Mind Protection

That bird out there in the fading light could be saying, “Cheater, you’re a cheater.” It’s dusk, and the dogs have eaten. I’ve eaten, too. All animals in the neighborhood, I’m guessing, have eaten, or else they’re hungry now: “You’re a cheat, you’re a cheat,” she says. Oh, wait, listen: she says, “We’re three, you’re a cheater.” Some bird must have really fucked up.

The Buddhists say that any transition like this one—day to night—is a particularly vulnerable time. That’s why Buddhists do protector chants at dusk. It makes sense: We are leaving one thing, and going to another—we’re thinking ahead, or looking behind—and we get distracted, lose our awareness (lose our wallet, lose our keys, lose our minds): “We’re three; you’re a cheater, you’re a cheat.”

May everyone be fed tonight.

Here’s a song for you:

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