I woke up this morning to presents from the postman, so big thanks to everyone who timed it so well - to Julia and Elle, Yo and Matilda and Dieter, to Clare and Finlay and Nicky, to Emma, to Judith (perhaps my dearest friend) - and for electronic greetings hello and thanks to Ms Noh and Crissie and Hadass.
I feel honoured that people take the time and thought to do these things (I feel fairly notorious for either missing, or ignoring significant dates in people's lives).
I put on a saffron shirt today, both for the spring sunshine colour, and for the Buddhist monk robe colouring. I do not consider myself a Buddhist, but have a lot of empathy for their world-view. And now I get to go to Japan tomorrow, for a week, so I will experience a Buddhist culture firsthand, for the first time in my life. What a great present from the universe!
I think of the essence of Buddhism (and perhaps all true spiritual practice) as harmlessness. I may have hurt people at times through my clumsiness, ignorance or stupidity, but never through malice. I would like to take this opportunity to wish a peaceful day to all sentient beings. You can find a Tibetan take on harmlessness, here.
May all sentient beings become free of suffering. May peace, joy, wisdom, and compassion consume us all. May all beings find the path to enlightenment that lays within the core of each individual as well as in the whole of humanity.