Dharma Glimpse by Satya
This morning the view from my office window is spectacular. The sun has laid a strip of electric orange at the horizon, and above it heavy blue-grey clouds hang, edged in pink. As I watch, a plane is rising through the sky, leaving fading contrails behind it.
I think for a moment about the people on that plane. I am here, typing at my computer, and they are hurtling through the air at five hundred miles an hour. I think about the many times I have flown in the past, and wonder if I will ever fly again. A few years ago I vowed to give up flying as a personal response to the climate crisis. For me, travelling at those speeds is probably a part of my history. More and more of my life is behind me – this is true for all of us, and, over the past few years it has taken on a special significance to me as loved ones have got sick or died, and as I become more conscious of the signs of ageing in my own body. A little arthritis in one finger, minor injuries that take longer to heal. It’s all downhill from here!
Impermanence. When I look up from my screen again, the plane has gone. The sky has already changed – the clouds are now a dark aubergine purple, and the blue of the sky above them is stronger. There is more light and I can see the frosty vegetable patch more clearly, and a robin resting for a moment on the white plastic chair.
It is as if the Buddha is offering me a lesson on a vast canvas. Don’t waste your life! Before you know it, dusk will be arriving and your allotted portion of daylight will be over. Enjoy yourself! Learn what you can! Wake up! I try to listen, but it’s difficult for a small ego-laden being such as I. I feel grateful in this moment for Amitabha, and for the Pure Land teachings. I don’t have to do it all alone. I can rely on Amitabha’s vow. I can remember that I am loved and that, if I ask, I will receive help.
I look out into the sky one more time. It’s daytime now, with white candyfloss clouds and yellow light streaming from the horizon. Next I will bow in gratitude to my golden Buddha, and go and make some breakfast. Waffles with chocolate chips! I will enjoy the taste of every bite.
Namo Amida Bu.
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