tossed behind the fridge next to my chair. That worked well until the cleaning lady moved the fridge one day and my secret was uncovered. My dinner chair got moved.
I was introduced to the concept of Buddhist begging bowls in a small but lovely book titled Everyday Sacred. The monks depended on the kindness of people to fill their empty bowls with either food or money, but some days they were never filled. Plus, no choice on what they were given. On a philosophical level, what are we supposed to do when our life bowl is forcibly ladled with foulness so vile you want to vomit? Not allowed to toss it out or exchange it for a better choice. When every cell in your body rejects what's been placed in your bowl, yet you are forced into accepting it. Such is the world I live in right now. I don't want to accept Annie's gone, yet I can't bring her back. I am wedged in this corner of rejecting something abhorrent and yet knowing it will stay in my life bowl forever. How do I make peace with this? Accepting yet despising every moment of it, swallowing the bad medicine, clutching onto my soul as it screams in pain from the gaping wound still raw, I will survive the suffering and eventually heal. Through meditation and yoga, acceptance will coat rejection with the nectar of higher goodness. My begging bowl still has room for sweetness, love and peace.
May your begging bowl always be filled with all that you need and is good in this world.