We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Monday, August 26, 2013

Campfire Reflections

Campfires are good for a number of things: for cooking, for warmth, for entertainment (sitting around the fire just watching it or perhaps swapping stories), and as an opportunity to practice the craft of fire-making.  These are what we might term utilitarian uses of campfires.  There is, however, another aspect of campfires that is not utilitarian—moments when the crackling beauty of the dancing fire bringing a tiny bit of light to the deeper silence of the forest night transcends any utilitarian considerations.  We watch the fire and see the colors within the flames, and we're captivated by the contrast between the larger flames and the smaller ones at the edges of the fire.

A modest, well-constructed, and clean campfire burning into the night can touch the human spirit in a deep way.  Calm. Quiet.  Healing.  Meditation.  Beauty.  It's all there in the natural artistry and spirituality of the flames.  Amen.