On my writing desk, I have a tiny shrine. On one side, there are two ceramic dogs and a Bodhisattva. I found all three at different times at the Waldport Flea Market. The trio reminds me that one of my practices is dog, that the relationship I have with my dogs is something sacred.
On the other side of my tiny shrine, there’s a picture of me as a baby. In front of that is another Bodhisattva, sitting on the back of a foo dog, a powerful protector, a guardian. At both their feet is the tiniest Ganesh.
When I was first practicing meditation and studying Buddhism and heard about the Bodhisattva and her vow, learned that anyone could take that vow, I thought to myself “what kind of wacko would commit to that?” The Bodhisattva promised to keep coming back, to be reincarnated again and again, to continue to return to an existence where suffering existed and to help, to do what she could until there was no more suffering, until every being was free from it.
The more I think about it, the more sure I am that I will take this vow, that maybe I already have in some other life and I’m only just remembering. I feel certain that my mission, my purpose in life, my joy even is to ease suffering, in myself and the world.
This morning, it started with us three, me and my dogs, taking a long walk together.