Friday, March 11, 2011

Sun, Tree, Pond

During college I took a class called "Religions of the World".  For my final project I had to attend a service of another religion that I was not a member of.  So the search began.

I grew up in the Catholic Church, and had been a to a Jewish Synagogue.  I decided to write my paper on a Buddhist Temple service.

Of course, walking in off the street to any religion is difficult, if you do not understand the basic principals.  I tried to Wikipedia the religion - but really? It's like reading about what fire feels like.  Unless you get burnt, you have no idea.

I have never been to another Buddhist service, so I assume this was just an ordinary Sunday.  You have to take your shoes off, and get a small pillow to sit on.  You sit directly on the floor, and there is a giant golden Buddha in the front of the room.

There are pamphlets you can follow along with - although they are not in English.  The service was more about meditation and self reflection than anything else.

It was during this meditation I discovered one of the secrets of life.   

There was a large window to my right, looking out into a field.  It was plush, green, and sunny.  In the distance there was a pond.  Crystal clear and quiet.  A tree was next to the pond, its branch extending over it.

The question came to me.

If I was at the pond, what would I be doing?

Take a quick moment to answer this question for yourself.  If you were at this pond, alone on a sunny day, what would you do?  How would you act?

Got an answer? on.

If I was out on the pond, I would reach down and grab a stone.  I would sit out there and skip stones on the pond.

That's it. 

 With this understanding I was able to identify who I was as a person.

The"clear pond" is life.  I love chaos, and instead of leaving it alone, I cause ripples.

So astounded by this revelation I asked my wife to tell me what she would do.  I asked my sister; I asked my best friend.  Everyone had an answer that described their inner core.  Described who they were as people.

This is a deep reflection of who I am at my core.

What would you do at the pond?



  1. Sounds crazy, but I would close my eyes. I love taking a moment in places like this and listening.

  2. It's not crazy, it's you. In many other situations, if you are overwhelmed with beauty, you take time to fully appreciate everything about that moment.

    That's Awesome.

  3. Do you remember what I said? - It was not jump in, that's for sure :)
    Love your blog, and love you too!

  4. No, I remember. You cautiously walked around the pond, maybe stick your toes in. Of course there was a boat - always a way to get out in the middle of the pond...

  5. I don't remember this question! I'm struggling to remember what I would have said before...but right now? I think I would have taken a book out of my bag, sat with my back against that tree and my bag underneath me (I still hate grass), and read for as long as the light lasted.

  6. I believe I would skip some stones also at 1st, then perhaps lie down in the grass, smell it's scent, and look up at the sky. I don't get many chances to "look up" these days.

  7. my first reaction would be to skip stones..then sit in total awe as the ripples fade away and is too short like a ripple. make the moments that last forever and cherrish them.

  8. Nonsensical - You said "Open a book". You tend to appreciate the beauty of the world, but you love to get lost in your own.

  9. jjohnson - lying on the grass I believe is an expression of the complete relaxation with the decisions you make. You can wonder, and examine, and dream. I dig it.

  10. Mr. Anonymous - You have taught me many-a-good-things with this post. You used to jump from the highest tree branch, or swing from a rope tied to a tree. But as years pass, you have found that pondering is the way to go. I only hope Wisdom can come as clear to me...