Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


go home!

There’s an article on the Tricycle website about ‘original nature,’ and the Buddhist saying ‘return to your original state.’ I like to think the admonition is more like ‘Go home!’

Because that’s what it is, our original nature — whatever that means. It’s where it all began, where it all ends. It’s the home stretch, home base, going home.

The word comes from the Old Norse, among other origins, where one version means ‘world’ as well as well as home residence. And that, to me, is perfect Buddhism & beginner’s heart.

Yesterday a student in my class said he has little patience w/ national identities and cultures. We should be more concerned with being humans together, he said. The world is our home, he argued. Not a single country. Not any more.

And while I understand what he’s saying, I love my home. I love the Abraham Darby roses coming back from the horrific summer (the hottest in American weather records, anywhere). I love the bees that buzz the bird bath as I fill it, waiting for me to finish so they can drink. I love the honeyed afternoon light that spills through the window beside my desk as I write.

But I also love each of the many places I’ve lived around the world: a villa on a street in a former French colony; a tiny 3rd floor walk-up in a hotel in Algiers; a small house on a small lot in a city built by oil, in Saudi Arabia. And of course my grandmother’s one-bedroom house with sleeping porch, with the mimosa hanging over the front curb. Not only is each a part of me, but something of me remains in each of them, walks the rooms still.

That’s how I interpret the ‘Go home!’ command. The world is my home — perhaps because I’ve been an expatriate for much of my life. I’ve made gardens in deserts, in the tropics, outside rentals in bad neighbourhoods, in my dreams and even my nightmares.

The article in Tricycle says that original nature is like a gong, like the one my father brought back from Africa. From the bottom, a gong looks like a bell. But from the top it’s obviously a gong. Although it rings, like a bell… So home is then and now, gong and bell, with that lovely metal music each one sings.

Beginner’s heart is going home — back to that first look we give the world that will be the home where we live, at birth. We open our eyes, as my newly born sons did in my exhausted arms, and here we are. Home.

So that’s what I’m trying to do. Get back home. Nice thought, isn’t it?

 

 



Previous Posts

day 26 in a month of Thanksgiving: cranberries, turkey, and pie...oh my!
The pies are cooking for tomorrow. All the house smells of butter crust and pumpkin filling. In the 2nd fridge there's a medium-sized turkey, with a ham still to be picked up. I'm fielding calls regarding what els

posted 4:01:14pm Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

day 25 of Thanksgiving month: gratitude in the wake of #Ferguson
Today, in the wake of Ferguson, my beginner's heart is breaking. There seems so very little to be grateful for. I wasn't even going to write. And then I thought -- there is one sad, terrible thing for which I am gra

posted 10:57:00pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

day 24 of Thanksgiving month: getting ready (or not...)
I'm not at the 'in the pie pan' stage yet, but I did make the dough today. My family is BIG on pie, and especially at Thanksgiving. (Countdown: 3-2-1...) I think my beloved could eat an entire pie b

posted 3:47:13pm Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

day 23 of Thanksgiving month: soundtracks
The other day I wrote about how much I love music, how it's one of my everyday gratitudes. Which set me to thinking: what would my life's soundtrack be? What would I like to exit to? You have to realise: I pick

posted 6:07:08pm Nov. 23, 2014 | read full post »

day 22 of Thanksgiving month: the kindness of strangers
Today's gratitude is slightly abashed. I'm grateful for kindness -- even my own, actually. And abashed that it's noticed so...noticeably...? Because if just joking w/ the Starbuck's barista, and teasing her about

posted 10:42:50pm Nov. 22, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.