Monday, October 20, 2008

A weekend wedding

There's nothing I like more than a wedding: the bringing together of family and friends, the celebration of love.

We attended our first Buddhist ceremony this weekend for our girlfriends. I'm honestly not much of the Buddhist persuasion. I'm a lousy meditator, being completely unable to turn it off and be in the moment. I can't stop planning menus, organizing, scheduling . . . But I was completely moved by this ceremony, with its emphasis more than any other I have attended on the gifts a couple offers each other and the gratitude with which the gifts are accepted.

The main room of the Berkeley Zen Center is warm and intimate space that seemed a million miles from anywhere we occupy in our daily lives. 

What I also admired and was moved to tears by (unfortunately through the entire ceremony) was the emphasis on family and community: the gifts, the gratitude.

We were all so happy and so honored to be part of this day. 

I love these words that we read together in the ceremony:

I will not die an unlived life.
I choose to inhabit my days fully to allow my
living to open me, to make me less afraid,
more accessible, and to loosen my heart so I
may feel all joy and all pain from within and
without. I choose to live in humility,
gratitude, and vulnerability so all that comes
to me as a seed goes to the next as a blossom,
and all that comes to me as a blossom 
goes to the next as a fruit.

And the cake? It was a hit, but with all my frosting, fretting, and fussing over it, I neglected to take a picture of the finished product! I've got a call out to help on this, so pictures will be up soon. 


Jackie said...

What a lovely reading and a beautiful venue for a wedding.

Purple Flowers said...

Beautiful words to live by! The ceremony seemed so peaceful and non-anxious.

ms. mindless said...

what a pretty space for a wedding!

Tanya said...

Thanks for sharing a spirituality that is often misunderstood! I think we more socially liberal types tend to be a little scarce in the blog circles we cross paths in...

I joined a Buddhist center at the start of the year (Mahanyana, not Zen) after trying to practice informally...and I know what you mean about not being able to turn yourself "off". Emptiness and attachment are two of my greatest struggles. I tend to be very ocd and I think its a lesson Im meant to have, somehow.

I cant wait to see the cake!

gwendomama said...

i emailed you some cake pics. not the BEST cake pics, as the sun was behind it, but cake pics.

Deb said...

Wonderful reading. So glad you had fun.

KatieGirlBlue said...

Love that reading. Love it. I'm going to borrow it for my next blog entry.

What a special thing to be a part of such a unique and intimate ceremony.

I'm sure the cake was dee-lish, too.

And Cindy, I think you're a GREAT Buddhist. Think about it: you're kind, you understand impermanence and the concept of unconditional love...So you can't sit still - in an uncomfortable position - for an hour...who can? You know, other than all the monks. It seems to me that cooking is your "walking meditation," which is just as important as sitting around in a quiet room.

adozeneggs said...

Congratulations to your friends, it sounds like a wonderful ceremony.

Carla said...

Thanks for the photo and sharing those beautiful words.

Summer said...

I got an especially good feeling after reading this post.

Deb said...

Hi Cindy!

I left you a little something on my blog! Come check it out!