The winter of blessings
It was winter in Woodstock, and some of us were losing it.
Tiny things were driving us crazy-- and as for the big things, what could we do?
I woke at dawn and walked.
What would it take to bring some comfort and joy to this lonely world?
The sun kissed my cheek and whispered two words: Teddy bears.
When I was a kid I used to talk to my stuffed animals. They never judged me. They were always patient. Their unconditional love brought great relief.
Never underestimate the power of a teddy bear!
I raced up the mountain to meet a wise man.
I brought along a few friends.
The Rinpoche knew the power of teddy bears to bring comfort.
He loved all animals.
I shared my plan with the Rinpoche. He blessed some bears that very morning, and the teddy bear project was launched.
I started giving the bears to anyone who was sick or sad or had lost someone. Not everyone knew about the extra blessings. People were delighted to get any bear. One man at the crises center grabbed a blue bear out of the bag and cried into his fur. I gave away a dozen bears. We needed more.
The truth was, everyone wanted a bear.
I began to have wild ideas.
In my vision, thousands of bears would not only be blessed by the Rinpoche, but the heads of every monastery and practice center. The bears would be shipped to remote corners of the earth, containing the empowerments of the Karma Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist lineage, the power to heal, raise up, dispel suffering of every kind...
Start slow, the Rinpoche said. One bear at a time.
He kindly did not mention that I had become manic.
Sewing slowed me down.
It took a week to make two bears and they were so freaking cute I wanted to keep them!
I abandoned my sewing and sought out new sources.
New bears arrived daily. My passion was rekindled. Once again, I was sure these bears would save the world.
I'd bring bears to the monastery when no one was around.
The Rinpoche was always there.
He blessed each animal with such care, as if they were each real.
Only a few knew of the project. I had not gone through the proper channels. I felt my way was sanctioned by a higher power!
That kind of thinking usually didn't work out.
BUT oh how happy everyone was when they got their bears!!
Eventually I was caught.
The days of the Buddha bears had come to an end.
One thing I learned while giving out bears, is that people also needed a ride to the grocery store, eye contact, a hug, someone to listen to them and much more.
Actually, I always knew that. But after the bears, I became more willing to show up just as I am--even without a bear.
That was a great blessing and lesson from the Rinpoche.
But what about the bears? So many perfectly good bears left in attics, long forgotten, but still with years of life left.
The Rinpoche also taught me that love is free. We are free to give bears without first schlepping them up to a monastery. Give them with love and they are already blessed. 💕🙏🏾
#buddhist #teddybear #woodstock #Makeaworld 🐻 A true tale In the #tinytales library