April 2, 2012

whoa mani peme hung

The shape of the Milky Way as deduced by William Hershel in 1785 (seen at the Huntington Botanical Garden Museum). 

The red arrow points to our solar system. Yes, that's right, that tiny little dot, is our teeny weeny solar system (our sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) within the Milky Way galaxy. Amaze-balls.

As Buddhist practitioners we are constantly invoking, aspiring, praying and dedicating our practice for the "benefit of all sentient beings." Now, when Buddhists mean 'all' sentient beings. They mean it. It's not just sentient beings on planet Earth. It's all sentient beings throughout all galaxies. Gulp. I've never  quite been able to fathom the scope of this, but when I ran into this William Hershel picture at the Huntington Library Museum,  it put that somewhat into perspective.

Four-Armed Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion

May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness!

May all beings not have suffering and the cause of suffering!

May all beings never be without supreme bliss which is free from all suffering!

May all beings live in the Great Equanimity which free from all attachment and aversion.

-The Four Immeasurables