May 24, 2013

My Favorite Buddhist Quote By Someone I’ll Bet You Never Realized Was Buddhist.

“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and let others move forward with it.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Though he may often refer to God in his stories, Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles (as well as, 600 or so other odd stories) when interviewed on the occasion of his 90th birthday had this to say,

“I’m a Zen Buddhist if I would describe myself. I don’t think about what I do. I do it. That’s Buddhism. I jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down.”

It’s one of my most favorite quotes regarding Buddhism, life, and the truest form of living. Not thinking, rather doing, and figuring it all out ‘on the way down.’

I have faced many challenges in my life. Some, a little more recent than those which have gone before them.

Nevertheless, with each new day—and, no matter how I may feel—I smile in the biggest and most special sort of ways. For you see, these days, I am smiling because I am grateful—grateful to simply greet and embrace each and every single one of my days.

And though, my mobility may be just a bit wobbly at times…like the bird, my wings are formed each time I leap from ‘life’s cliff’ and always before my feet hit the ground.

I take great comfort in this, most gentle ‘knowing’—this understanding, that no matter what, I’ll be, always, okay.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends—and remember, sometimes you’ve got to ‘leap’ in order to ‘fly.’

Bonus: Best Beginner Buddhist Books:

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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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Alexandra Lúcio Jul 24, 2019 10:56am

To leap in order to fly… Seems a good advice 🙂 TY _/\_

claywise Oct 27, 2013 6:25pm

One very valid reading of "Dandelion Wine" is as a meditation on impermanence and the inevitability of death. It's my favorite of his books, though really, he wrote so many amazing stories that it's almost ridiculous to say such a thing.

I was fortunate enough to have spent time with Bradbury on four occasions. The first:

A friend and I were freshly minted cub reporters for the L.A. Times, living in that big, fast-moving city for the first time. To soothe our souls, that first October we went around visiting the city's many cool cemeteries – Hollywood, Forest Lawn, Rosedale, etc. We also liked to go down to Venice Beach in the fog, also a very Bradburian experience.

One weekend I remembered that I had an envelope with Bradbury's address from about 15 years earlier, when he returned my letter. He did this for *every* letter he received: Scribbling quick responses and signing, then sending back to you. Sure enough, there was a return address. So we drove up to Cheviot Hills and …

There it was. A large, but not ostentatious, yellow house. And it was *October,* so of course there was a pumpkin on the porch. And a black cat. I kid you not.

We knocked on the door and sheepisly explained ourselves: We're fans, we thought maybe he'd be able to say hi. I waved my precious envelope at the nice young woman who answered the door – one of his daughters, it turned out.

She closed the door and in a couple of minutes, the Great Bradbury Himself came to the door. Dressed in a tuxedo, he was on his way out to a formal affair; he chatted with us exuberantly on the stoop, even as his limo pulled up (he never drove a car in his life). He literally had tears in *his* eyes – that's how much he appreciated people who appreciated him.

He invited us to contact him after he returned from a trip to Paris to have a beer with him. We did.

Then I got to hang out with him two more times in later years when he came to Colorado.

Our secret Buddhist.

rayleana Oct 27, 2013 10:50am

What a Great Storyteller that Mr Bradbury was! I'll never forget being in the military, out in so cal, walking the third street promenade in Santa Monica late one night with my crazy Mexican friend from east LA. The stores were mostly closed already, and we pass the Barnes and Nobles, with a sign saying that Ray Bradbury would be there the next morning, speaking and signing books. My friend has a total freak out, insists that we spend the night sleeping in his car so we could make sure to be there to hear Bradbury. My response? "Who the hell is Ray Bradbury??" Lol. I will Never forget that man's ability to weave a story, his humanity, his eccentricity, his love for his wife, his love for Ventura Beach, and his love for the basement of UCLA's library where he pecked out his first novel on typewriters, paying 10 cents an hour to rent them. His love for the written word. I was hooked. That was the 1st of 3 times that I was able to hear him speak (the next 2 being at UCLA during the Festival of Books- I was so sorry to see him fading to poor health). My God. What a gifted soul. What a grand life he led. If only, we could all be so brave.

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Tara Lemieux

Tara Lemieux is a mindful wanderer, and faithful stargazer. She is an ardent explorer and lover of finding things previously undiscovered (or, at the very least, mostly not-uncovered.) When she’s not writing, you can find her walking in the woods and sometimes changing the way we look at things, one simple moment at a time. You can contact her at via her website Mindfully Musing
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