Those who cleanse their hearts of the embittering poison of selfishness, hate and greed, find God as their own true self.”

-Meher Baba



The story of Avalokitesvara is a centerpiece of Mahayana Buddhism.

An androgynous being whose compassion for the world, including the birds, bees, and beasts, caused him/her to delay entry into nirvana until all sentient beings had been freed from illusion.


A lot to take on…don’t you think?

The Buddha gave him/her a thousand arms  and eleven heads…which still doesn’t seem enough. My own feeling for this legend is that the writers were absent for the part where Buddha divided the entity into a million different personalities…all with identical consciousness. All with compassionate wisdom.

They are spread throughout the world, in every place, in every time…like angels.



I have known many women, although it must be admitted that not many have known me. Not that they haven’t tried, bless their hearts…I am a confounding puzzle, whose pieces fit roughly and reluctantly. The jigsaw parts are so minimal that those looking to find the piece of sky that fits to another are…well, let’s say…..frustrated. It is a broad horizon landscape with a solitary cloud in a sky deeply blue…deeply simple. ( Maybe a few black crows flying by….)(…and spiders.)

“Born and bred in the briar patch.”

One woman, however…a chestnut haired beauty…knew my ins and outs…and odd to say, I write about her little. Others who have caused more harm take up an inordinate (and undeserved) amount of my thinking.

But this one has never left my consciousness…she resides in my head like the sun at midday…radiant always, but too much taken for granted, until the cold days come and I long for her warmth.

Perhaps once in a lifetime, we meet someone who has a soul so fine, so perfectly compassionate, that all else pales by comparison. It is, of course, unfair to make those comparisons, but when the bar has been raised, it is difficult to take ease in watching others walk beneath it…or away.

Knowing someone who is better than we will ever be, might be a disadvantage. We want to believe in our goodness, and someone who obviously surpasses our own estimate of worth can bruise the more fragile egos.

That she was physically beautiful was undoubted…men would do full turns in the market just to see both sides of her…but her inner beauty was much more subtle. It would often emerge as she cooked…unheralded productions of perfectly baked, stewed, roasted, broiled, boiled and braised alchemy that no one thanked her for; and which would be repeated nightly, with uncompromising devotion. Or an interior light would illuminate her eyes as she asked after the well-being of someone whose burden weighed heavily on them. She would take it on, never mentioning her own considerable load and seemingly unaware that they never asked.

 She served without expecting to be served.

I remember hours spent, watching her attempt to mitigate the disputes and harsh judgments of our steel-town denizens…a neighborhood arbitrator, without prejudice or partiality. Perhaps this is why friends and family came to her…for an unbiased airing of their complaints. She saw, not just the good in everyone, she saw unquestioned value. If you revealed yourself to her, it was likely that you would walk away without shame, without guilt, unable even to remember the burning cause of resentment or the poisoning need for revenge…and vaguely, blessed.

My memory of her is frozen in the beauty of her youth…she did not live to be gray.

People like this are nearly invisible as they go about mending the world. Their worth is evident only after they are gone, and we are suddenly bereft of a force for benevolent change, like the sun.

The true heroes of our lives are masters of stealth…they alter us without approbation; they love without return. The greatest acts of kindness have no reward…other than the clear conscience of having helped rather than hurt. These are quiet, private performances of unstinted generosity, and breathtaking beauty.

Finally they are gone…and we miss them for the rest of our lives.



“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”

-Julian of Norwich (ca.1373)



~ by theoxherd on November 22, 2012.

4 Responses to “Boddhisatva”

  1. Your writing always has me on the edge of my seat. And I am so sorry… she sounds so beautiful.

  2. Yes. Body and soul. Thank you for your kind comment.

  3. Thank you for sharing such beautiful words…. Speechless….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: