Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Portable Wonder

Portable Wonder
A simple planter on a balcony with lovely yellows and greens. It may not be the lush wonders seen in botanical gardens, but it is portable beauty and wonder. A picture in a wallet or locket of a loved one is not that person by your side, but it is portable wonder when they are not around and on your mind.

There is this character in Buddhism. When many see it they think it is a Buddha and call it "Fat Buddha" or "Laughing Buddha". That character is actually called Hotei. Hotei was one of the seven lucky gods in ancient Japanese lore. His job was peace and contentment and also the guardian of children and patron saint of bartenders. 

In Buddhism he appears in many Koans. He carries a bag with him everywhere he goes and within it he has whatever anyone about him needs to be happy in that moment. There is a double edge to that. He carries within him all he needs to find peace and give peace to others. His bag is full at all times and only when full does he have something to offer. 

Why am I talking about him? Simply to say these two things.

What we need to be happy or find peace is within us. Changed circumstances or other things may alleviate our suffering and make life more comfortable, but I have seen miserable people who have everything most of us have ever dreamed of. It is not our circumstance, it is what is within. Sometimes that goodness within is hard to find because the bag is full of the broken glass of shattered hopes and dreams. If it takes a few cuts and some wincing to find that peace, so be it. 

We have nothing to offer others if our bag is empty. 

Back to portable wonder. We do not always have time to go to a park, take a vacation, or see that loved one. If you need a moment of peace, put a planter on your deck, keep that picture in your locket or wallet or phone, keep that momento on your shelf. Look at it, and find peace in the portable wonder and the moment it represents for you.

Portable wonder will keep your bag a little fuller in an empty day. 

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