Tales of Joy 2022 #3

Hello again, dear readers.

Thanks again for your heartfelt response to the Tales. You might be surprised to know how very vulnerable I feel when I send them out.

The mural (below) is new this year…. It is near my morning meditation spot on the bay.

Mural La Paz

I’ve been studying the difference between looking and seeing, for decades. For instance, I had looked at the mural above and admired it a couple times before, but didn’t actually “see” it until after I had expanded my rainbow radius one morning last week. I finally saw that the man is insubstantial… one can literally see through him.

The artwork that is so plentiful here in La Paz is astonishing to me, subtle and soulful and skillful.

I’ve noticed that when I am busy being “someone” solid, doing something terribly “important” (e.g. cleaning up or prepping Wattle Hollow before a retreat), I often don’t see much…even my own artwork!

Carmen (the daughter-in-law of my landlord) told me that she grew up with this artist…named Elti, so I may get to meet him.

La Paz is currently in Zone Orange, regarding its pandemic status. If we enter Zone Red, which is one level more severe, the beach will become off-limits here in town. The police will spend all their time, like last winter, chasing locals and tourists off the bay side of the street and asking all the “Chucks” (my dear neighbor who considers himself immune and above all this nonsense) to wear a mask. Then I will do my dawn meditations somewhere else…and ride my beloved clunker bicycle to the outskirts of town.

La Paz has expanded the bike trail system since last year, and there seem to be far fewer cyclists out there these days … it’s a heavenly situation for me.

I navigate my itinerary according to the wind. When it is blowing heavily (usually coming from the south) I don’t want to be returning home riding against the wind, tired and without sufficient energy. I have discovered that the euphoric sensation that I am riding “like the wind” usually means I am riding WITH the wind behind me.

And when I do have to ride my bicycle on the streets, I have changed my tack: Instead of trying to stay out of everyone’s way, close to the parked cars, I now ride smack dab in the middle of my lane. Otherwise, motorists zoom past within inches of me and my bicycle. To avoid all of that, I often ride a mile south to the central plaza, lock the bike, and then walk wherever I’m going, on my shopping missions.

Last week, I asked my Spanish tutor, Sr. Sergio, to meet me in front of this statue (above), so we could read the plaque and translate it together for that day’s lesson. It was an homage to the skill and dedication of countless millenia of fishermen worldwide…..

Click here for the full newsletter (pdf) with lots more art, and the continuation of ‘Reflections on Maechee Sansanee’ and reflections of the passage of another legendary teacher from our midst…Thich Nhat Hanh