Give Me a Gift of Flowers

CASE

Harry Roberts said, “When I was with my teacher, Robert Spott, he would say, when approached by a student who wanted to study with him, ‘Give me a gift of flowers.’ If the student went away to obtain flowers he would not be accepted. If he looked down at his feet for flowers, he was accepted.”

COMMENTARY

Robert Spott was a high medicine man of the Yurok Indians of North West California. Harry was adopted by him and thought of him as his uncle. Harry Roberts (1906-1981) was a fisherman, lumberjack, horticulturist and nursery man, an agronomist, rum runner, a welder, a machinist, and a cowboy, as well as several other things. (He was Ginger Roger’s dance partner for awhile). The last three years of his life he lived at Green Gulch Farm (Green Dragon Temple), where he was a valued teacher and advisor.

Case #4 of the Book of Serenity is reminiscent of this case. Buddha was walking with the congregation. He pointed to the ground with his finger and said, “This spot is good to build a sanctuary.” Indra, Emperor of the Gods, took a blade of grass, stuck it in the ground and said, “The sanctuary is built.” The Buddha smiled.

While the distant blue mountains appear inviting, the Buddhas of the past, present and future all are here. Please meet them. Give them what you have. Receive what they give.

VERSE by Dairyu

Students and teachers
Gods and Buddhas
Flowers, grasses and sanctuaries
Acceptance or rejection
Each moment a seed is planted
and a flower blooms
Don’t look elsewhere.

Kyle Getschow