Monday, March 20, 2006

Beauty in the World

The first evening I arrived at the Buddhist Retreat Centre, about 25 of us sat in this big room, roaring flames in the fireplace in front of us. It was winter, far out in the country, and we sat bundled in blankets feeling the glow on our cheeks. On either side of the fireplace were 2 empty chairs.

After a while the monk and nun arrived, taking up the 2 chairs. They looked like anyone else - he an American in jeans, she a British woman in a long flowy jersey. No shaved heads or anything. But both of them had spent the last 20 years in a monastery in Thailand.

I was expecting them to introduce themselves, but they just sat there, still, calmly, looking gently ahead. And we all sat like that for what must have been a good 10 minutes. Their presence was tangible. Silence, other than the flickering of the flames and odd pop of a pine cone.
It was powerful stuff. I had just left the corporate world at the time where the unanimous logic was that, whenever you met an audience for the first time, you were dressed in your power suit, boomed your voice and made animated fist movements. You seized the fleeting opportunity to make the big First Impression.

The irony is that the first impression that evening will be stamped in my mind for the rest of my life.

Like I was saying yesterday, the beauty in the world is starting to manifest again and I took a long walk with my dogs on the beach yesterday:

My two doogs - ScallyWag (left) and Socrates (big black)


  1. Scallywag is the cutest little pup! A hound?

    Glad you are starting to see the light again. : )

  2. those are lovely pictures- you are very lucky to be so close to such a beautiful place

  3. Yes, I too could live without the fist-waving - LOL!
    What a beautiful place and what nice dogs! My pug would be running around in circles and figure eights like a loon.
    What a nice post of beauty and calm.

  4. I want to pick up Scallywag and love him. I just love little dogs.

    And Socrates is a very cool name for a bigger black dog.

  5. It's nice to appreciate the simple things in life. I hope to get back to that place soon.


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