Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reminding The Community

I had the grand privilege of baptizing my first grandchild yesterday, Caroline Jo Coleman. She has my daughter's baptism dress on and a sweet little bonnet her uncle Jason and aunt Anne sent her. Jason and Anne could not be there because they are expecting our second grandchild any day now.

I think the thing that stood out for me most was my reminding all those present about the responsibility we have for her life, both physically and spiritually.

I invited family members to speak words to Caroline.
 Four of her cousins. the oldest being twelve, shared quotes their mother had them memorize from Paul Foster ( teacher), Mother Teresa, Vincent Van Gough, and an African proverb. Grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles all shared.
My words are shared on her personal blog post @

Recognizing the community of love around her, I was reminded of the importance of knowing you have a place you belong , a community, a sangha, if you will, which is yours, where you experience love and guidance about the ways of this life.

A place to come home to when your world seems more than you can handle on your own. But also a place where you are reminded, if truth abides in that place, about the things that matter.

Some of us have this gift all our lives. Some of us have to go around the world to find it. Some never find it.
I'm in the habit of saying nothing is learned at birthday parties, mostly at funerals.

 Caroline's baptism changed my thoughts on that matter.
There is much to be learned when celebrating the beginning of a new life and the celebrations of the birthdays to come.

The next time you are invited to a birthday party of a child in the family and you can go, DO IT!

Community happens through skillful means. Community happens with intention, not by mistake.

Why do we practice?
Look at that sentient being in the middle of this picture.

Nine Bows to my teacher, Caroline,


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