There is a strength, fortitude, and persistence one needs to follow the path. (I have been pulled by the undertow away at times.) Thus there are ancillary aspects to the path that a book like Resilience can support. I'm just starting it.
Yesterday Sangharakshita passed away. He taught so many of the people that taught me. I only got to meet him in a group on Facetime. Can't go visit him now.
I shed tears for my teacher. With Halloween, all souls day, the day of the dead and then daylight savings time, we are entering a time of celebrating the harvests and preparing for winter.
All holidays, festivals and parties are coopted from the past, for our present needs. I've been thinking about how to increase the Buddhism in holidays around me. Simchat Torah is a celebration of sacred texts and reading. I haven't pinpointed one text, but it's a lovely idea.
Holloween is a opportunity to dress up, trying out an alternative persona. I've never really felt like doing it and always did it reluctantly. Children can see it about collecting candy, trick or treat. It's a community day when children go out and trick or treat in America. It's a bizarre holiday but in some ways they all are.
Halloween is when the leaves begin turning in NYC in earnest, and the sunset colors in the photo above are the colors of Halloween. It is a time of orange.
Halloween can be the beginning of a 3 day celebration of the Tomorrow is the beginning of two days of the "day" of the dead. I'm not Mexican but celebrating and remembering deceased family and important people seems like a good activity. In my head I have a shrine of the deceased relatives and family that have passed. I've been watching Coco with my 2 year old daughter.
My grandfathers and grandmother have passed away (all 6 of them as the child of divorce and remarriage). They all brought so much sweet sweet richness to life.
I had a foster grandfather as well James Schwalbach and grandmother in Mathilda, who were so wonderful to me. His funeral was the one that made me imagine reflecting over a whole life in 1984. I had a cool gay uncle who was an architect who passed away, and an uncle who was a cool architect and was instrumental in me moving to NYC, who has passed away.
Finally, I've been listening to They May Be Giants and I think they've been influenced by the Dharma. I don't have the mental space to explicate, but trust me. I've also been enjoying Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z at work.
There are some Buddhists who avoid art because it seems imaginary and I don't know, fun. Great beauty has a connection to the spiritual life, that is one of the ideas of Sangharakshita, who we will be missing, my spiritual family.