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Gretchen Rubin

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What Are Your 8 Auspicious Symbols?

Posted: 02/29/2012 2:56 pm

One consequence of my happiness project is that I've grown to love numbered lists. My 12 Personal Commandments. My 8 Splendid Truths. The 10 Myths About Happiness.

Buddhism has many numbered lists -- the Triple Refuge, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths -- which is surprising to me, given Buddhism's emphasis on gateless gates and transcending the bounds of rational thinking. There's a koan to be written about that paradox, for sure. Let's see... how about, "Use numbers to throw away enumeration."

I particularly love Buddhism's eight auspicious symbols:

1. Parasol
2. Golden fish
3. Treasure vase
4. Lotus
5. Conch shell
6. Endless knot
7. Victory banner
8. Wheel of Dharma

I made up a list of my eight auspicious symbols:

1. Bluebird (of course)
2. Ruby slippers (what I want is already within my grasp)
3. Dice (chance and fortune)
4. Blood (hard to explain: diabetes, hepatitis C, St. Therese of Lisieux)
5. Gold star (my right actions are their own reward)
6. Holstein cow (my family, Kansas City)
7. Peacock feather (symbols beyond words)
8. Birdhouse (for reasons soon to be revealed!)

This is so satisfying, I could keep going with more symbols. How about you? What would you choose for your auspicious symbols, and why?

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