Satya suggested that we find a word for the year. She writes:
Words are powerful. My friend chose ‘change’ as her guiding word for 2016, and then promptly forgot it. When she looked back she discovered a year packed with good and dramatic changes.
What word would you like to guide you over the coming year?
As a part of our New Year’s service last night Kaspa asked us to identify the parts of ourselves we didn’t like and reveal them to the loving light of the Buddha. He also asked us how we might be inspired by this warm light to serve love in the world over the coming year.
Up to this point I’d thought my word for 2017 was going to be ‘obedience’ – a greater obedience to the will of the Buddha (or, to put it another way, to the generous will of love rather than the tight, small will of my ego) in my daily life.
In thinking about how the Buddha might inspire me to serve love over the coming year, I told him about my word. Was it the will of love? It was a perfectly good word, he said, but he had a different one for me. Relax.
I sat in the shrine room as we all softly chanted and I saw the rightness of this word for me. I saw that if I can relax whenever anything gets tight, I will be carried along more gently by the river as it swoops around unexpected corners and bubbles and swirls over rocks. I will be released from the expectations that set me up to have bad experiences. I will move towards letting go of compulsions and replace them with spaciousness. I will sink into the inevitable pain of life and pass more quickly through to the other side.
As I type, I can feel my shoulders relaxing. Relaxing will help me to be more obedient, but not in a tight, wanting-to-get-it-right way. I’ll never get it all right – none of us do. I’ll do my best, and when I don’t the Buddha will have my back.
Our word for the temple, by the way, is faith.
What word does the infinite light want you to guide you for the year? Do share it below.
Namo Amida Bu. Blessings for 2017 from all of us here _/\_
I wondered what my word would be. My intellect told me that, as a good Pureland Buddhist, I should chose something like Faith or Gratitude. But my heart-mind said, “Hope”. I had a little argument with myself – but Hope wouldn’t disappear – she just stayed and smiled. She had chosen me. So, Hope, it is. Not a stretching out, trying to make anything happen, Self Power Hope. More a feeling of gently turning to watch the sun over the hillside.