Lucy Finds Her Thumb and 10,000 Joys

Lucy finds her thumb

Hey, Lucy, what’s that on your toe? — My 3-month-old granddaughter, Lucy, sometimes accidentally pulls out her pacifier and then manages to find her thumb to suck. It goes like this – She starts to fuss, pulls out the pacifier, finds the thumb, loses the thumb, cries, I give her a pacifier, and so on… Sometimes I show her: Here! Here is your thumb! And thus, within the microcosm of one baby, we find the macrocosm of joy united with suffering. Little girl, I give to you: 10,000 joys, 10,000 sorrows.

Illustration by Mary MacGowan, pen and watercolor pencil and a collaged butterfly
10,000 Joys, 10,000 Sorrows is an old Buddhist saying

A Proper Cup of Tea

Sad Heart, a good dog.

OUR WHOLE LIFE COULD BE A RITUAL
“We could learn to stop when the sun goes down and when the sun comes up. We could learn to listen to the wind; we could learn to notice that it’s raining or snowing or hailing or calm. We could reconnect with the weather that is ourselves, and we could realize that it’s sad. The sadder it is, and the vaster it is, the more our heart opens. We can stop thinking that good practice is when it’s smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it’s rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea.”
(Wisdom of No Escape) – Pema Chodron

MYOM #8: Gold Cracks

My Year of Mindfulness #8

This cracked bowl still knows how to be a bowl. It can’t be anything else. Look how beautiful it is. I’d like to hold it in my lap every day; I’d like to feel its heft and listen to its story. We could be mindful of each other, my bowl and me. We could sit together and just be there, in the shade of a cherry tree, bowl and woman. I’d like that.