Friday, September 24, 2010

On Christ and a Robe Bigger Than You Can Imagine

I picked up a copy of The Book of Mormon Today (for FREE! The nice price). Talked to a few of the "elders" and may have convinced them to come to a meditation session. Oh the ways life turns.

But anyways, I was struck with a thought today. The nature of religion, really, what we call it, what I, emphasis here, think it is.

I've spoken abou the Kesa before. Really, it is one of the biggest robes you will see. It is also humble. Made of shit-stained rags, funeral shrouds, etc... anything anyone doesn't want. It is beauty from horror, warmth from rags, form from the formless. It is Buddha just as you are Buddha, through all the good and the bag, the soiled, bloody mess, and the perfectly clean and serene. It is just what it is. It's up to you to pick up the needle and go, putting together your life, making what you will of the ups and downs. It warms my heart to the brim. But I'm 19 and a fool sometimes.

Now Christ. And I emphasize that as well, Christ, not Jesus. Two very different ideas here. Christ is bigger than you can imagine. The concept of Chirst and of God, for that matter, cannot be touched. If it could, it would limit it. This is why I am skeptical of much of Christianity. When you put Christ into a denomination, you limit it. Even the idea of "Heaven" limits the concept of Christ, a place of dwelling. Christ should, I feel, be present in everything! How could it not be? If this world is all one of God's creations and Christ was fully of God, then, naturally, every being on this planet is endowed with Christ, all capable of experiencing it. All that need be done is to let go of the concept of Christ, for when concepts are applied you shove something infinite into a box. Just let Christ be as it is, permeating everything.

The Kesa is Christ and Christ is the Kesa. The Kesa is boundless, Christ is boundless. The Kesa is Buddha, you are Buddha, Christ is Buddha. All of these things have been given forms, but they are truly beyond form.

Put me at the stake, I'm just a Buddhist musing :]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Buddhas and Beer, College and Karma: IV - Great Expectations

I expect to graduate college. It's a pretty solid expectation, what with my past academic history, this and that, all adding up to a pretty good idea that I will, indeed someday graduate college.

I expect to stay in my current relationship. We're both happy, yes the distance is hard and it does weigh on me more now and then but really I am very happy.

I expect to wake up tomorrow. I'm in good health, I eat well, exercise frequently, there's no reason why I shouldn't be alive and in good health tomorrow.

All expectations, all daydreams built upon the past and present. Really, despite our GREATEST expectations, life does not always work out in this way. And the second it doesn't, we have a conniption. Thrashing about, screaming "WHY WHY WHY?!?! IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY!" Well, true! It wasn't SUPPOSED to be anyway, it just happens to be that way now.

So what can we do?

Study for our tests, say goodnight to our loved ones, prepare for tomorrow!

"Do what you can, change what can be changed, and let go of the rest." It's all you can do.

May we all be at ease with life's ups and downs,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine Years

Nine Years Ago, I first learned of the Middle East, Islam, and a small minority that falls under both of these categories.

Eight Years Ago, I cried for hours because I thought my father would have to go to war.

Seven Years Ago, it was just another day.

Six Years Ago, the world seemed fine, war never seems to touch us.

Five Years Ago, I was too busy starting high school.

Four Years Ago, the opposite sex always outweighed politics.

Three Years Ago, fear of the future, a consciousness of the world set in.

Two Years Ago, I was too busy applying for college.

One Year Ago, I began to understand the happenings of the world, and if not understand, at least pay attention.

Today: The world is sickening sometimes. Our adults throw fits, threaten to burn Holy Books, all in the name of some belief system. When the world doesn't go their way, they don't follow that holy maxim "Do Unto Others...", they begin a temper tantrum that has more weight than they could ever possibly hold. Our adults cannot even follow the advice they give their children, "Be Kind." "Share with others." "Use your words." How do we expect our children to grow up understanding right and wrong when we are aggressive, selfish, and violent towards those whom we disagree with? If we justify acts of racism and xenophobia with media coverage, we justify hate.


I don't pray for the troops, or for America, if I did pray it would be for all of us. We all need it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Buddhas and Beer, College and Karma: III - Stepping Off Your High Horse

Somedays I am really goddamn arrogant about being Buddhist. I feel so high and mighty, so much more moral than the rest of the world. Somehow I "get it" and others don't; even other Buddhists. My meditation is better, more important, somehow more complete than others. Not to mention what I do is FAR more important than what other people do, their feelings, their wants and needs.

Then I get the solid kick in the head that I need. A few examples about getting off that high horse we call "Buddhism". My new job at school is in the Biology Department working in the genetics lab. I work with fruit flies and not much else. Feeding, transferring, and, oh yeah, freezing them. Hypocritical? Yes. The whole "non-violence" thing really does not exempt freezing insects. A life is a life. But, it is part of my job. I have wracked my brain trying to find a way around this, but it is not like being vegetarian, I can stop another cow from being bred to feed me, but these little guys die either way, for lack of food, or because their containers get too disgusting to support life. So, what do I do? I recite a poem I wrote for them, and I freeze them with several bows toward their final resting place. There isn't much more to do. Making someone else do it would be to imply that I somehow holier than them. "Oh, really? Sorry, you'll have to do that part of my job, I'm better than that." Truth is, that's bull. If you eat, you kill things. If you drive, you kill things. I would rather take this responsibility and have the opportunity to show these guys/gals some respect before their inevitable demise than to have to make someone else do it. I'll take the negative karma, not to be self-rightous or Bodhisattvic, but because it is the right thing to do. Buddhist vets still have to put down animals, this Buddhist lab assistant still has to freeze flies:

Freezing The Flies
I vow with all beings
To respect and preserve the life
Of all, great and small

Second example: I live with someone who is decidedly not Buddhist. No problem; I like the guy. Thing is, I have to be mutually respectful of our space. When he's sleeping, I can't go and chant the heart sutra as I normally do, or really do kinhin (walking meditation) between zazen, it would wake him up. I used to think that my meditation was somehow more important than whatever anyone else was doing. Once again, bull. I always sit, everyday, but I make sure that my sitting does not disturb others. Zazen isn't about proclaiming to the world " I AM BUDDHIST HEAR ME ROAR!", if anything it may be more about becoming more like a chair in a room. Something that is just there, doing its (no)thing. I wanted to sit a 4-hour retreat today, with the chanting, walking, bells, etc... but he has somewhat of a concussion. Point is: don't be a dick because you think you're somehow better than the people you are with. Exchange the position and see if you would want someone making a silent ruckus while you were sleeping. It helps to take a walk in another pair of shoes now and then.

I really wish that I could slap this across my face so I would realize it each morning. Another day, another day.

Many Bows, be well.