Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha
(Mike McCarty)

In this journey whatever happens to us is something that should happen. Life has a way of teaching us complete composure … if we listen.

A few weeks ago I was struck with a sudden illness, an overnight onset of severe arthritic pain, sometimes so severe that I couldn’t walk. I was anemic and lost twelve pounds in one week. Hospitalized, fear of the unknown began to invade my thoughts. The many blood samples given, scans and tests administered, along with the various specialists called in, they all became characters to some internal tragic drama concocted in my mind.

In this moment of weakness instead of turning from the illusion of all the drama swirling around me I turned to levity to mask my confusion. I said within myself, I will have comedy and not drama. I posted a photo on a popular social networking site of my torso arms extended crucified with IV’s in both arms. The responses from friends included many get wells and thinking of you, but one held a cure; not for the immediate wellness of my body, but for the wellness of my mind. It was from Kim (ever the teacher), and it simply stated: “Sun faced Buddha, Moon faced Buddha.”

The Sun-faced Buddha is supposed to live for one thousand eight hundred years. And the Moon-faced Buddha lives only one day and one night. And so, when I am sick, I am like the Moon-faced Buddha, and when I am healthy, I am like the Sun-faced Buddha. But neither the Sun-faced Buddha nor the Moon-faced Buddha has any special meaning because there is no difference; whether ill or healthy we must be disciplined enough to seek a calm body and mind experience, and be able to listen with enough concentration to experience insight into the nature of our existence.

This is my body; I embrace both it and the experience it brings. So, don't worry about my health … “Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha.”

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