James: Yesterday was my 30th birthday but I prefer to use the Thay's term, "Happy Continuation Day" to describe the special event. If you are not aware of this concept then allow me to quote Thich Nhat Hanh:
If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people. To be born means that something which did not exist comes into existence. But the day we are “born” is not our beginning. It is a day of continuation. But that should not make us less happy when we celebrate our “Happy Continuation Day.” Since we are never born, how can we cease to be? This is what the Heart Sutra reveals to us. When we have tangible experience of non-birth and non-death, we know ourselves beyond duality. The meditation on “no separate self” is one way to pass through the gate of birth and death. Your hand proves that you have never been born and you will never die. The thread of life has never been interrupted from time without beginning until now. Previous generations, all the way back to single cell beings, are present in your hand at this moment. You can observe and experience this. Your hand is always available as a subject for meditation.
--Thich Nhat Hanh, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment
James: I received a beautiful gift of a Tibetan singing bowl (like the one pictured) for my continuation day from my generous wife. The bowl has such a rich and enlightening sound that will be a great addiction to my practice. It has some markings on it one of which are the eye's of the Buddha that you often see on Nepalese/Tibetan temples and monasteries. In the very bottom of the bowl is a "yin/yang" symbol with the mantra of compassion, OM MANI PADME HUNG repeated all around the outside.
Happy continuation day is a great time to reflect on the impermanence and interconnectivity of all things.
-Peace to all-
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Posted by They call him James Ure at 9:00 AM