Wanna be Buddhist? First Do No Harm, then STFU…

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…because if you’re Western-oriented, especially, then you almost certainly talk too much, are far too opinionated, and may even think too much in general. And I won’t tell you to follow your bliss here, because your bliss is likely BS. But you can follow the Five Precepts, and if that’s not enough, then follow the Eight Precepts. And your opinions are probably far too passionate and much too irrational, anyway. So were mine, until I realized it was mostly fantasy…

Yes, kindness and compassion come first, and are the watchwords and catch-phrases of popular Buddhism, easily remembered and easily understood, if not so easy to practice, a constant vigilance necessary to ensure that no harm is done to any living thing, even at the risk of harm indeed being done to ones own self, which is really a non-self in the Buddhist principle of non-substantiality…

Then there is the somewhat vague commandment of mindfulness, impossible to define, but you’ll know it when you see it I suppose, probably best transliterated into human tongues as something like ‘awareness’, so we don’t have to feel guilty about standing by and watching passively while contemplating our navels, as the world crumbles to pieces around our lowered drawers and mended trousers, as long as our reluctance to act upon the itches of life is not due to ignorance, but the foregone futility of mindless scratching…

So what else you got in that little Buddhist bag of parlor tricks?” I hear you thinking. Well, not much, really, since Buddhism shouldn’t really get too excited about much of anything ever, even DJT, so waxing philosophical and going slow, as a rule of thumb, take on metaphysical significance here, our own kind of Supreme Being, so to speak, to rescue us from the depths of spiritual atheism…

So, yes, then, to STFU is of supreme value here, because yes, we Westerners are born and bred to argue and debate, bur the results are inconclusive at best. And it’s arguable   (pun)that all we’ve done is to breed a race of malcontents with violent tendencies, who will stop at nothing to enforce their will upon the world. Sound familiar? To STFU is to meditate, of course…

And Buddhists themselves have their own style of doctrinal disputes, too, and the Tibetan branch, especially, takes debate with much seriousness and devotes great energy and expressive hand gestures in order to score debate points in lively social intercourse, after which everyone returns to his own neutral corner in a highly ritualized display of manliness and Buddha-hood…

The sects all differ greatly, too, but the one thing we all have in common is the core value of kindness and compassion and the value we give to meditation, our return to the source, zer0-ness, suchness, at least once a day, if not more, for results that surfing, skiing and snowboarding can’t begin to approach, or even understand, chill-seeking instead of thrill-seeking…

Old Lady Crain was right! She was my sixth-grade teacher in rural Mississippi, equally reviled and revered for her presence on the bench of scholastic judgment and her skill with a hardwood paddle, corporal punishment being currency in the curriculum back in those days in those parts. But I remember her best for her admonition that: “Yo’ main problem is that big mouth of yours (i.e. all of us, not just me). It’ll get you in trouble every time.”

So yeah, we Buddhists even have differences in meditation styles and preferences, which can all get very complicated and confusing, so better yet: just STFU and sit silent and still for an hour, and then see if you still have something you just have to discuss. And if you don’t, then just STFU, anyway. Life’s easier that way…

 

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