Poking Buddha in the Eye

One afternoon, during my summer yoga retreat at Molino Del Rey in southern Spain, my 1-year-old, Elio, and I were chillin' by the pool.

Elio teaches me volumes about what it means to look at this beautiful world with new eyes. On this day, next to the pool, Elio found a statue of The Buddha, the statue depicting The Buddha with his constant, serene smile large enough to hold the entire Universe with compassion. Elio was insatiably curios in The Buddha, his focus on The Buddha was whole-bodied; he had to know every inch of that statue with his eyes, hands, and mouth. 

There was The Buddha, unyielding in his serenity while this curious toddler batted him around like a soccer ball. Still, The Buddha didn't waiver. Nothing could deter the equanimity from his face. 

This statue reminded me of The Buddha nature within all of us. Elio reminded me of the Lila or "play" that the Universe exhibits by all of its changeability, the fact that everything in the Universe is quickened by life, movement, energy, and pulse. The Universe is like Elio as it slaps us around, pokes our eyes, licks our nose, and generally plays with us, not from a place of malice, but almost out of simple compulsion. What if in Universe years, The Universe is just a toddler, exploring all the parts, including us, with insatiable curiosity? What if we, through practice, could remain constant, grounded and serene, just like The Buddha, despite the fact that sometimes it feels like The Universe is simply messing with us? 

May we see the Buddha Nature in every being and practice knowing it in ourselves.