I'll say a little prayer for you. Forever, forever, you'll stay in my heart. ~ I'll Say A Prayer For You, Aretha Franklin
I have a buddha in a bubble!
My children surprised me with a snow globe that houses a golden Buddha, seated in a peaceful womb of gold and glittering with sparkles that alight on his shoulders, his head, his hands, his lap and his feet.
Every morning, I shake my buddha!
And I watch as my vanity lights illuminate the sparkles as they glisten and swirl in a dance to start the day.
At the closing of one of my very first yoga practices, I sat for the first time with my hands in prayer while the instructor said a few words.
He instructed us to exhale what we no longer needed and to inhale some goodness into its place. After the practice, I was so hypnotized, I would have followed any instruction, and this seemed easy enough. I was surprised how visual it was for me, and I exhaled what I imagined as the color gray, and I inhaled what I imagined as the color white.
With some more years of practice under my belt, these stars have turned from white to gold. Somehow, now, for me, imagining these falling, golden stars have become a sort of visual prayer, the kind I say after moving on my mat.
More recently, one of our instructors was not well, and for several practices during his recuperation, I'd find myself imagining him seated like a buddha with gold stars falling all around, landing on his head and sticking to his shoulders like ornaments on a tree.
And so it was with surprise that I received this most thoughtful of gifts, my buddha in a bubble, complete with sparkles as gold as the stars I send in my prayers and sitting there like someone who’s been blessed.
Every morning, I look at this buddha, and I see the gold dust all over him. He’s even sitting in some. And, to me, he looks blessed, and I see in this image that it’s possible to be surrounded in blessings whether we know it or not.
Sometimes, for many, it can be hard to see such blessings, especially the kind that can’t be seen or touched. But the blessings are there, because we are here.
This week, the actor and comedian, Robin Williams, died. So did the daughter of a friend of mine who herself passed away a while back. And it makes me wish that it was possible for them to have been sustained by the golden prayers that I'm sure were sent to them and that I’ve no doubt they had sent to others.
For I’m thinking that they, too, were sitting in some gold dust, maybe even with some of it resting on their shoulders and in their hair and on their feet. And I think it's a safe bet that they’ve even left some behind in their footprints.
I think it can be very difficult to exhale that which no longer serves us.
Sometimes it can get stuck inside, and I think this may have been some of what happened to these souls. And it makes me wish that more of us would have known of their struggles, so that as many golden prayers could have been sent to help in whatever way they might have.
Last night, at the end of practice, a siren blared as we sat there in prayer with the room quiet and the sky dark. And the instructor said that, growing up, he was taught to say a prayer when a siren went by. And so he asked us all to do the same, to say a prayer for someone we didn’t know, but for whom, if we did, we’d love and bless all the same.
I got home later that night and prepared to settle down for the evening. I looked at my buddha on the vanity, serenely protected in its globe.
I picked it up and gave it a good shake.
And, as I looked inside, I saw that the vanity lights had formed a halo around his head, and I watched one more time as the golden blessings swirled all around and then settled down for the evening, too.
And then I took a picture and sent it to my children, so I could send my love and say good night and give them both my blessings.