I walked from the Meditation Hall into the cold December air. The roar of the Esopus creek and the crunch of snow under my feet were the only intrusions on an otherwise silent wooded path.

Thinking about the talk that the young abbot delivered reminded me of my doubts about the Buddhist endgame. About the possibility of enlightenment, about being completely selfless for any length of time. The transitory ness of Buddhism I completely get, cause I see it everywhere. Every thing is changing and nothing stays the same for long. Every thing is shifting and flowing and only the names we put on them give us a sense of solidity

A friend told me recently that he was putting on a little weight, and that he was genetically programmed to do so in the fall. For millenniums man had starved through the winter, just marginally surviving till nature was reborn in the spring.

This week when my daughter gets home we will buy Christmas tree a put up in our living room and decorate it with lights and ornaments. This ancient ceremony of bringing an evergreen tree indoors in the depth of winter expresses the hope of continuance, of surviving the starvation of winter.
. We will also light my wife's menorah, which is shaped like a tree, not flat like the standard one’s I’ve seen. Each candle is lit from the top candle, so light is passed on from the top down, from one source. Energy radiating into nature and animating it from above, from the sun, from the Great Spirit, just names, but a great insight from the ancients, preserved whole in our holiday rituals.
The star energy at the top of our Christmas tree flows to the many lights below, from unity to multiplicity. All the decorations reflect it and symbolize the great rich multiplicity of life in time.

Perhaps what the Buddhists are saying when they talk of enlightenment, is that from moment to moment it is our job to reconnect with that inner sun, with the original unity that tends to be shattered in time.

We are legion.
We are one.

goob goob ga chup