This is a post I was writing on Wednesday, during my lunch break at the office, before I became aware of the fire in the neighbor's garage and found myself without internet service to post it, in the evening. I was writing it because one of my spiritual goals for May was to focus on meditations.
|Flowers for the Altar|
In Buddhism, the concept of impermanence is a fundamental tenet. All things, physical and mental, are subject to change. Nothing is permanent; nothing stays the same.
On Monday, I cut some fresh flowers from the garden and placed a vase of roses on the altar. These symbolic offerings nurture generosity, which, in turn, cultivates non-attachment to the things being given to another.
As we do so, we recite a stanza, which states that we are honoring the Buddha with the presentation of these flowers and by that meritorious deed, may we receive release from the endless cycle of birth and death.
The stanza goes on to say, "Just as these flowers fade and die, so will our body undergo decay."
Thus, the flowers become a visual reminder of impermanence and thus, an act of meditation.
|A Visual Meditation|
Looking back, I find it eerie that I should be writing about change and impermanence, just before my neighbor's garage caught fire and could have spread to my own house! Nothing like the threat of ones home catching fire to illustrate the concept of just how subject to change and how impermanent it can all be!