Popcorn at the Circus
(Inspired by a conversation with Pastor Don)
So the story goes, as Hitch the Magnificent tells it ( I’m paraphrasing here) , , ,
At a busy international airport, Hitch was approached by a saffron-robed individual whose shaven head, sandal’d feet and serene manner bespoke a follower of the Buddha. While quietly chanting his mantra, he paused in his devotions to ask “Spare any change?”
To which Hitch replied, “My brother, change comes from within.”
This harkens back to a piece that I wrote about asking the right question.
“Hey”, I say, “If you ask me a question and you don’t like my answer, either I misunderstood your question (you need to be more precise) or you asked the wrong question (reconsider what it is that you want).”
This is at the heart of so much grief in the world. People have a tendency to let their mouth do their thinking. What is said cannot be unsaid. What is done cannot be undone without a serious amount of atonement. But there is no accounting for the world. It is cruel and kind, soft and hard, bitter and sweet.
Else, how can life be so precious without the prospect of its ending? So we stumble along between the rock and that hard place, trying to avoid both.
My objective now is to attain a certain state of Zen, to reach a point where I can deflect the arrows sent my way and accept the proffered hand. Achieving inner peace and harmony may sound like sitting on a lotus leaf, but the perfect state is more than that. It involves attaining harmony with everything that comes my way. There are lessons in adversity – and grace to be found in peace. In order to receive and accept both I need to be in a place where I can safely be open to both, to sit high in the circus bleachers, away from the snarling cats and fiery hoops and quietly eat my popcorn.
That is my Zen, where I have achieved a state of eating popcorn at the circus and simply enjoying the show.