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Sunday, May 26, 2019

In Place: An Album 21


The carpet comes in handy
for nine bows; with hands
uplifted, the old woman pauses,
thoughtlessly thoughtful of all

These bows are supposed to be prostrations from standing, but the old woman’s back and legs are beginning to fail her, so she now uses the railing of the cot as a grab bar to get to her knees and does her bows from there. This is sometimes accompanied by the grunts and groans of the elderly.

...we should know why we do prostrations. We do not do them to endear ourselves to somebody else. We do not do them for the Buddha. Such concepts are completely wrong. The Buddha is not a god of this world. We bow down to purify all situations from the past where we did not respect others.

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