Blizzards and Buddhist Shelters

We had a cold snap here on the homestead a few weeks ago. The temperature went as low as -10 at night, and it barely hit the double-digits during the day. I was worried how my rabbits and chickens would survive since their enclosures are outdoors.  

During one particularly brutal day, when the snow was falling in thick, pancake-sized flakes, I opened up the rabbit hutch to see the bunnines hopping around and playing without a care in the world.

In that moment, I realized the weather doesn’t matter. As long as my animals have strong, secure shelters that keep them warm and dry. A day with a blizzard isn’t different from any other day.

I think the same is true of humans and spiritual practice. We can’t control the “weather” of our lives. In any moment, we can be hit by a blizzard.  Sometimes, it will come in the form of literal snow. Other times, it may be a rude neighbor, a lost job, sick pet, or a host of other problems that people deal with on a daily basis.

But if we build a strong shelter for ourselves in the form of daily meditation, chanting, prostrations, and sutra study, we’ll be protected, and prepared for anything that life throws our way.

As Buddhists, we don’t need to stop the storm. We just need to take shelter when it arrives.

Namu Amida Butsu

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