Yes, we are meeting 'in-person'

Exciting News! For those of you in the Vancouver / Camas area we are meeting again in-person at the Breathe Wellness Company. If you are comfortable meeting with us in-person at this time then please join us at 7pm on Sundays. Plan on arriving ten minutes before to get settled. We will be following all current WA State guidelines and I ask that you are mindful and respectful of other people's comfort levels. I will be wearing a mask but will remove it once we are settled and distanced to lead the meditation. For now we will not be having after-meditation tea but hopefully soon. I will be updating our website with the latest details so check back here if you are unsure.

Note that we will NOT be meeting on Sunday 31st October (Halloween).

Saturday, March 28, 2020

What the Bamboo Acrobat can Teach Us:
(Meditation for Sunday 29th March)

Lessons from the Bamboo Acrobat

The Buddhist story of the Bamboo Acrobat has been one of my favorites for a long time. Even though I have posted here before about it, I felt it would be a good time to revisit it as it is so relevant to the difficult times we are in.
This is a challenging time for everyone, but it has been much more so for certain people: those whose health, loved ones or livelihoods have been directly affected, or those caregivers and workers who have to put themselves and their family at risk. Our hearts go out to all of those, and all who are experiencing sadness or fear.
In these times it sometimes feels like a choice has to be made - do I care for myself, or care for others?
The story of the Bamboo Acrobat teaches us that this is not how we should look at things. It is not an either/or. We cannot care for others if we don't care for ourselves, and only by taking care of ourselves we can take care of others. The conflict only comes if we believe we are separate - and right now we are all on the Bamboo Pole together! I have included the full text of the story below - it's a short and enjoyable tale, but one that speaks directly to our current situation.
The audio below is a fully guided thirty minute meditation on the story of the Bamboo Acrobat. I cannot think of a time in recent history when this has been more important.
You can of course listen to this at any time. If you wish, however, a group of us have committed to sit and press 'play' on this at 7pm Pacific Time, Sunday March 29th 2020.
Please feel free to share this with your friends.

Metta, Chris.

If the above link doesn't work for you please click here.

The Bamboo Acrobat

[The Buddha addressed the monks:]
Once upon a time, monks, a bamboo acrobat,
setting himself upon his bamboo pole,
addressed his assistant Medakathalika:
"Come you, my dear Medakathalika,
and climbing up the bamboo pole,
stand upon my shoulders."
"Okay, master" the assistant Medakathalika
replied to the bamboo acrobat;
and climbing up the bamboo pole
she stood on the master's shoulders.
So then the bamboo acrobat said this to his assistant Medakathalika:
"You look after me, my dear Medakathalika, and I'll look after you.
Thus with us looking after one another, guarding one another,
we'll show off our craft, receive some payment,
and safely climb down the bamboo pole."
This being said, the assistant Medakathalika said this to the bamboo acrobat:
"That will not do at all, master!
You look after yourself, master, and I will look after myself.
Thus with each of us looking after ourselves, guarding ourselves,
we'll show off our craft, receive some payment,
and safely climb down from the bamboo pole.
That's the right way to do it!"
[The Buddha said:]
Just like the assistant Medakathalika said to her master:
"I will look after myself,"
so should you, monks, practice the establishment of mindfulness.
You should (also) practice the establishment of mindfulness (by saying)
"I will look after others."

Looking after oneself, one looks after others.
Looking after others, one looks after oneself.

And how does one look after others by looking after oneself?
By practicing (mindfulness), by developing (it), by doing (it) a lot.
And how does one look after oneself by looking after others?
By patience, by non-harming, by loving kindness, by caring (for others).
(Thus) looking after oneself, one looks after others;
and looking after others, one looks after oneself.

Translated by Andrew Olendzki, Available at Access To Insight.
Bamboo Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the thoughtful peace during a time of outer chaos.


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