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Dharma

The way the world and the universe are in order is something we take for granted in daily life. We overlook the ordinary, but there is importance layered in the ordinary. It is here we find the extraordinary. We come and go and, when we pay attention, so much is revealed about the world and the way we help create it.

Billy Collins shared a common, everyday way to examine the patterns of life, the Dharma of the world we live with all the time by examining a dog and the way she lives life without worrying about life.

The way the dog trots out the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her dog house
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.

Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance—
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Ghandi with his staff and his holy diapers?

Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.

If only she did not shove the cat aside
every morning
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

13 responses »

  1. Wonderful comment on our dogs. They are so loving I feel guilty at times for wanting to put them outside. I don’t like them in my lap, or climbing on me when I just dressed for an appointment. Nor do I like their slobbering on me. But they are so pleased in the doing. On the other hand would I be happy with one so well trained they have no spontaneity? My grand daughter would say, “what a conundrum!”

    Reply
  2. Merry Christmas, my friend! All the best to you and your loved ones in year 2014.

    Cheers!! :D

    Reply
  3. This made me laugh Ivon. Thanks for sharing it. All the best for a wonderful Christmas time. :-)

    Reply
  4. The simplicity of animals and plants puts complicated humanity to shame.

    Reply

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