Buddha Frog

Does a frog have Buddha nature?

Does a frog have Buddha nature?

Forgive me for straying a little (a lot?) off topic, but I wanted to share a small something with you. Coming home one recent evening, we found a visitor on our doorstep. It seemed that our usual doorstep resident, the garden Buddha, had acquired a little student. A frog had taken up a meditational pose alongside him and was evidently lost in deep contemplation, so much so that he was oblivious to our shuffling past him to enter the house, put on the lights etc.

There is a Zen koan which asks, “Does a dog have Buddha nature?”, the answer to which is considered inaccessible and elusive. Adjusting this koan slightly, however, I think that we may have found a valid response – a frog most certainly does!

Waving, not drowning

As the weather turned positively summer-like last week, Alan and I took the opportunity to bunk off work and go practice not-drowning (aka self/assisted rescues) in Loch Eck one afternoon. The conditions, of course, didn’t exactly match those that one might predict would necessitate a real-life rescue situation, but we have to start somewhere. We commenced with self rescues and my most immediate issue was, as before, a complete inability to lift and twist the capsized kayak to get at least some of the water out. So I end up working with a kayak that’s full of water and incredibly tippy. I managed to re-enter by hauling myself in from the stern, but it was like walking a tightrope in my attempt not to tip over. All the while, the usual thoughts reverberate around my head: this would be such a non-starter in rough conditions and I am therefore doomed. Not very encouraging. The same thoughts accompanied my efforts to use a paddle float which were ultimately successful, but am I really going to be faffing about inflating a float, attaching the paddle to deck lines, having it fall out, re-attaching, still trying not to tip etc etc in an emergency situation? My gut feel all along has been that I simply need to learn a quick way to get the water out (or as much as possible) and get in, period. If I can’t learn this, then the future of my sea kayaking activities is in doubt. (more…)