The Buddha On Flowers

Death sweeps away

The person obsessed

With gathering flowers,

As a great flood sweeps away a sleeping village.

The person obsessed

With gathering flowers,

Insatiable sense pleasures,

Is under the sway of Death.

As a bee gathers nectar

And moves on without harming

The flower, its color, or its fragrance,

Just so should a sage walk through a village.

—The Dhammapada, translation by Gil Fronsdale


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Flowers, mom and dad at a dog park in Napa.

Obsession with sense pleasures be darned, getting outdoors today was such a relief.

3 thoughts on “The Buddha On Flowers

  1. Laura Di Piazza August 11, 2013 / 11:25 pm

    Beautiful photographs, beautiful words. Thanks for this post Katie, I really enjoyed it.

  2. Mushim August 12, 2013 / 12:23 am

    Cyberspace may be the perfect realm in which to regard impermanent blooms. We all enjoy sense pleasures — I think the Buddha’s point was to not let them be the goal of our life or dictate our direction.

  3. kloncke August 12, 2013 / 11:39 pm

    Laura, just thinking about your mindful and skillful calligraphy practice, plus graceful and warm mom-ness, and brilliant loving way of being, makes me glad to say a cyber-hello.

    Mushim, I do love the online realm, but the sense pleasures therein are so addictive for me — namely, articles! Trying to wean myself of the compulsive need to read every interesting-looking article that floats my way, daily. We’ll see how successful I am. But it really does feel like monkey-mind externalized into the tabs on my browser. Are you more of a one-tab-at-a-time kind of person?

    Either way, I do definitely prefer flowers in pictures, and pretty much never pick them, myself. If I had to gather a bouquet, it would probably be of grasses.

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