I’m going to cheat on this post a little bit since I forgot to do it and it is now 3am. Today I got to go to lunch/brunch with my lovely friends (Justine, Brianna, Jojo, Cody, Will, and Cody’s friends Aurelie).
It was a lovely start to my saturday. As we were walking around St. Marks and enjoying a beautiful scene of faux-snow, of small white flowers gracefully swirling down from their perches, I realized that I had decided yesterday I was getting my nose pierced! But seeing as we were so distracted playing in the rain yesterday, it didn’t even cross my mind. Conveniently we were only a block from the place I had researched for my piercing.
Justine came with me and sat with me through the whole terrifying process. Just kidding. It was actually really quick, I signed up, paid/payed?, picked my stud, was taken in to the piercing room, shown the sterile packaged equipment, and she clamped down on my nose, et voilà. C’était facile. It kinda hurt, but nothing more than a prolonged pinch. After that Justine and I went looking for nose rings and other fun jewelry, and seeing as we were on St. Marks which is sprinkled with Tibetan and jewelry shops, it was thuper-duper. We walked into a store I frequent, I actually had the intention in buying a version of a ring I had already bought from them, but wanted one that didn’t dye my finger green u_u
I found one though, and just like the other one I have, it says compassion. Sort of. Actually it says this ओं मणिपद्मे हूं, or om mani padme hum. It is associated with the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokitesvara. It is often interpreted as jewel lotus, but when broken down fully each syllable represents a paramita or perfection, generosity, ethics, patience, diligence, renunciation, and wisdom (respectively).
As I was paying for my new ring, the man stopped me to say I had the ring upside down. I looked at my hand confused and said no, I could read it this way. We got into a bit of an argument, because basically we understood each other, but were gong about it via different avenues. I said that it was my ring and it was a reminder for me to be compassionate unto others; so if I looked down at my hand I would read it and be more conscious and active. This was just the assumption I had made. However, he pointed out, I won’t be reading it all of the time, for I know what it says. When my hand is in a normal position, the mantra must be right side up and facing the world so that compassion may be spread unto them, not unto me whenever I chose to read it. I was trying to get him to see that I understood, but that wearing the ring wasn’t a passive act on my part. I described myself as the mirror for that compassion. I look at the ring and like a mirror I bounce that back to the world through comportment and energy. He then proceeded to comment on most of the world’s religions and how people will say “God protect me”, “God help me”, “God save me”, I, me, mine, I, me, mine!
He says that is not how it works. You must put in effort for others, and in karma those positive actions and energies will return to you. I also remember him saying something about how we should be conscious that we have two ears on either side of our head, and that in between was our brain. I couldn’t understand him well, most of the information I had understood because of the Buddhism class I had taken last semester. But he basically was saying that our brain must evaluate, must think, meditate, and pray; not just listen and accept. I told the man I would be back for more conversations, and I feel that maybe he thought I was making fun of him, but I will definitely be back to talk to him.