April 18, 2020
As I spend my days mostly writing and dream tending, I am also getting to know the oracle deck I am working on by doing readings for friends. Yesterday I asked the oracle what medicine card do my friends need for these times. The card I drew was the Medicine Buddha, pictured here.
What would you say or do for others if you had the powers of the Medicine Buddha at this time? What would he say to you, to the world? Can you look at yourself through his eyes and offer reassurance to yourself— or hold his image in your minds eye when with a friend who is suffering?
As I contemplate the image, my attention is mainly drawn to the smile of the Buddha, and to the leaves coming out of his medicine bowl. So I ask myself what does this invoke for me in regards to these times?
Something that presents itself here for me is the correlation between happiness and health. I do feel that when I am happy, doing the things I love, in alignment with my heart and soul calling, I feel stronger in myself, more vibrant, more alive.
I then ask myself am I always happy when I’m healthy? The answer to this is embarrassingly—no. My happiness comes and goes, and sometimes vanishes all together especially if I am feeling a lot of hard emotions—fear, grief, anger and anxiety. So how do I return to a place of peace, a place of quiet contentment in the midst of such strong emotions? How do I find the ground of happiness holding me up so I can face the challenges from a stronger place while not denying any of it?
These are hard times, and so many people are suffering. Sometimes our lives call on us to be care takers of others who need our help. In doing that we sometimes take on physical symptoms but also some of the emotional ones as well. How do we hold all of this and stay present and in a place of compassion? How do we move through this towards healing?
I don’t think I have any answers, but one thing I do know is that however it is we are called to show up during this time for others, it is always also essential to take care of ourselves. This card comes as a reminder for that.
Gratitude is a potent and ongoing practice which always serves us in a good way, and also for me, I turn to nature. To the medicine of the plants, of the natural world around me. I easily feel gratitude here, and happiness. And I am very blessed to be in a place that is wild with forest and animals and mountain and streams. I can go there and sing and cry out my grief, share my fear with a rock and feel it ground me, express anger by giving a good shout or throwing a log as far as I can. If I couldn’t do that, what would I do?
A dear friend of mine saw this card and said she was inspired to sit in the position of the Medicine Buddha, to embody his expression by connecting through his posture. This is something you can do out in nature or you can do at home. Since this message is about taking care of yourself first, and then taking care of others—perhaps visualizing his smiling gaze pouring love into your heart as you sit in a place of nature that has always felt healing to you—will somehow help. I for one am going to try. And when I am with a friend who is having a tough time, I am going to call on the Medicine Buddha to be by my side. To shine through my words and my eyes so I can be of support in some small or big way. And I am going to remind myself to care for myself, to find time to do the things that make me deeply happy so I can support others to do same.
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With love and gratitude from all of us at Tulku,