A Vow

A waxing quarter moon is a powerful time to set an intention. I have been waiting for weeks for the timing of this lunar cycle to make a special vow.

This vow came as a final assignment in a class I’ve been taking on witchcraft. The class taught that the ultimate goal of a witch is to develop an awake and compassionate heart that desires to liberate all beings (starting with the self) from suffering.

The vow we were asked to make comes from Buddhist teachings and is called the vow of the Bodhisattva. We were given the language of the vow in class, but I didn’t feel moved to make it because I did not fully understand what it wanted me to vow to do, given some of the buddhist terminology that was used.

But this vow stuck with me and I researched to better understand what it is trying to say. Recently, I found an alternate translation of the vow written by Thich Nhat Hanh:

However innumerable beings are, I vow to meet them with kindness and interest.
However inexhaustible the states of suffering are, I vow to touch them with patience and love. However immeasurable the Dharmas* are, I vow to explore them deeply.
However incomparable the mystery of interbeing, I vow to surrender to it freely.

(*Dharmas- the true nature of reality, the natural laws)

I read this vow aloud three times as the waxing quarter moon set. It felt particularly powerful to take this vow on a night where energy in the city was full of rage, blame, sadness, and deep fear due to the outcome of the presidential election.

As big emotional waves came in the days following, I offered patient love to those who felt like they were suffering, including the parts of myself that felt nauseous when I thought about what the future may hold.

So why post this on a blog about pleasure? I am confident that pleasure is a key ingredient that will help me fulfill this vow and to be the change that I want to see in the world. More on that to come…

One comment

  1. Janet Luhrs · November 11, 2016

    Hey Kendall – We’re just leaving Venice now and of course I heard the news.

    I appreciate your post here. Mainly I’m allowing myself to go through the traditional stages of grief and when I’m ready, I’ll come out the other end.

    For now I’m pretty deeply shocked and saddened and I can’t watch or read the news. Toni’s Dwayne suggested a good book that I’m going to get titled The Gentle Art of Blessing. Ugh. But keep on with your bodhissatva practice!



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