Monday, 10 May 2010

The Happy Chinaman

Yesterday turned out to be a very happy and successful day as far as I was concerned, if not a creative one. Having been unable to do much physical activity for the past five weeks, due to my accident, yesterday I felt like I had moved mountains.

Early in the morning I was able to do a short run, well by that I mean I hope people noticed I was not walking. I ran along the shore for a mile and a half and a mile and a half back.

In the afternoon I walked the same way as I had run in the morning. I took my camera with me hoping to capture some nice seascapes. It has been good to have time away in my new caravan; so much for having a clean roof on the old one.

Having had no exercise these weeks I have put on weight. So as I walked along, with my bag over my shoulder and a smile on my face I felt like the happy Chinaman.

He too loved to see happy faces and children enjoying themselves, as I saw yesterday.

The happy Chinaman was a Zen master. Even though he was very learned, he refused to stay in a monastery and teach, instead he could be seen walking the streets and byways with his sack over his shoulders. He would follow the ways of the monks and ask for donations and gifts which he passed on to the poor. The happy Chinaman liked to have in his bag treats, that he would give to the poor children, he loved to bring a smile to their faces. When asked by people to explain the meaning of Buddhism and enlightenment, he would open his sack and say nothing. If they asked again he walked away because it seemed obvious to him they had not noticed he had given them the answer.

He is now well known throughout the world as" Happy Buddha". He is always depicted with his sack, a great smile and a little tubby posture.

As I walked yesterday I had an inner glow but it was tinged with just a little sadness. I was thinking the world is now such a place that if he was alive now offering gifts to smiling children he would possibly be arrested and under all sorts of suspicion.

For all we have moved forward, we have also taken many steps back. I hope today brings you all a real sense of joy as I offer you a smile from my shoulder bag.

This blog is linked to my other blog where I discuss the artwork:- The Happy Tulip


  1. It's wonderful to have a spiritual faith like Buddhism to help you realise what's important in life.

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  2. The most spiritual people I have met have often been the jolliest with a childlike sense of humour about them. It is sad we have lost some of our innocence but I also remember the days when people were too afraid to speak out against the over-friendly relative or employee. Hope your day is a good one, Ralph. xx

  3. So glad to hear you were out and about and just enjoying the day yesterday, Ralph.

  4. You sound better! To be able to run again shows great progress in recovering your strength again. Good news!

    I think that the religious folks who are out among people, helping ease their suffering have taken a more difficult road than those who isolate and meditate. But, what do I know?

  5. Ralph,
    Really happy for you and your continuing steps toward renewed health.

  6. Love the message. And, I now will think of happy tulips as i paint them this weeK.

  7. So glad you could be out and about! Lovely story...

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