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Monday, February 05, 2007

It's Days Like This

PHOTO: Close-up inside one of the tulips we bought for the altar.

The inner sanctum of this gorgeous flower reminds me of a natural, stained glass window.

It's days like this when one's practice really comes into focus. It's for days like this why I meditate on days when I feel like I'd rather be doing any number of other things. Daily practice is encouraged so that when we have days of despair (liked I've been having the last few days) we have something we can rely on to helps us out.

Every day that we meditate we water the seeds of strength in our store consciousness and keep open the avenues to balance and peace so that when we really need understanding of a difficult moment the pathway to reach that realization is already there. It is like having the training and the experience to know where the steam release valves are located to re-stablize the system.

And part of it (for me at least) is sitting through those difficult moments and accepting them and holding them in my attention. This is what I have been doing in my meditations for the last few days. Today, as I was breathing in I imagined my depression being a stressed, crying baby and I held it with compassion and let it cry out the heavy energy. With each breath in I supported the depression and cared for it. I held myself in the pure light of Avalokiteshvara's compassion that is always present for us to access and benefit from. After awhile doing this guided meditation my body began to relax and my mind lighten and open up to the reality of interconnectivity.

I remembered that I was connected to all things that are loving, caring and happy in that very moment. I heard the uplifting chirping of the birds outside at the feeder and I let that part of me sing with them. I heard the laughter of pure being from the children outside playing on the giant snow banks and laughed with them. I saw the smiles of compassion that my dear mother and wife have for me and all beings and I smiled with them. This inevitably lead me to the refuge of the Buddha and reminded me of my own Buddhanature. It is hard to be depressed when the Buddha is sitting on one side of you and Avalokiteshvara on the other.

It is days like this when the growth occurs.

Other pictures of the fresh tulips :

~Peace to all beings~

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dragonflyfilly said...

how strange, james, we are so similar on so many levels....i have some photos of tulips like the ones shown here on your blog, i took about 10 years ago!

sorry you are having a bad spell, i am too, and i just have to keep telling myself. :- "this too will pass" - and for you too, and soon,

love and Light,
check out my Blog for a good view! - but to to Flamingos Hideaway

Raymond said...

Beautiful pictures, my blog has been up since last August and I still haven't put up any nice photos yet. :(


- buddhawarrior

belle said...

Hi James, How fortunate I am to have found your blog not too long ago. It has shown me a great deal about peace and insight into the beauty of Buddhism. I thank you whole-heartedly for your stories and beautiful imagery.

"James" said...


I love tulips...they are so beautiful and noble.

Yes, impermanence is a great refuge in difficult times. Thus the importance of constantly meditating upon it in good times.

I'll be right over to your blog. :)


Thank-you. I love to take pictures of nature...especially flowers.

Blessings to you as well.


I welcome you warmly to this space. May you feel welcome and peace here.

I am happy to hear that you have found it to be of benefit for you on your path. May you always feel the great love that is present always to us all on the way.

dragonflyfilly said...

i was thinking about you today when i heard about a man who teaches at Emily Carr School of Art; he teaches Tibetan Style art, i will have to go to their website to get more info about it. But the students have to MAKE their own canvasses, grind the material to make their paint and i think they also have to construct their own brushes. Then finally they get to paint the face of the "healing Buddah" - do you know about this type of art discipline?

i'm glad you liked the sculptures; i will be Posting more photos, a lot of the figures deal with the Shaman, as that figure was a very important part of the Inuit, even up until quite recently.

chat soon,

andi said...

James, this is a fantastic post. Being able to sit with discomfort, simply observing - practicing the same compassion with your own pain that you practice with the suffering of others... a wonderful insight, born from committment to daily practice, and, as you said, keeping the channels open.

alison said...

oh! you had me there james. with all the busyness i've been going thru, i forgot to stop, i forgot to look within, to balance myself. thank you for this post.

the flowers are beautiful! i bet they look great on the altar! :)

"James" said...


What what a cool tradition of art!! I'm not familiar with it but it sounds fascinating. It sounds very much like a type of meditation.

I enjoy the Native American and other native traditions very much. There is a lot in common between them and Buddhism and especially Taoism.

I look forward to more pix of the sculpures!! Boy do I love art!!!!


Thank-you dear one. Yes, practicing compassion for myself has been difficult over the years as I have had struggles with low self-esteem but I'm doing much, MUCH better with that now. It really was a healing session.


The flowers do look wonderful on the altar. I am going to post some pix of them on the altar probably today. I'm glad that this post helped you to relax a bit. We all need that time to re-adjust. It's soooo important (as you well know).

Mac said...

This is a very great post James! I sometimes wonder why I should sit certain days when maybe I have other things I feel like doing. I guess the benefits are not always known immediately and even on those days when you feel like you are not moving forward as you meditate that it is only an illusion. I also love the pictures. Thanks!

"James" said...


Yes, exactly. It is like staying up to date with the maintenance of one's smoke detector or fire alarm/fire extinguisher.

David said...

very nice photos, and nice reflections. remember that you can never truly be harmed, that is simply a wrong view. when you delve into the nature of what appears to be negative you will find that it is only self-delusion.

you are pure love.

love you blog, I welcome you to visit mine.

one love,

"James" said...


Very true, very true. All is well if we are open to that reality.

I'd love to visit your blog but I clicked on your name and it led me to a broken link.


david said...

sorry james,

my blog link from should work now.

again, I enjoy your insightful writing and sharing,

one love,

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