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Wednesday Reflections

March 14, 2018
Dear Members and Friends, 
This week we are addressing the theme of Balance. What does it mean to be a People of Balance? It is so easy to fall out of balance spiritually, and we need to gently bring ourselves back. 
There is a Buddhist teaching known as the Sedaka Sutta. The Suttas are teachings attributed to the Buddha. I especially appreciate this one known as the "The Bamboo Acrobatt" translated from the Pali:
The Buddha was talking to a group of monks. 
Once upon a time, a bamboo acrobat, setting himself upon his bamboo pole,
addressed his apprentice Medakathalika: "Come climb up the bamboo pole and stand upon my shoulders." 
Having replied, "Yes, teacher," She climbed up and stood on the teacher's shoulders. 
The bamboo acrobat then said to the apprentice "You look after me and protect me, and I'll look after you and protect you. By looking after one another, guarding one another, we'll display our skills, collect our fee, and safely climb down the bamboo pole."
The student protested to the bamboo acrobat: "That's not the way to do it, teacher! You look after yourself, and I will look after myself. As self-guided and self-protected, we will display our skills, collect our fee, and safely climb down from the bamboo pole. That's the right way to do it!"
[The Buddha said:] That's the method, just like the apprentice said,
"I will protect myself," because that's how the establishment of mindfulness should be practiced, Only when self-guided, can you say fully, "I will look after others."
And how does one look after others by looking after oneself?
By practicing (mindfulness), by developing (it), by doing (it) regularly
And how does one look after oneself by looking after others?
By the gifts of mindfulness with are patience, non-harming, loving kindness, and caring (for others).
(Thus) looking after oneself, one looks after others;
and looking after others, one looks after oneself.
Look after yourself, establish a spiritual practice, and cultivate patience, non-violence, lovingkindness, and compassion. This teaching has been calling people to seek balance for centuries!
Here are a couple other readings to reflect on. 


Everything begins on the verge of awareness. The dawn is not and then is.
Sleep is and then is not.
In between is the awakening.
The passage of thin light, between, breaks open the day.
The passage of thin sound, between, flows into the day.
Too soon the numbing rumble of traffic swells, the day glares.
Let the soft haze hang again across the row of morning.
Wait upon the narrow moment, the first awareness of being in between!
Live days and seasons on the thin edge of dawn, in praise that every single thing begins now! 
-George Kimmich Beach
by Mary Oliver 

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice -
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do -
determined to save
the only life you could save.