Buddhism is…

putty

 

Buddhism is like delusion rehab

Buddhism is like a slow-motion revolution

Buddhism is like a film projector that shows you life frame by frame

Buddhism is like a simile

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4 comments on “Buddhism is…

  1. Dear NellaLou:

    I heartily recommend a book, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
    by Suketu Mehta.

    The entire book is a spinetingler. But I mention it with special
    emphasis, because at the end, Mehta, throughly unnerved by interviewing gang hitmen, murderers, wanted to meet more religiously committed persons. He learned of a Jaina diamond merchant family making plans to, as a family, renounce the world and all their wealth and become Jaina renunciates.

    Please read that section. The descriptions of Jaina renunciate living, their monastic rules, will enable you to see in what context
    Shakyamuni Buddha and the Vinaya rules would, put in context with Jaina monastic renunciation, appear very much a ‘middle way.’ They date Jainism as being slightly older than Buddhadharma, so it and Hinduism may well have been the contexts within which Shakyamuni sought to find his way.

    Note: for additional context, get and read Sandra Hausner’s book, Wandering With Sadhus. Hausner won the trust and friendship of a number of Shiva sadhus and sadhvis (women) and learned that the sadhu wandering life had a social structure far more coherant than many realized. That structure is probably as old or even older than Jainism and Buddhadharma.

    For context, get a look at yesterdays edition of the New York Times.
    Many american households now consider home entertainment, internet, cable, cell phones, Xbox games (updates by subscription) to be necessary expenses. One family stated paying $400 a month–others pay more.

    By these standards, Prince Gautama was living in conditions that many of us would consider gilded destitution. He had to wait longer for gratification than most of us do–in Prince Gautama’s case, the servants and dancing girls did not materialize at the instant push of a button; they would have had to climb the stairs, and the musicians–imagine this–would actually have needed to take time to set their instruments up and then take more time to tune their stringed instruments.

    And, as he listened and watched, Prince Gautama would have seen the musicians and singers faces and bodies flicker with actual effort.

    And a wealth of nonverbal cues would have linked their pleasing performances to the reality that their performance came from embodied effort. The prince would have seen faces frowning with effort, with pleasure, and even if subconsciously he would have associated the dance performances, the music, with effort. He would have seen the faint, delicate quivers of muscle and sinew as dancers’ feet and hands moved, as trained fingers trembled upon the strings of the sitar, rubab, the quiver of fingertips upon the drum, flutists’ fingering the stops of thier instruments.

    But today, one can hear music at the mere push of an iPod button. No need to wait for the sitar master to tune the instrument.

    We are in a virtual world that is far beyond the one even Prince Gautma was in. He was in what the computer people call ‘meat space’.
    He had to wait longer for food to arrive. And he would have been served that food by human hands, and according to palace etiquette.

    Even as a Prince, Gautama would have had to wait while his food was ladled, tasted for him, handed to him with bows.

    Thats very different from being handed something in a styrofoam container from a delivery truck, with virtually no ceremony.

    We have to mark whats the middle way in a very different landscape than the one Buddha was in, and what we think is middle way may not be so challenging at all.

    By Buddhas standards, I eat as an animal, for I eat alone.

    Virtually no one, whether rich or poor, ate alone in his day and culture. The mere thought of doing so would be..unthankable.

  2. Hmmm. Buddhism is like a simile. But what kind of simile is this? Simile is like s’miley. I bounce, I stretch, I make things. What am I? What kind of riddle is this?

    • As for a riddle it’s the kind that make a person run around in a circle, like a dog chasing its tail, like so many endeavors we take up on a daily basis.

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