a protection balance

once the blessed one told his monks the following story:

"there was once a pair of jugglers who did their acrobatic feats on a bamboo pole. one day the master said to his apprentice: 'now get on my shoulders and climb up the bamboo pole.' when the apprentice had done so, the master said: 'now protect me well and i shall protect you. by watching each other in that way, we shall be able to show our skill, we shall make a good profit and you can get down safely from the bamboo pole. ' but the apprentice said: 'not so, master. you, o master, should protect yourself, and i too shall protect myself. thus self-protected and self-guarded we shall safely do our feats."

"this is the right way," said the blessed one and spoke further to his monks:
" 'i shall protect myself,' in that way the foundation of mindfulness should be practised. 'i shall protect others,' and also in that way the foundation of mindfulness should be practised. protecting oneself one protects others; protecting others one protects oneself.
"and how does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? by the repeated and frequent practice of meditation.
"and how does one, by protecting others, protect oneself? by patience and forbearance, by a non-violent and harmless life, by loving kindness and compassion."
{satipatthana, samyutta, no:19}

{top photo by cerezo, middle photo by hickoree, and last photo by michaela}


Relyn said...

These photos really spoke to me today. Balance is exactly what has been missing from my life - for about a year and a half actually. I have been off-kilter, dizzy, over-tired and stressed. This blogging thing has actually been a wonderful path back into myself. I know that sounds strange, but I have a feeling that you know just exactly what I mean. I will be thinking of you as you begin to balance the new joys in your own life. xoxox ~ R

Anonymous said...

i think we are the right track and i'm going to stay right there with you.

tangobaby said...

What a beautiful story, and thank you for reminding us how to help ourselves and others.

The photos are incredible and add so much to the words, too.


studio wellspring said...

hi relyn ~ yes, i do know exactly what you mean. you're very aware. i'm so glad you found some solace in the photos & words too....when we feel things going off kilter it's so important to pay attention and nurture thru it. joys are all around us, it's just a matter of perspective.

hi anon ~ thank you. thank you.

thanks tangobaby ~ sometimes life's busy-ness takes over & it's easy to lose sight of higher ideals. so i appreciate reminders whenever i can get them. somehow i don't think you need all that much reminding, seeing as how it's 2nd nature to you.

tangobaby said...

Oh I need plenty of reminders! I'm just glad you're one of the best people in the world to remind me.