Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm Not a Buddhist. Am I Still a Buddhist?*


...I find Use Extreme Caution signs strange....I mean, if you’re not huddled ‘neath the covers all day in a fetal position, can your level of caution really be called extreme?...

They always throw around this term ‘the liberal elite.’ And I kept thinking to myself about the Christian right. What’s more elite than believing that only you will go to heaven?
Jon Stewart

...every now and then, I’ll run into former clients from the rehab....usually, they’ll smile, call out my name, maybe give me a hug....except for a couple times, on the sidewalk near a yoga studio I frequent, which just happens to be just around the corner from a methadone clinic....there, eyes avoid me, feet walk rapidly away...ironically enough, telling exactly what they don’t want me to know...revealing through the very act of attempting to hide...

To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.
Stephen Covey

...1987, leaning against my backpack on a traffic island outside Rome, my friend and I taking turns sticking our thumbs out, heading down to Pompeii to touch ancient history, admire ancient mosaics, and wander around the place Pink Floyd played....he asked if I wanted to read a book he had...An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, by D. T. Suzuki....thoroughly uninterested in Eastern philosophy, meditation, spirituality, or any of that kinda crap, I was, nonetheless, just bored enough to say yeah, sure....a lot’s happened since then....I meditate every day and recently dug out my old Alan Watts (purchased some time after returning from Europe in ’87 or ’88)...but still have no interest in being a Buddhist...

Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son,
Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding...

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

...letting go of preconceptions makes things a lot more mysterious...beyond labels, stereotypes, and convenient boxes, each person you meet as wondrously and terrifyingly, inscrutably complex as the paradoxes of infinity....and this, of course, is precisely why we come up with all those labels, stereotypes, and boxes....it’s just a lot easier to check off white black liberal conservative Democrat Republican hipster Buddhist Christian yogi cynic or even yoga cynic than to try and fathom a cosmos...


* ...title originally incarnated, humbly enough, as a comment on a Facebook post about an Elephant Journal article titled
I Don’t Believe in Reincarnation. Am I Still a Buddhist?...

6 comments:

lesbarkeit said...

Problem is: There are people who want to be in a convenient box, they are building this labels and WANT to be part of them. Theywant you to come into this box and be like they want to have all in the box and they do not want to be a cosmos and will not give you a chance to be one., THATS WHY I WILL NEVER BE PART OF A SPECIAL RELIGION AGAIN, as comfortable this seems to be sometimes - being less alone, wellorganized and so on. Nor do I go to a Yoga Group regulary anymore. In a succession of this, I am doing a lot of asanas wrong, I guess, and maybe my neck would not be as hurding sometimes and I would be more relaxed if I did shavasana helped by a group... I am fortunatelly more than 50 years old now, and I dare making my mistakes - and sometimes there are lucky moments to discover other "cosmoses", persons or texts or any cynics in flesh and blood, in books or in the internet that inspire me to have new thoughts and new cosmic sensations!

the walking man said...

When it comes to the labels i always have o question the thing labeled (that's why I read the labels on food packaging). For myself,and i only can speak for the i within, if I need to label it to be it then I need to change it so i can live with at least one unlabeled portion of the cosmos.

earthtoholly said...

I once read that Buddhism isn't so much a religion as a way of life and that Buddha is in everyone, no matter their religion. I see it as the root of humankind...you may not realize it nor claim it if you do, but it's always in you, always there for you, whether or not you choose to bring it to life.

Nice pic there, drjay.

And great riding weather, huh?

DaisyDeadhead said...

This is just what I needed to read today, as I rearrange all the dumb labels that others have insisted I apply to myself. If that made sense.

Love ya.

Brooks Hall said...

I am a Brooksist.

kim said...

This line really resonated with me: "it’s just a lot easier to check off white black liberal conservative Democrat Republican hipster Buddhist Christian yogi cynic or even yoga cynic than to try and fathom a cosmos..."

It really is. It really is.