Receiving mail from readers is one of the perks for being the person who selects and send out quotations for the Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week. Often, people send a comment or a query on the most recent quote. Sometimes people write poetry or send a photograph. Over the years, I've developed e-relationships with many Ocean of Dharma subscribers, and I truly cherish these friendships. This August, I sent out a quote about a "Heaven and Earth Sandwich" at the beginning of the month, and that sparked the idea of sending out an “Ocean of Dharma Picnic” of quotes throughout the month. The picnic included heaven and earth sandwiches, the beer of fearlessness, the water of no thoughts, the fish of subconscious gossip, spiritual pizza, hot dogs, and mosquitoes. Admittedly a bit silly, but it was nice to offer something humorous and playful to celebrate the summer season.
Here is some of the mail that I received:
Commenting on the Beer of Fearlessness:
Thanks for the humor and earthiness of Trungpa's teachings that you are setting as the summer theme. Here is an irreverent quote from Benjamin Franklin, not exactly on the theme, but in summer languor can fit.
“God invented beer to show He loved us and because He wants us to be happy.”
A picnic lover:
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy getting the weekly Dharma quotes, how much they help my practice—but your sense of humor with the summer food and water picnic makes them even more sublime. Samsara=heat wave, Dharma=quotes about water and wisdom. lol. Thank you, MS
A reader asks:
Who is invited to the picnic by the way? JF
The Water of No Thought brought this:
I can't count the amount of ice-water we've consumed.
A question arose about the Fish of Subconscious Gossip:
As a Pisces, I found this interesting. Is this the incessant chatter of the mind, or vicious gossip when our fears hit the air?
Mosquitoes Just So brought this mail:
you poor thing
thanks for sending quotes. it´s inspiring!
Conquering the Hot Dog got several replies:
—Loved it, except for the nitrates and nitrites.
—I love the way this one ends, after all that impeccable logic, with "just completely off the wall."
--Carolyn, . . . LOL . . . really really really REALLY bad choice of foods to use as an example . . . hot dogs and the accompanying white bread buns are about as toxic a food for the environment and your body as one could imagine . . . but I get it. . . .
Well, summer's over, and so is the picnic! Thanks to all who wrote in.