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Our (choose one: herd, sedge, sege, siege, swoop) of cranes

Michelle Hartel Reporting, Connecticut Sangha

During a recent class, the CT DTO Sangha was treated to a wonderful lesson on Buddha-Nature by our presenter, Richard Downey. Richard is a fabulous storyteller and an experienced artist. During his presentation of the Sutra of Hui Neng, also known as the Sutra Spoken by the Sixth Patriarch, the Platform Sutra, or the Altar Sutra, Richard used his artistic teaching abilities to help us all experience Buddha-Nature.

Since Buddha-Nature exists within every one of us, he used the art of origami to illustrate how Buddha-Nature exists and can flourish so it can be seen others. In this case, the paper contained crane-nature which nobody could see, although we trusted that the crane-nature existed within the paper. Just as we trust that Buddha-Nature exists within each of us and only needs to be recognized and nurtured to be seen by others, the crane-nature needed to be coaxed out of the paper with much folding and much patience. There was laughter and frustration along the way as we walked the path together unlocking our respective crane-nature.

In the end, we all witnessed the beauty of the crane-nature that we developed into our own special cranes. Much like our own individual practices, we learned that our own Buddha-Nature can evolve in different ways and the results of our practice together is beautiful, like our swoop of cranes. Each one different, yet similar. Each one the result of nurturing the crane-nature within.

Our CT swoop of cranes nesting in our new bowl cushion.

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