Close to the Ground: Just Stuff

One of my sisters hasn’t spoken to me for some 20 years now. I am guessing it’s because I sat next to her ex at a family wedding. He is fun and funny. I laughed a lot. Unskillful in the extreme on my part, I admit. If I saw one of my sisters laughing it up with my ex at a family event, I would probably excuse myself to stick pins in a doll with a photograph of her face on it. Still, 20 years of nonspeaking seems a bit much. When my mother called last week to tell me that the same sister has also stopped talking to her, I just had to know why. “Because I have a painting she thinks is hers,” she told me. Thinking he was on his deathbed several years ago, my uncle had given my mother a bunch of his paintings to divvy up among the family. The painting she kept for herself is the one my sister believes she was promised. My response? “Mom, give her the painting. It’s just stuff.”She was so angry at this response that she hung up on me. So now two of the women in my family aren’t talking to me.It’s just stuff. The Flower Ornament Scripture, one of the major texts of Mahayana Buddhism, is also known as the Scri …

The author of books including Close to the Ground: Reflections on the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, Geri Larkin is spending the summer replacing many bushes lost to last year’s winter with two hardy evergreens that need as little water as possible.

About the Author

Geri Larkin is the founder and former head teacher of Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple, a Zen meditation center in the heart of...

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Letting Go