Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday. I've been considering shutting this blog down lately, since I hardly ever write any posts, and a lot of it is negative.

It's true, though. I usually keep my birthday very quiet, informing random people, never wanting to draw attention to myself. Once, while still living in NY, I invited some friends to have drinks at a bar, and was surprised at how many people showed up.

Now that I live in the Netherlands, I approach my birthday with a growing sense of confusion every year. I never know what to do, if I should be happy, if I should plan anything, thinking, no one would come. Who would I invite, anyway.

Some people throw big bashes.

I still have a strong urge to leave the Netherlands, asap. My family is so warm and hospitable. They're so helpful and kind. And I'm so lonely here with the kids, taking them to school, and picking them up everyday, almost never having a conversation with anyone. What is the point. I'd rather be an outsider in my own culture, if I have to be an outsider, at all.

I realize there's a lot of virtue in being alone, and I should find some comfort and dignity in that.

Then, I'd really rather be successful at something, and I know I have it in me, but I came to the wrong place for that, and it still burns in me. I have to admit.

I could give up all of these things, the desire for acceptance, success, friendship, and set it out to sea in a flimsy, make shift raft.

It's quite possible that I'd be saying goodbye to the inner conflict that causes me, and people who bear the brunt of it, so much anguish.

What is the point in causing myself this misery.

If something's not there, some perceived wish or want, it simply isn't there, and then let it be, dear.

And of course, happy birthday.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Metta Sutta

The Buddha's Words on Kindness (Metta Sutta)

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.