I didn’t want to be a Buddhist. If I’m honest with myself I still don’t, but the harder I try to escape it, the clearer it becomes that I cannot and will not ever let it go. I think that I should have known better than to take those vows, because I am now unable to break free.
Yet somehow whenever I slide back into Buddhism, I feel as if I’m slipping back into a pair of my favorite shoes: ones that have broken perfectly to my feet. It’s an odd feeling but a welcome one; the Dharma is familiar and comfortable.
What role does Saraswati Devi play in my Dharma Practice?
I drew the Ace of Cups from my deck after asking Her this question. Wonderful, I thought. She’s love. Except that seemed to be an inadequate answer. It certainly wasn’t an answer to the intention behind the question. I am used to My Lady’s jokes and riddles, and used to her telling me that I must figure out answers on my own, but I have also learned that she does not give inadequate answers.
The Ace of Cups is often shown as a baptismal font, a communion chalice, or the Holy Grail. One drinks from a cup, and the suit of Cups is the suit of the emotions and therefore of love and relationships.
As I flipped through my reference books, I remembered that I use the Page of Cups as my signifier. What does this make the Ace of Cups, then? Quite simply, it is what I hold: in my hands, in my heart, in my mind.
By Authorship: [Arthur Edward Waite], Pamela Coleman Smith was the artist and worked as an artist ‘for hire.’ Waite was the copyright holder and he died in 1942. – This image scanned by Holly Voley, PD-US,
To love My Lady I must love myself
As much as I love the morning dew
To love My Lady I must love my mother
As much as I love the flowers in spring
To love My Lady I must love my sister
As much as I love the moon in autumn
To love My Lady I must love my friend
As much as I love the first silver frosts
To love My Lady I must love my neighbor
As much as I love the golden light of dawn
To love My Lady I must love my enemy
As much as I love those who love me
It was My Lady Saraswati who drew me to Buddhism, and that’s when the problems started. I resisted Buddhism, then resented Saraswati, and finally regretted my vows to both. Yet I couldn’t give up on either, and have repeated a tired back and forth between the two for months.
After all of it, I was left with a broken heart and an empty head. My Lady withdrew and took the Dharma with her, and I cried out for both of them to return. When she did, I realized that Lady Saraswati is my Dharma, and that to be Buddhist I must honor her as I would honor the Buddha.
I am she of the mighty torrent, she whose roaring flood uproots the poisoned weeds of ignorance. From the sweetness of my waters, the ten thousand dharmas raise their lotus-heads and bloom.
Call on me. ❤