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Selfie from the Buddha Fields

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

When your prayers are answered but it's so not what you thought.

Image courtesy of

The older I get, the more the ground becomes a sea of vortices, swirling, laughing under my feet. Everywhere, I try

to find the solid ground of destination, the relief of arrival and rest. I search for stepping stones

of certification and praise. But everywhere I look there’s only all I didn’t do — the dusty floor of my meditation room, half empty bowls on the altar.

Tara, Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, what must you think of my vows, here, as my voice falters mid-commitment?

Maybe it’s my faltering that you listen for, though. Sure, you tend to all the stalwart, worthy ones, the ones who never fail to keep the faith.

But maybe you cock your heads, too, and shush each other, straining to hear my shy attempts, my awkward, fumbling hail mary passes.

Maybe you glance at your phones, at the three pulsating dots, my message mid-composed and full of doubt, my thumb so close to pressing Send.

“I know I’ve let things go,” it says, “But can you… (backspace, restart, rethink, delete, go again) can I…just have…a little relief here?”

Yeah, you don’t send relief. But you do send me a reply. A group selfie like no other.

Green Tara, your tongue out, wagging your hand in a gang sign.

Avalokiteshvara nodding in your beats, ballcap backwards, bling around your neck, throwing me a wink and a thumbs up.

And Buddha, hangin’ with your homies, tortilla chip crumbs in your lap for the mutt who found you, a happy hound, licking up the leftovers.

I get it. My moment now is not about relief or hard times. It’s about Don’t Take Everything So Serious.

Praying hands… jazz hands… laughing hard emojis.


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