My backyard has a Buddha pond, and three original koi are still there, now over a foot long. I am waiting to see if they will outgrow their ocean and die or will their enclosure naturally check their expansion. Koi are carp and they can get quite big. Many of us outgrow our pond and have to leave. But many of us stay.
Anyway, I digress. Last week I noticed that the pump had stopped and the flow between the two ponds, an upper and a lower, had stopped. When the water stops flowing it loses its oxygen and the fish will die. The pump is the heart of the ponds. A small stream flows down from the upper to the lower, which is bigger and holds the larger koi. A lily, my faux lotus, grows in a pot in the upper pond where the fish are smaller. The lower pond is a hungry ponds and the koi there are like pigs and they root up the lily.
I cleaned the mud out of the pump’s nozzle, but it still didn’t work, I cleaned out the filter container, which was full of mud, and still the pump didn’t work. Ok, I have to have a pump, so I ordered on for $90 on my credit card that was already stuffed like a Thanksgiving belly. I installed it, and, Oh, No, the water didn’t flow. Yet, unattached to the hose connecting the lower to the. Upper, the pump worked. For a moment I was caught in the ambiguity of my dilemma: The pump worked but the water didn’t flow. A single Idea popped into my head: clear the hose that runs from the pump to the upper pond, so I got a clothes line wire and reamed out the line like a surgeon removing clots to the heart. The hose burped and coughed up great blobs of mud. Then, just out of curiosity, I plugged the old pump in and it worked. Well, now I have a backup pump for the future.
The pond came back to life; the water cleared, and the fish started swimming vigorously again, even thought they slow down if not stop completely in the cold winter water.
A pump is the heart of a Buddha Pond, and if the flow stops, the fish die. We are all pumps in our pond, which is our world. Blackstone is a metaphor for my small world. It was all too small for me when I first arrived in. 1980, but, unable to leave even though I tried several time, I snapped back here like a yoyo. I don’t know why until now.
For a fish, your are the pond and the pond is you. For those who swim in Blackstone; you are Blackstone and Blackstone is you. (Remember, I speaking with metaphors here). For those who are unhappy here, the pond feels too small or the pump isn’t working and the water has no oxygen. We dream of a bigger better pond.
Then there are those who stay—like I did even though I felt I was suffocating from the lack of oxygen— and and swim listlessly through the day, dreaming of a bigger pond but unable to leave because, well, it is the only pond you know.
And there are those that live here who swim vigorously, happy as if there were no boundaries, no edge to the pond beyond with they cannot go. They always fit in the pond because they are the pond and the pond is them.
When you and the pond are One, then Blackstone (your world) is the whole world and there is no better world in someone else’s yard. There are the fish, there is the pond and there is the Pump that gives it life. This is the Trinity that makes life work. You are the fish, you are the pond, but most of all, you are the pump.
When the water of the pond (Blackstone) flow through your heart, you give the pond and yourself life. (Remember, you and the pond are One.) But it is the heart that gives you and the pond life. And what is that pump but service, but love. The pump just pumps because it loves to pump, to beat. You, however, must clear the clots. If you feel like your pond is running out of oxygen and you are suffocating, don’t change your pump. Don’t look on the internet for another pond. Look to see if some mud in not clogging your arteries.
See the picture of the Buddha and frog. This is a real Buddha frog. The first year the pond was flowing a large bull frog appeared and he would sit in the cup of the Buddha and I could walk right up to him and take his picture. Reminds of of the Haiku:
The old pond,
A frog jumps in:.
But this frog didn’t jump in.
The map for. your inner journey is read in the external world as metaphor. When I discovered that the pond hose was plugged, and that the heart was OK, I just removed the clog. When your pump is working, even though partially, you can’t tell. You only know your full potential when you discover that the clog is in your own pipes, not in the world.
I have two ponds, an upper where the lily blooms and the lower where the big koi roam. One pond; two ponds. Which is it? Two ponds, one water, one pump. The water flows equally through both, yet the water takes a different shape in each pond. (sticking to the metaphor) the Lower Pond is the perceived pond of the external world where the koi (and your racoons) eat everything in sight. The upper pond, however, is where a few gold fish nibble at the base of the lily, unable to disturb the flower’s bright light. Each pond reflects the same trees and clouds above. Both ponds are One in the greater space that holds them. Higher and lower, both ponds reflect the same moon.