from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

sutras, suffering and transience

So to continue on with this theme from earlier in the week about suffering: in Buddhism, basically, suffering stems from our attachment to our cravings or our aversions. Something turns around once you realise that nothing here can be permanent, and that empowerment comes from understanding that.

I posted before that wonderful quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn: 'You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf.' Easy to say; but we want THIS wave, not that one, and we want it now and forever.

Surfing means riding lightly, catching the wave – or not – and letting it go when its time to go comes, not hanging on for dear life (though I did a great deal of that when I was learning to surf in the outer world of 'real' sea – I posted something of that a few months ago).

It means accepting transience.

I found myself singing this little Buddhist chant from the ancient Diamond Sutra over the weekend (not sure if someone else has created the lines from the DS or whether a version of that sutra presents them like this? If you know, please tell me!):

Oh have you seen this world –
a drop of dew
a bubble in a stream
lightning in a summer cloud
a phantom
and a dream...

And to leave you, for today, with a little sutra from my book Bardo:

air sutra
the particles in these atoms
spell out buzzard 
the rest
is wind and sky

© Roselle Angwin 2011


  1. The sutras are beautiful Roselle. A lovely way to start the day. Thank you.

  2. Peter what a kind comment. Thank you so much. And that's given me an idea about a collective project - more anon!


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