Buddhism, Meditation, Alpha Males and the Myth of Leadership…

img_1893When people ask me about meditation practice and/or Buddhism, I make it clear that meditation is one thing, and Buddhism is another, though I certainly appreciate both, even if knee problems likely mean that I’ll never achieve the classic lotus pose, and maybe not even the half of it…

…so sitting meditation becomes chair meditation, which is just as good or better, just not as cool to look at, though maybe better for sati, ‘mindfulness’, if the cross-legged pose is uncomfortable, thus freeing the mind for focus, on nothing, emptiness, the vast undefined, even if in a sitting position less defined than the classic figure-8 flower…

Most people adopt meditation practice—and/or Buddhism—for increased peace of mind, the Buddhist sort generally more metaphysical than mere stress reduction or relaxation from work fatigue, insomnia or anxiety, but more like the existential dread, angst, that is endemic to this species of consciousness, self-consciousness, reflections in mirrors…

But Buddhism itself, regardless of the meditation involved, also has another function, for me at least, both personal and social, which is much the inspiration for my urgency in spreading it, and its possibilities, it providing a paradigm shift, of cosmic proportions, much the opposite of the reigning Western capitalist imperialistic regime, of consumerism and gluttony, degradation and degeneracy…

To which a normal response might be something like: “yes, it would be nice if the entire world were Buddhist, wouldn’t it?” As if that is the only feasible scenario, and of course it would be nice, but if it is worth anything much, then it is worth a trial anyway, given the low price of admission, and the proportionate low costs of getting there, for Buddhism is perfectly suited for less-than-ideal conditions…

A Buddhist can never be enslaved, because he will simply walk away and never look back, just as many native Americans and African ‘maroons’ actually did. Ironically the slave trade was finally ended in synchronicity with, and likely because of, the low wages that many Asian Buddhists and Hindus were willing to work for—and hard…

..and that is a much better way, anyway, to get what you need, and then meditate the a$$holes away, out of sight out of mind, or something like that, and if forced to run away, then return again to play another day. The Type-A ‘alpha male’ is not found in the DNA of any haplogroup’s genome, any more than any ‘gay gene’ or ‘god gene’ or ‘hot rod gene’; human behavior is largely learned, and ‘alpha males’ have been rewarded for their ego trips for far too long…

And for those who think that the history of the world is the history of great leaders, I ask you: What great leader invented the wheel? What great leader first harnessed fire? And what great leader invented stirrups? No, there is no DNA of leadership, and their great acts are more often than not: wars and genocides and various assorted nefarious acts of infamy…

But the a$$holes can be dealt with, both personally and socially, even if it ain’t always easy or pretty. A good Buddhist will always have to know how to defend himself, physically and psychologically, because the type-A’s will always have the apparent advantage, mistaking your non-aggression for weakness…

Enter the dragon, at Shaolin Temple and any subway station in Mexico City, as you try to crowd an unlimited number of bodies into very limited space. Your Buddhism doesn’t exempt you, since there will be no special section for you there, and the only imperative is to do no harm; the best offense is a good defense. So the bloke that slashed my bag apologized profusely, though I didn’t know why until later. He got nothing BTW…

And such is the world, the things you love most at the mercy of the things you love least, by custom and design. This is our challenge, to defend ourselves against the a$$holes without becoming the same ourselves. Is this possible? Must the nicest people have the most precise remote-operated weapons to defend themselves against the ‘bad guys’? But I drone on…

That seems to be the operative philosophy of the NATO alliance, and Amerika in particular. Is there no other way? There just might be, but first we’ll have to revise our ego-attachment to ‘leadership’, and the concept of ‘winning’ in general. In short, IMHO: all leaders must fall, as a matter of principle, and all people must rise, as quickly as their capabilities permit them to do so…

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