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  • hardie karges 6:06 am on March 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dallas, Flagstaff, maintenance, pickup, Sweetwater, , truck.   

    Buddhism and the Art of Pickup Maintenance: Tale of the drunken hitch-hiker… 

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    Reflections in the rear-view mirror

    Back Story: In a previous life I used to sell folk art at a trade show in Dallas, TX, while living in Flagstaff, AZ, a distance of approximately 1000 miles, so within the purview of my limits for driving the distance, and supposedly saving money, rather than flying and renting cars and all that rap, running around town when I’d rather just load up the truck, put in a tape and fire up some Doobie (Brothers), find my cozy little hundred-buck-a-week crib out by Love Field, and take it from there…

    Of course it doesn’t always work out so smoothly, so when it’s time to beat a hasty retreat, I once got the brilliant idea of trying a new route, bored as Hell from Hwy. 287 diagonalizing NW up through Wichita Falls (“as falls Wichita…”), former home of my father, and lots of empty space. But the truck was vintage 1966, and this was 1991, so that’s getting way up in years and subject to fits of temper, or lack thereof, and that’s what happened after getting off I-20 just past Sweetwater…

    When the red ‘battery’ warning light comes on all of a sudden. I check and decide the voltage regulator is playing the diva by refusing to cooperate, meaning that my battery will not charge and the whole thing will collapse as soon as it goes dead. So I managed to rig a by-pass operation, using a test wire with alligator clips on each end, simplest thing in the world, and best of all—it works!

    But I know my time is limited, and if there is any emergency, like rain, the odds are not good. I could buy a new part, but then I’d lose time, and the part might fail, and I’d probably be 1000 miles away by that time, though it’d feel like more (humming “A Million Miles Away” by the Plimsouls)…

    So I decide to go with it, for the time being at least, figuring if the hot-wire fails, I can probably still run off the battery until I limp to the next town. I know it’ll fail, though, the minute I turn on the headlights, and by my calculations I should be in Flagstaff in time before that event…

    Still, it’d be nice to have a back-up plan, and that’s where the hitch-hiker comes in, just standing there on the side of the road, out in the middle of nowhere, so I pick him up, just to help him out, and to maybe have help, in case I need it, since two heads are usually better than one—usually. But I hadn’t picked up a hitch-hiker in years, much less done it myself. It just isn’t done anymore, not in Amerika. These weren’t the hippie years of the 70’s, alas and alack…

    But the guy seems nice enough, with plenty of flattering conversation, then, “mind if I drink a beer?” I shrugged—big mistake. I should’ve screamed, “NO!” but I didn’t. Instead I said something like, “Whatever.” Now I know about ‘open container’ laws and Texas is still a Southern state, though we’re far to the west, but the fact that the dude even had a beer should’ve sent off big alarms. But it didn’t…

    No, we were doing so well, and the truck was running fine, no red ‘battery’ light on the dash, that I decided we had enough time to stop for lunch, something I rarely do, just keep on driving. There my comrade spent a long time in the restroom, and by the time he came back, there was a notable difference. He’d obviously been drinking more while in the restroom, uh oh…

    Now, I don’t know if you’ve personally known an alcoholic, but there is a distinct change in personality while under the influence, right? So now the gregarious flatterer is belligerent and attacking me verbally, mile after mile, with no end in sight, and I feel powerless to do anything about it—as long as he feels powerful, that is. That’s the key. I’ve quaffed a few brews in my life, too, so I knew the time-line…

    Whatever I do, I’ll wait until he’s coming down from his rush of adrenaline, and then I’ll act, whatever it is that I’ll do. So that’s what I did. I waited until he was past his peak, and we were safely on I-40, my turf, in New Mexico. So I pulled over into a rest area, stopped, then turned off the key, removing it from the ignition switch, a procedure I’d performed in my mind at least a dozen times in the previous hour…

    “You can get out here,” I said, firmly but gently. “And take your stuff with you.”

    “Huh? What? Whazzup, dude?”

    “End of the line.”

    “I thought you were going to Flagstaff.”

    “Farmington first, farther north on back roads. You’ll be good here.” I pointed to the picnic tables. This is no time to equivocate…

    And that’s where I left him, with a place to piss, and vending machines, and plenty of time to think up a story to tell the next driver, as to what he’s doing there, and where he’s going. It could’ve been worse. Trying to deal with him verbally while driving could have been disastrous. He could’ve become violent. I could’ve gone to a police station, or lots of places less hitch-hiker friendly than an Interstate rest area…

    And the moral of the story is: plan your strategy. Practice your timing. Know your enemy. Don’t waste time in actions that will only be futile, and maybe even dangerous. Winning is not important–surviving is. Many people assume powers that they don’t deserve, simply because the people that put them there weren’t careful, and they opted for easy solutions to complex problems…

    Now I’m not sure what Sun-Tzu would’ve done, but I suspect that he’d approve. Most importantly: don’t give up your efforts to do good in this world. After the severest challenges you re-double your efforts, and you come back to play another day, without no increase in rank nor rancor. Happy ending: I pulled into Flagstaff right at sundown, and then I replaced the voltage regulator the next day, at my leisure, older but wiser…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
  • hardie karges 7:25 am on March 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , collapse,   

    Buddhism, Global Warming, and the Fall of Amerika… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    It’s sad, watching the Macy’s Parade Rose Parade, Orange Bowl Sugar Bowl Cotton Bowl, Thanksgiving Christmas New Year and the 4th of July, in celebration of past paradigms and failed promises, derived from failed premises, the celebration of a dying nation and a dying paradigm. The American century is long dead and gone, that twentieth one of the Common Era, probably best described as “fun fun fun while we bomb the hell out of Vietnam…”

    And the world weeps with us, for all our dreams lie broken and shattered like so many shards in some future midden, detritus left for future archaeologists to figure out. I can hear them now: “I wonder what happened. Why did they self-destruct? Couldn’t they see what was happening all around them?” (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:20 am on March 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , children, , kids,   

    Tao Futures: Philosophy and Religion, Buddha and Politics… 

    img_1661Predestination is, or at least WAS, the Holy Grail of all religion, primitive religion, false religion, to have it all figured out, planned out, whether past lives or Heaven and Hell, the threat of future punishment to keep you in line at the present, but the Buddhist belief in past lives creates life not proactive, but retroactive. Ditto Christianity with heaven and Hell. That’s the social function of religion, keeping us in line…

    This derives from the time when religion was expected to explain everything, a job largely accomplished by Science now. And each religion had different explanations, of course. The curse of all traditional religion lies in trying to make amends with all others, not to mention Science and Tech. It’s a hopeless task. If karma is a thief in the night trying to steal your future and all your presents, then Hell is where you go to serve your sentence and repay your debts—supposedly… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:48 am on February 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cambodia, , litter, , ,   

    Buddhism 401: How Can we Live Peacefully Together… 

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    Wat Langka in Phnom Penh

    …if we can’t live peacefully alone? Ha! You saw that coming, didn’t you? So did I, once it started gaining speed and shifting direction toward me, grinning like a devil in distress, dressed like an angel in red dress, armed with fleet feet and two gold teeth, androgynous anonymous autonomous and whispering soft incantations, interspersed with the most vile curses, carrying thunderbolts and poisoned letters in mysterious body parts only partially concealed, taking aim carefully counting as if measuring the distance, then…

     

    Wham! The thought struck me like a thunderbolt from the sky, knocking me down with its truth and simplicity, clear as a bell and as certain as death’s knell. Surely it’s been said before, but I don’t know where. I would feel guilty if I were to claim it as my own original idea, when it’s as simple and universal as it is startling and unequivocal. We are the cause of our own collective nightmares, and the solution to the problem is as simple to understand as it is difficult to execute, and almost certain to create self-searching… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:20 am on February 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Four Noble Truths,   

    Four Noble Truths of Buddhism: and Christianity and… 

    img_0545All good Buddhists know the Four Noble Truths: the prevalence of suffering, the cause of suffering—grasping and craving; the way to avoid suffering—quit grasping and craving; and the details of that path—the Middle Way, or eight-fold path, similar to Christianity’s Ten Commandments. But what if the other great religions were to have four truths of their own? What would they be?

    First let’s generalize. To be consistent with the Buddhist example, four such ‘truths’ should: 1) articulate the prevailing reality; 2) articulate the cause of that reality; 3) articulate a path forward, given that reality, and 4) articulate the details of that path. Okay, so for Christianity, I figure the First Noble truth would be: 1) the prevalence of pleasure, i.e. life is for enjoyment, 2) the cause of that pleasure—acquisition of ‘goods’, experiences, or services; 3) the path forward would be to acquire more goods, experiences, and services; and 4)… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 10:52 am on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Startling insights and a pretty good blueprint for personal development, I’d say. Keats said life was a process of soul-building and the building blocks are here, ready to assemble …

      • hardie karges 6:53 pm on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I love all the Romantic poets, big influence, can’t believe I never made it to the Lake District…

    • davekingsbury 4:47 pm on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Reckon you did in spirit. It’s just a bunch of rocks and tearooms, anyway …

  • hardie karges 7:13 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mahasi, , Myanmar, retreat, , Wat Suan Mokh, Yangon   

    Buddhist Boot Camp Comparison, part II: Suan Mokh vs. Mahasi… 

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    Foreign meditators at Mahasi

    Author’s note: For those of you who read my blogs regularly, then you might remember that I did this once before, with Wat Suan Mokh near Surat Thani, Thailand, and Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, here. But those are two different types of Buddhism, so as different as apples and oranges, really. Mahasi Monastery in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma), is the same Theravada branch of Buddhism as Suan Mokh, so closer in orientation. And for my traveler’s perspective of Mahasi, here

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    Meditation at Mahasi

    Of course, not everything fits conveniently into a quick little list, so I’ll explain, expand and expound. WSM has fixed sessions on the first ten days of every month, so just show up the day before and sign up, no pre-registration. MM is even less formal. Just show up any morning and sign up. I suppose either could be full, so no space available, but not sure of that. Sessions at MM are ongoing, minimum ten days, but many stay MUCH longer, up to six months, with ordination as monk a possibility. Normal Myanmar visa is 28 days BTW, though longer ‘meditation visas’ are available.

    WSM’s program is more elaborately presented and diverse, with certain hours in the daily schedule devoted to exercises, listening to CD, dharma talks, etc., in addition to meditation. MM is mostly DIY, alternating sitting and walking meditation on the hour all day every day. For a novice, this is nearly impossible, of course, so if you want to play hooky, just stay in your room. I was hassled once for reading in the common area, when I was supposed to be in the group meditation hall meditating. Walking meditation is more free-form, so take a break then…

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    Lunch at Mahasi

    WSM is part of the Thai Forest Tradition, which gives it an environmental orientation that is quiet, refreshing and sustainable, while Mahasi is within the boundaries of a large city, so necessarily busier and noisier, with frequent visitors from the city and taxis coming and going, in addition to construction activity for current expansion, so MUCH NOISIER…

    Interaction with others is a mixed bag. On the one hand WSM has monks sitting in on sessions, meditation and otherwise, but mostly meditating, and thus giving valuable inspiration on how it’s done. This blew my mind at the time. Conversely, while MM has hundreds of monks and nuns in residence, they have little or no interaction with foreign yogis. There are weekly dharma talks and twice-weekly interviews with the sayadaw-gyi, but that is hardly equivalent to the hands-on SM experience.

    The dharma being espoused is a bit different, too, though both are of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. This I know only because I made the effort to read materials available in MM common areas, which SM has none of, but compensate with CD listening sessions. But MM seems very stuck in the old fundamentalist Buddhism of past lives and karma, which was a big disappointment to me. SM, on the other hand, is more modern, and founder Buddhadhasa is a leader in steering modern Buddhism away from those old fundamentalist modes…

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    Wat Suan Mokh

    But where WSM falls severely short is in the facilities themselves, with rooms resembling prison cells in not even the best of prisons, while MM has much more modern facilities. The splash-pools that pass for common baths at SM look like something from science fiction, so interesting, but not up to the modern standards of private showers. This ain’t Boy Scout camp. SM may be fine for ten days, but any longer than that might not be so good…

    So here’s the skinny. Here’s the fat. I’ll compare the two briefly on a number of topics, basic stats mostly. One caveat: I personally attended the Thai-language session at Suan Mokh, but I’ve tried to corroborate information from the foreigners’ English-language session, hopefully correct. Okay? Here goes:

    1. Food: SM is vegetarian with brown rice; MM has a vegetarian option by request
    2. Gadgets: SM holds phones and laptops (and passports); MM holds only passports
    3. Ambience: SM is in the countryside; MM is in the city
    4. Duration: SM is a fixed 11 days, 10 nights; MM is minimum 10 days, 9 nights
    5. In/Out privileges: SM not sure;, assume no; MM only by special request
    6. Hands-on Instruction: SM yes; MM no, not really
    7. Cost: SM 2000 THB ($60+/-); MM donations accepted
    8. Daily Schedule: SM 4a-9p; MM 4a-9p
    9. Rooms: SM basic room, communal bath; MM nicer room, bath down the hall
    10. Meals: SM breakfast and lunch, liquids in afternoon; MM two meals
    11. Sex: SM has M/F sep. facilities, mixed classes; MM: M/F separate all

    So there is no clear winner. In general, I’d say that WSM is better for novice and/or short-term stays, MM better for long-term DIY and/or experienced meditators. I particularly like WSM’s prayer chanting sessions, which for me is as much or more the heart of Buddhism as meditation. And the hot springs are nice, too (after I finished cleaning them). But the rooms suck. I’ve got a better idea: try both. Both Thailand and Burma have many other meditation centers as well. I hope this helps. Enjoy.

     
  • hardie karges 6:55 am on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Religion and Apocalypse: You don’t have to be Christian… 

    img_1773…to see the ‘End of Days’ looming large like a ‘Construction Zone’ sign at the end of a long shady lane, subtitled ‘Bridge Under Construction: NO Entry’, and a bridge to the future is indeed what we need, because as it is, we’re about to drive off the edge of that bridge long before it’s finished and ready…

    This has all happened many times before and will likely happen again as the humans species and its duct-tape civilizations stumble forward on all fours, not in some cycle of re-births or rapture, but more like boredom, psychosis or rupture, human beings selling themselves into service as so many beasts of burden, bred for breeding and so much suffering…

    But what does it really mean? Jesus was not the only Doomsday Prophet approximately 2000 years ago. He was just the most successful one, and his small cult following eventually became religion—confession, redemption and fun fun fun. That can happen if you get enough ‘likes’, ‘follows’ and ‘shares’. But it’s a stretch of the imagination to assume that they were talking about the end of the species, or even worse—the planet…

    No, they were talking about cataclysmic changes to life as they knew it—the end of Jerusalem with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. and the impending collapse of the Roman Empire, which it did, eventually, bit by bit. And now we’re at the end of another empire, the Euro-American one that has dominated the globe for the last 500 years. Before that time, c. 1492, I figure the world’s top cultures were more or less equal…

    And then another lesser eschatological event occurred in England with the conquest of Great Britain by William the Conqueror in 1076, destroying what Alfred the Great built, substitute Frenchified ‘north men’ for the Vandals in Rome who once took handles and ran, and once again we barbaric Germanics sank our own Titanic, especially notable because it includes the survey of holdings known as the ‘Domesday’ (Doomsday) Book, in reference to the Last Judgment…

    And now here we are again, another millennium later, staring into the abyss of our own self-destructive tendencies, after a solid 250-year-run, 1976-2016, of Anglo-American dominance. None dare call it bi-polar syndrome: schizophrenia, the white man’s disease! Homicidal tendencies from the world’s conquerors and rulers, and a death wish to boot! Good riddance…

    …because it’s based on consumption and greed, not happiness, or even love, or justice, or democracy, our overriding myth, and certainly not sustainability. That sounds like socialism, because it is, and much better than driving off the cliff in the name of capitalism. The economy has crashed before and will crash again, likely taking governments along with them, and lives, and the innocent smiles of children…

    The difference this time, is that, whereas Rome was one of many great powers, albeit the strongest, the others could take up the slack when it fell. This time we’re all connected, and any precipitous fall could take us all down together, and all that we’ve accomplished in the last 500 to 5000 years…

    If the fruit of the flower of our civilizations’ finest hour is to continue through the darkness to follow, it will likely be due to the efforts of hackers and slackers from the previous society’s fringes, connected by Internet and fueled from the sun, like raisins fallen from trees pre-ripened and pre-sweetened, recycling today’s excess detritus for many hundreds of years to come, before the production of new materials will be necessary…

    Last time the ‘darkness’ that ensued was mostly in the field of publishing—and the pursuit of knowledge. There were other more important things to do, like survive. They were mass migrations, as there likely will be again, and already are. But life went on, as it will again. Centralized subsidized power from a distance collapsed before, as it will likely do again, and power will revert to localized Big Shots, mafia men, as it already has in many villages in Mexico and elsewhere, where cartels have more resources than the central government…

    Will we ever learn our lesson? I don’t know. It seems like in the 70’s we had a clue as to where this was heading, and were dealing with it, by ‘slow-growth’ and ‘no-growth’ and back-to-nature movements, then we suddenly changed our minds when the Digital Revolution came along, that and Ronald Reagan and the excesses of Wall Street. Now all we have are DJT, conspiracy theories, crocodile tears and a pocket full of tissues…

    Maybe it’s not the time to rag on Western culture—Christianity, Capitalism, and Democracy—for causing the current problems, but I doubt that those paradigms are equipped to deal with the coming Dark Times, suffice to say. My own preference would be a Buddhist socialism, non-aggressive and self-sufficient, democracy optional. Until then we persevere. Note to Christians: I don’t think you’re supposed to actually wish for the rapture. I don’t think it’s supposed to be fun…

     

     

     
    • davekingsbury 3:59 pm on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah and what about all the leisure these robots were going to bring us? Nice end-of-days piece, Hardie, cheered me up hardly at all! 😉

    • hardie karges 8:44 pm on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I forgot to add: robots optional. Riffing on Stephen Hawking: Dark Ages don’t have to be so dark. They’re only dark because we don’t know much about them. Print those blogs and put them in a safe place, Dave! Digital information will likely be lost, and history will only record that which can be accessed. Yeah, I thought the future would be cooler, too… (my favorite line from pop music last year)

  • hardie karges 7:03 am on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , eggs, , Inuits, , Vikings   

    Buddhism, Global Warming and the Guy Who Loved Fried Eggs… 

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    Buddhist Temple in Myanmar

    I know what you’re thinking: that this is a story about someone who loved fried eggs so much that he wanted to see if Global Warming would fry one for him, maybe on the sidewalk, as the old saying goes, only to find that he died before he could even finish eating it…

    No, not bad, but no Havana for you. No, this a true story—two true stories, actually—the first about a tourist in my hotel in Yangon, Myanmar last month, who I had the pleasure of watching over the course of a half hour in the breakfast buffet line. Now most hotels there give Western tourists a standard breakfast of toast and eggs, usually made to order. But this was Chinese businessman style, hence the buffet–nice… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 3:17 am on January 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Religion 401: Beyond Ficciones and Supersticiones… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    I’m Karges, not Borges, and this is Burma not Buenos Aires, so there is no time for fiction and it’s time for an end to silly superstitions, the Christian war God and 7-day creation, immaculate conception and messy ascension, hung out to dry on crosses and clotheslines, left to die in caves and blind alleys, rescued by pregnant virgins and holy whores with hearts of gold and the greatest stories ever told…

    But Islam takes holy virgins to new heights, and new depths, heaven and more, from 72 houris (hoors), with varying degrees of “lush full rounded breasts” and more. The best part: the lot of them only need one man, the double standard enshrined into canonical law! We always knew 100 women only need one man to reproduce the species!

    Then there’s this:

    Al-Suyuti. Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Qur’an. p. 351. Each time we sleep with a Houri we find her virgin. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal; the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this world you would faint. Each chosen one will marry seventy [sic] houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetizing vaginas. 

    (space left intentionally blank)

    Okay, I’m back now, and feeling surprisingly refreshed. Then there is the prohibition on pork, which for many Muslims—and Jews—is the line that defines them. I know Muslims in Thailand that drink like fish, but won’t touch pork! Now we all know what pigs eat, and that’s not clean, unless they’re properly raised and fed. But to base a religion on porkly abstinence is absurd—unless all meat is being disallowed…

    The superstitions and little white lies of Christianity and Islam are not unique to the Abrahamic religions (including Judaism, of course), but are easily found in the religions founded in the Indian sub-continent including the world’s third-largest religion (atheism doesn’t count): Hinduism, arguably the worst on this list, with a list of superstitions that would make a Christian blush, including multiple gods, reincarnation, past lives, karma and a caste system to boot. Ouch!

    Buddhism corrected many of those logical inconsistencies, at least temporarily, until the advent of Mahayana Buddhism pretty much let anybody and everybody in, much like Catholicism in the West, so in came all the old superstitions—except the caste system, which is the logical consequence of karma-laden reincarnations. The Tibetans even postulated multiple realms for all the past and future lives of which they are so enamored…

    I guess Tibetans are not into space, up there in the cold winters of their remote mountain fastnesses. They’re into time—makes sense! I think I’ll pass on the ‘hungry ghost’ realm, though—sounds creepy. On second thought, I’ll pass on much of it. Mahayana Buddhism recovered some of its original inspiration by the time it passed through China and reached Japan, but even there, you’re supposed to achieve enlightenment almost magically by the realizations that arise from the linguistic conundrums that arise from unsolvable riddles…

    But there is more to life than language—I hear. Everybody loves predestination and conspiracy theory, ’cause it’s easy, it’s lazy, it’s neat, and it’s convenient—but it’s almost certainly wrong. There is just no evidence—scientific or otherwise—to support it. Karmic retribution serves the same purpose in primitive Buddhism that Hell does in Christianity—enforcement of the moral code with threat of future punishment…

    Enough already: let’s grow up and leave the child psychology behind! Theravada Buddhism has some of that, too, just not so enshrined in the canon. I really don’t think Siddhartha Gautama the Awakened One spent his life searching for answers, only to come up with something akin to Hinduism for non-Indians, or worse: Hindu Lite. No, he almost certainly intended to leave most of it behind—except meditation…

    The Dalai Lama opines that Science isn’t likely to disprove past lives, but: Hello, Dalai, ever heard of DNA? Many prisoners have gotten out of prison that way, and many just might leave religion, too, if it can do no better. Science has superstitions, too, of course, absolute materialism and pharmacological hubris, so no wonder we’re a nation of drug addicts and war whores, but it doesn’t have to be that way…

    Science is still the most obvious way out of superstitions, with DNA, carbon-14 dating, fingerprints and toe-prints to boot, so maybe Tibetans can leave their past lives and karmic retribution behind, move toward something like Reincarnation—in the Spirit, like a Christian ‘born again’, figuratively but not literally…

    Then more than a few Buddhists get obsessed with which direction to circumnavigate a stupa, without questioning whether the whole activity might not just be a littlt bit ‘stupa’d’ itself, if you stop to think about it. If this is what constitutes a religion, then atheists are probably right…

    Same with removing shoes. As with the aforementioned pigs and their sh*t, certain prohibitions made much sense millennia ago, just as a matter of good health. But religion, i.e. a belief system, should be more than that, at least in this day and age. We have vacuum cleaners…

    But the thoroughly modern Christian will say “Love is our belief system,” except that love from above, victors over vanquished, is not the same as the religious magnanimous type. And Muslims will say, “Our jihad is not with swords and the words of war, but in our hearts against the evil thoughts that haunt us. You should try meditation…

    And Hindus will finger their prayer beads and Buddhists will wrap their necks in charms and fetishes. And there’s nothing wrong with any of this, just that it’s not necessary and it cheapens the cause of religion in the eyes of atheists, agnostics and even some scientists. Religion can do better than the analogies and metaphors of bygone eras. And it can do better than the ‘no-thought’ reliance on writ, whether Christian, Muslim, Theravada or Mahayana…

     

     

     

     
  • hardie karges 8:47 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dharma, Terence McKenna   

    Buddhist Dharma Chat: Looking for Something… 

    img_1670You’ve heard it all before: “Like looking for a needle in a haystack. Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Etcetera etcetera. And then there’s the Buddha’s most famous saying: “Let that sh*t go.” Yuk yuk. Of course the Buddha didn’t really say that, but it can be inferred. Many things are inferred in the name of the Buddha, but some probably miss the mark. The Facebook page ‘Buddhist Wisdom’ just changed their name to ‘Healing Humanity’. Huh? How do you spell m-a-r-k-e-t-i-n-g?

    The Buddha himself was not infallible, either, of course, as a human, but his paradigm and his belief system was and is powerful, so that’s what has meaning to me. Buddha’s Big Deal was, in a nutshell, the recognition of the prevalence of suffering, and the means to avoid it via the middle path, mediating extremes and doing good, and especially—don’t do bad…

    Everything else, whether karma, past lives, rebirth, samsara, shunyata, anatta, anicca or whatever else are all sorta-maybe-kinda-almost-you know-like a-more or less-don’t-bug-me-I’m-meditating. No, Buddha was not about renunciation of all things all the time. He was all about renunciation of the wrong things at the right time… (More …)

     
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