The Return of the Great Plains Buddha

The website’s URL is now www.greatplainsbuddha.com.  What began as a diversion from my primary blog Sweep the Dust, Push the Dirt.  A younger, and less impetuous sibling has grow into its own and I hope that you enjoy it.  It seems that I open a bit more of my practice here and avoid discussing politics or current events.  But we both know, you and I, that the two really can not be removed from the Dharma.  Without those things, the Dharma becomes a dusty statue, a stagnant pond.  Just as a teacher needs a student; the Dharma needs an evolving environment and a stumbling fool to be of any use. 

So, it seems that you have been enjoying this blog for the past few months and thanks to the inspiration of The KamikaZEN’s t-shirt design we have the great plains buddha.  I wrote a brief caption about the t-shirt and thought I would expand it some for this blog.  I hope you enjoy, comment and engage.  Why waste this precious human birth alone by the fire?

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The great plains buddha is at home surrounded by tall prairie grasses and rolling sage.  In a region largely without coverage, great plains buddhas shade themselves with bodhichitta and weather the hardships of every dry, brown summer; devastating winter and ocassional beer shortages. The horizon is flat but not without small areas of relief where you may find us under a tree…asleep.  I rarely get to see the mountains or rivers but with a horizon that encompasses both, our hearts soar with our feet firmly planted on dry soil or flowing field.  We await the storm of bodhi to fall from the west and soak us in karuna, leaving this land fertile and blooming.  Here, though, even the bodhi storm receeds in the evening leaving us alone to light our fires with damp wood and soggy cigarrettes.  But from the Black Hills to the footsteps of the Great Rockies; from the dune fields of Nebraska to the hill country of Texas; our fires dot the horizon ~ a horizon where sweeping lands meet the sky and opens doors to the Pure Land.   

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With a strike of lightning and howling winds our bodhi burns like tequila.

The Great Plains stretch 2500 miles from southern Canada to the Texas panhandle.  The grasses and rolling prairie of the Great Plains lie on top an ancient inland sea thriving with sea serpents.  Since then the area has bore witness to the roar of dinosaurs, the steady crawl of continental glaciers, epic volcanic eruptions and demonic keggers; all of which fell victim to the constant howl of a lonely, bitter wind.  But even as the rumble of the great bison herds echo in the distance and the land becomes slightly less wild, the spirit of the Plains continues to thrive through its heartache and triumph.  Through its love and loss.  The land as well as the buddhas that wander it learn to take great pride in the small moments because as swiftly as they arise, the vast landscape swallows them whole. 

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Images are from Micheal Forsberg’s book “The Great Plains

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