21 comments on “Patra 037

  • Reply
    Ann Darling Post author

    Ah technology! Just when you think you’ve “got it” and you press post … and it all disappears because you forgot the Catptcha Code … there is the instant lesson of … something! The carefully considered words you wrote … mattered not, I think is the lesson here!
    Contributing a very small part in the Patra Passage didn’t diminish in any way the treasure of participating in the receiving of a bowl, or the “send-off” function. Walking slowly along the length of the tables holding the bowls, considering them all … the shapes, the colors, textures … the paintings on the stands … listening to the murmured comments of the attendees … was all a treasured time. Happening to see one of the bowls being wrapped in a cloth I stitched brought pause, and wondering too about where that cloth would travel? We have a tokonoma ( a Japanese style recessed place in a home where flowers or artwork can reside ) in our home and it was there, under the watchful eye of a mother and child, that our bowl has mostly resided, giving a place for pause and gratitude. Today as I considered the idea that tomorrow my bowl would begin her ( yes her ) journey onwards, I found myself anthropomorphizing her experience in our home.

  • Reply
    Ann Darling Post author

    Best show her “our mountain” one more time and Oh yes, that beautiful sunset in the other direction. We feel deeply honored to have received this gift and freely send her off on her journey.

  • Reply
    Ann Darling

    A bowl is never an empty space: it always holds something, if but the air and the space it takes up. So is the space the bowl once held considered empty, when the bowl is no longer there? Is there a difference between an artifact that you purchase yourself and one you receive as a gift? These are just some of the thoughts I have been mulling today following the transfer of #37 yesterday. One more time I held and turned the bowl … savoring its beauty and form … and then I handed it to my daughter, my treasured daughter Amy. We were both moved by the transfer. I sense the absence of the physical bowl on my tansu this morning … but it remains easy for me to “see” in the space it occupied. When I turned over the bowl before the transfer my daughter’s first response was “Wait! Is that number 37?” She was amazed by the fact that when someone asks her to think of a number for some random reason, 37 is always her first choice! And so the next part of the journey begins.

  • Reply
    Amy Darling

    This Patra has migrated north. I’ve been waiting for a day with sun to illuminate its new home before posting. The sun’s radiance is visible in the trees’ crimson and golden leaves of the season, but has not shone at a moment when I’ve been home with camera and intention and so I will offer these dim shots.

    My living room Buddha has temporarily stepped aside creating space for the Patra. He’s contentedly nestled beneath a Maidenhair fern close by. Just weeks prior, I had a discussion in this very living room with Anita Feng, ceramic artist and Zen teacher, in which she gestured toward this small wooden statue commenting on {my paraphrasing} the narrowness of imagery in which we see the Buddha manifest. In her work, she expresses myriad different expressions. http://www.golden-wind.com/wp/index.php

    It seemed apropos that this very nook be the Patra’s first landing dock. I sense it will move, as all things do.

  • Reply
    Amy Darling

    The Patra moved rather quickly from the dim mantle to the center of my dining table. This is the true center of my home, where I take morning and evening meals looking out a large window onto the world. These past weeks, sitting appreciating this radiant bowl, I have more regularly mused on the nature of the vessel, of holding, the act of giving and receiving.
    I have been rotating small printed cards into the Patra. The cards were given to me by a dear friend I have known through Buddhist practice for over a decade. He generated these cards based on the 12th Century Tibetan text, the full title generally translated as ‘The Root Text of the Seven Points of Training the Mind’. People are more familiar with the shortened title or reference to the ‘Lojong slogans’. A new book was released this year about the slogans written by Norman Fischer, Zen priest, teacher, poet and writer. I have found rotating and reflecting on the individual cards provides a valuable touch stone for my day, my week. Some of the more accessible and universal examples include:
    * Be grateful to everyone.
    * Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness.
    * Don’t ponder others.
    * Don’t try to be the fastest.
    * Whatever you meet unexpectedly, join with meditation.
    Engaging these prompts has felt both poignant and somehow rather simple even if manifesting the individual ‘invitations’ is not always very easy to do.

    In addition to the rotating slogans, I’ve have had an array of thoughts about the rather complicated nature of giving and receiving: objects, money, food, love, care. There was a practice that I witnessed years ago when I lived in Nepal that seemed to remove some of the complexity. At least in the middle and high hills of more predominantly Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups (Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung) it was quite customary when someone gave a gift, that the receiver would accept with both hands and promptly tuck the package out of sight unopened. I believe I was unconsciously awed by this act. Therein one was able to make an offering, to receive an offering, and right there something sacred and precious was exchanged. The actual object seemed of little consequence.

    I’m quite sure that later, in private, it was all rather more complex with people’s expectations and hopes being met or not met and further influencing the relationship of giver and receiver moving forward. I have no delusions otherwise. However, I have remained impacted by witnessing that possibility, and by considering that one can give and receive without particular concern either for what is exchanged or in fact for what later occurs with the object exchanged. In its most fundamental, if offered and received with intention, with both hands extended, our most human hunger to give and receive can be fulfilled.

  • Reply
    PL Mondloch

    Amy, we’ve never met but I’m Tyler’s mom. I believe you and Tyler were friends at Bellarmine many years ago. Your words about Tibet brought a flood of emotion to my heart as I know you and Tyler were close. Bowl #37 and #58 are now connected.
    Fondly,
    PL Mondloch

    • Reply
      Ann Darling

      Maybe you heard my gasp, as I read your note to Amy. Of course we also remember him, with affection. We thought of, and spoke about Tyler, when we were together as a family in Tibet. Lynda the circle … I can’t even find words but wanted to respond immediately. Ah-mazing is about all I can bring forward.

  • Reply
    Amy Darling

    Dear PL,
    I have been steeping these past 24 hours since seeing your post, steeping in a profound awe and tenderness for life; for intimacy as it arises in such varied and astounding ways, tenderness for you, for Ty…all of us held. Held right here in the crucible of Lynda’s artistry and intention. I post this with the intention to reach out more directly via Lynda.
    Amy

  • Reply
    Amy Darling

    We’ve emerged through the winter solstice’s longest night. Into the new Gregorian calendar year we pivot from the ‘season of giving and receiving’, a season of ritual and revelry. And in the midst of all this, reflection on the Patra vessel, and particularly emptiness has been a quiet, abiding thread in my days.

    Close to 10 years ago, my parents subdivided the property on which I was raised, and creatively engineered a steep ivy and blackberry entangled slope to accommodate an extraordinary new home for them at this different life stage. After the old house had been emptied, I took one last walk through. Walking up the cement steps, I prepared myself to be quite overwhelmed by the loss and grief. Instead I was struck by the sense of hollowness. It felt as if the soul of our family history had already moved.

    In these recent weeks, I spent several days at the holiday home of some dear friends. It was a place where in a former life chapter I shared very intimate time with someone who is no longer a part of my life. It could have been very painful, distinctly grief filled for me. Upon arrival there were indeed some tears. However, I was struck that nestled right in with the poignancy was gratitude and ample space for fresh, new life experience. New life breathed its way right into the vessel of that place through my own heart-mind.

    I have been a Zen practitioner for many years. While I have theoretically embraced the principle, the ‘idea’ of all things being inherently empty, that truth has landed in my being these recent days in a more profound if subtle way. I determine what I bring to a place, to an exchange, to an object. And what I bring merges with all the interdependent factors and players. And together we create all of this.

  • Reply
    Amy Darling Post author

    Since the new year, I have been discerning. I knew the Patra was ready to go. I knew I was ready to let go and offer the learning, the teaching of this little vessel to someone else. I thought to send it to a dear friend in Buenos Aires, a fellow artist and sister-friend who I know would deeply appreciate the project and the inspiration. I cringed a bit at the prospect of mailing costs. I thought also to share it with a friend visiting from Israel; to have her carry it back to that rich, beautiful, fraught land where the inherent emptiness of an object or place could be such a rich platform for inquiry and reflection.
    However, the strongest tug came from closer to home.
    I decided to keep this vessel in the Darling women’s lineage and to pass it on to my 5 year old niece Eva. I asked first if her father, my brother, would be willing to shepherd her in participation with the Patra, with the blog, with the passing it on when she’s ready. I will admit a mild apprehension wondering how it will be cared for. However my hunger for Eva to touch and harvest the lessons of this larger project eclipsed any concerns. Furthermore, yesterday I had another opportunity to witness her own soulfulness and astoundingly mature ability to steward. She had collected some moss in the forest to make a bed for fairies. Initially she was quite distressed when I explained that separated from the tree and all its moisture and nourishment that the moss would eventually die. I also explained, that if we gave it some food, a nice bed of dirt and kept it moist that it could live and even grow. Upon returning to her house, in order to assure the moss stayed alive, we gathered some moist dirt in a container and arranged the moss on top, moistening it and the underlying soil. She then carefully considered where to place it. Not where their cat Pickle might pounce on it, and not where it might get walked on. She nestled it in a spot just beneath some shrubs where she could see it from the windows of their house, to see if the fairies visited.
    And so into Eva’s hands, tiny hands that fashion fairy beds of forest moss, travels Patra 37. It has been an honor and gift to steward. It was a delight to place it in Eva’s hands. May it move forward into other hands and hearts, small and large, out and out and out into the world.

  • Reply
    Ann Darling

    It’s at times like this, reading Amy’s entry, that I am left totally without words. No question that,
    that small girl will treasure this patra. Awed once more by this whole journey.

  • Reply
    Jay and Eva Darling Post author

    The bowl has been sitting on our altar of special and beautiful things, with respect from even our 3 year old monkey boy. Eva, the 5-yr old has been pondering who to pass the bowl onto. We have enjoyed expanding our circle by seeing where other bowls have been traveling. Thanks to everyone involved – and thanks to Auntie Amy!

  • Reply
    Jay & Eva Darling

    We passed the sweet #37 on to Eva’s auntie in early June. It was a spectacular day down at the edge of Puget Sound with boats and birds drifting by. The bowl has lived in our home during a big transition in our family and now blesses another member of our family, having come from my own sister into Eva’s hands and now passing to my wife’s sister. We bless it on its way and thank you, Lynda, for your creativity, spirit and generosity in your gift to the world with this project.

  • Reply
    Ann Darling

    I didn’t expect to have the patra I was gifted, pass through my hands again. But such are the delights and surprises of the journey. Yesterday we collected #37 from Andrea in Seattle and today I passed it to my long time friend Martha Ann to share the experience of living with a patra for the final days prior to their return to Lynda. My friend is in the midst of study toward a Ph.D in mythology and it seemed the perfect place for this bowl! What myths this piece of clay might tell … or add to … or challenge … or? However I do have to admit that I unwrapped the bowl and turned it one more time in my hands marvelling at this unexpected journey of discovery I had experienced. Thanks Lynda

  • Reply
    Ann Darling

    The prior image is my friend receiving the patra and this one of Martha Ann unwrapping the beautiful box with its contents.

  • Reply
    Martha Ann Salt

    I am currently in a program leading to a PhD in mythology. I have little altars everywhere. My patra bowl seemed to fit best on the table where, unrealized by me, I seem to have placed many other bowls. It is funny that I didn’t notice all the bowl shapes until the placing of that particular bowl. It is in good company.

  • Reply
    Jay and Eva Darling

    The completion of this epic project was truly inspiring for our whole family, as #37 passed through 3 generations in our tribe. Lynda, may all of your work and inspiration continue to ripple out in ways that continue to connect people in heart and mind.
    Blessings,
    J Darling

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