Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Is this the helpful?

That's the question that I'm asking myself more and more often lately. Is this the most compassionate, skillful way I can respond? Is this the most helpful thing I can say? Maybe it's my koan practice bearing fruit, my daily recitation of the Bodhisattva's Vow, or just New Years' momentum, but I'm dedicating my energy and practice to cultivating a clear mind and skillful action.

I've been catching myself before I grumble a snide remark or even eat before my children do. I even--but please don't tell my wife--want to help out around the house more.

Bodhisattvas dedicate their lives to helping others, and there's no time like the present to start really walking that path. I genuinely want to make that commitment, and feel capable of it because, lately, I feel clearer. There's a term in pregnancy called effacing, when a woman's cervix is thinning before the baby is ready to be born. That's kind of how I feel lately.

Cleaner, less cluttered. Almost translucent.

In addition to the unwavering support of my wife and children, I have only my teachers, ancestors, and the Buddha to thank.

Photo borrowed from Creative Commons flickr user: moonpointer 1.

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