Thoughts on a Sad Milestone

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In the United States we have reached a sad milestone of 100,000 deaths from the COVID19 virus. It is hard to put one’s mind around such a figure but every night at 7pm I go to my window and cheer for the essential workers who have been stalwart in their efforts on the frontlines.

To honor the passing of those and the grief of their loved ones left behind I offer the words of an eighteenth century Buddhist nun, Otagaki Rengetsu. Rengetsu became a Buddhist nun at the age of thirty after burying two husbands, all of her children, her stepmother and stepbrother. Her elegant expression of grief and wisdom may bring some comfort.

Weekly Tarot Card – Five of Cups

IMG_3364This week’s message has to do with perspective. We are in the suit of cups which signify the emotional realm, feelings, intuition, sensitivities, the movements of the heart. What captures our eyes is the large figure clad in black and blue robe, his face hidden as he gazes downward in the depths of dolor. Three large golden cups have fallen over spilling a red (blood) and green (life force) substance. ┬áHe has refused their succor. So steeped in his doldrums is the man that he does not see the two upright golden cups behind him. Nor is he aware of the blue river (stream of consciousness) which separates him from the bridge which would bring him to the castle on the hill. His landscape is barren while the landscape around the castle is verdant with grass and trees. His emotions have overwhelmed the situation. If we persist in wallowing in sadness and emotions of loss, we will close ourselves off from the path to happiness. We need to lift up our gaze out of the morass and see what’s around and ahead. A change in perspective is what’s needed.