1. Get to New York. It is possibly -8000 degrees. Plus I am half hour late (curse you for being on time, NJ Transit trains, so I must take sad, wheezing bus because I am 2 minutes late).
2. See those coats? Everybody but everybody is wearing their freaking sleeping bags in NYC.
3. Presence of food and husband is somewhat mollifying.
4. Famous scholars start talking about aspects of Buddhism about which I am in a great state of unnowingness. What does he mean about Tantric Buddhism spreading across Asia at approximately 800 of the Common Era? Remember . . . mmm, dukkha? Samsara? Catch word here and there. They all have thick accents. My eyelids grow heavy. So heavy. I am suddenly floating away, so far . . . wait, am I in an auditorium or some sort? This isn’t my bed? Oh yeah, um, dukkha. I remember that word. It means, “anything that sucks to any degree.”
5. Two sets of beautifully dressed monks sing slow chanty songs. I am jealous of their socks. They each sing a couple of songs. It is beautiful. But a whole evening of this would kill me.
6. And now, time for the ladies room, Japanese style (we Americans are sooooooooooo backwards.)
By the way, sorry, I swear I photoedited these pictures and they just came out all wrong or SOMETHING.
Writing Prompt: What was the Last cultural experience which you attended
One of my favorite daydreamy activities
I have been drawing mandalas in my journal since I was a teenager. I always wondered why the act of putting a dot or a diamond or a flower or some small shape in the center of a piece of paper and then letting designs flow out from that center was such a comfort, but I think there is something satisfying about how a simple shape can become a pattern if it’s repeated, and that there’s something about patterns that seems more and more important and human to me as time goes on. Of course mandalas have been made as objects of contemplation for thousands of years. They are part of the Buddhist tradition, the Christian tradition (as in rose windows, haloes, etc.) I actually think the secret of the power of mandalas is that that putting that confident little dot in the center is like poking a hole into another world,a world where creativity can come through, pattern by tiny pattern, until it weaves a hole. Here are a few examples.