Buddha presence

Saturday was spent basking in the life light of my granddaughter, who is eight years old and so full of herself and willing to be exactly who she is that I envy her. She is like Buddha presence to me: her teaching lies in her behavior as a human being in this world.

Occasionally, I slip back to my childhood and wallow in a bit of self-pity for I was taught that my behavior could control how other people treated and responded to me. In all of my relationships, my goals were outcome oriented: how did I need to be in order to elicit a specific result or response from that person? In the Catholic religion, I was given a script of behaviors that would guarantee me a ticket to heaven, and it did not matter if I enjoyed the behaviors or if they were good for me or not. I was soliciting a response from the ultimate authority: God.

That’s power. To be able to control God’s response to me would mean that I was actually more powerful than God. To be able to control anyone’s response to me either through coercion, manipulation, or bribery means that I am more powerful than them. The unspoken rule is: I do what makes you happy and then you are supposed to respond by meeting my needs and doing what makes me happy.

Yesterday, I learned that one can simply ask for what is needed. I mentioned to my granddaughter when I picked her up that it looked like she had grown since the last time I had seen her two weeks ago. She said, “Yes, and nothing fits anymore. We have to go shopping for summer clothes!”

And so we did. I set a limit on the clothes I would buy for her. I did not elicit any agreement from her otherwise about the clothes. She does not owe me anything. I did not buy the clothes because of any behavior she exhibited except for asking. I bought them because she needs them and I love her. This helps me stop my pity party over what I often perceive as my own bizarrely neglected childhood. I, too, am learning the Buddha presence. The contrast teaches me that what I had learned in the past means nothing to my behavior in the present. I can choose Buddha presence.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass


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8 Responses to “Buddha presence”

  1. sandiwhite Says:

    I love this. I can feel my face breaking out in smiles again. I know that y’all just had the best time looking forward to the summer activities that January will enjoy sporting her new togs. I was also intrigued by the thought of manipulating your Higher Power through response-reaction. I still struggle with my training, or perhaps the breaking of it. The waiting for the cue or clue as how I am to respond to a certain person or situation, instead of taking matters into my own hands and forging on ahead solo. These days I am more apt to take off without looking around to see if anyone will join me or if I have group approval. I spend more time listening to my intuition than to my peers. I am neither follower or leader, I just am and my journey is my own. But when little rays of Sunshine like January or in my case, Joey cast their light on my path, I am delighted to notice and take heed of the pitfalls my own eyes might miss.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandi — I think you and I came from the era when training was “in” and I came from a family of five children. My mother was way in over her head so I imagine that the training was her way of surviving. Like you, as I get older, I am much less likely to seek anyone’s approval before I do anything . . . except, of course, January. Whatever I do in this world, I am going to make sure she will see my actions as Buddha presence as well.

  2. holessence Says:

    Barbara – This is a fantastic get-up-and-get-on-with-it post! I truly love it! Your bottom line on top is: I CAN CHOOSE. Boy Howdy, and so you can. We we all can.

    Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.
    Laurie Buchanan

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Well, you know me, Laurie. I just sort of blather on and on and on sometimes and then have to give myself a good kick in the ass and just get on with it. 🙂

  3. Snoopykg1 Says:

    There is a almost “Twilight Zone” like quality that I see in this post. I was brought up and sometimes, to my dismay have portray them. i am although starting to take things into my own hands, choose good and diret decisions that if they are mistakes somehow, I will take the consequences. I will live and bask int eh fact I made them on my own and was not coerced or talked into a “better way” as there are as many possible ways to things are there are people.


    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kim — once we own our choices (even the choices we made as children when we thought we had no choice), we become our own person. I put up with a lot of nonsense from the grownups in my world to survive and get here. I have earned the right to just do life as I want.

  4. Snoopykg1 Says:

    Pass the word….
    I am now at:


  5. Snoopykg1 Says:


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