drawing the buddha’s face

My friend, Sylvia, is no saint. And she will be the first to confirm it.

Our long walk around Crown Hill yesterday had us both offering sins for the other’s absolution. Anger. Frustration. Impatience. But being of the same age, gender, career and philosophy, each could listen and laugh compassionately at the other’s confession.Mea culpa and move it on out, sister.

She also told me a story so powerful I asked if I could share it with those I love. She said yes, so here it is.

Sylvia’s older brother suffered a brain injury during the birth process. She was charged, in utero, with being his advocate. Her mother told her so when she was still a child. Because she’s the former-hippie, word-wise woman that she is and her brother is a highly intelligent, independence loving free-thinker, the two consider themselves twice blessed.

Recently, they were part of a contingent from KADEP–The King Adult Day Enrichment Program for people with multiple sclerosis, brain injury and other neurological disorders–who journeyed to the Shambhala Center near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.  Located just outside Ft. Collins, it is an amazing meditative site and the home of the Great Stupa. You can take a tour here:  

The retreat was spent in meditation and exploration. And, as an aside, I’d guess, that if there ever was a group who understood the Buddhist philosophy of compassion from the inside out, this was it. One exercise, Sylvia said, consisted of participants using a Shambhala technique for drawing the face of the Buddha.

Every sketch…every sketch…resulted in a self-portrait.

“Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.”
Photo: The Buddha, NhaTrang (Wikipedia)

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