CSI Buddhism

I’ve been a big fan of crime and detective shows for years, including the forensic science type and the behavioral science type. That would include the various CSI franchises, Criminal Minds, Law and Order in its various incarnations, NCIS (but not the LA version), old Sherlock Holmes movies-though Robert Downey Jr. did an interesting turn at that role in the more recent movie, and many others.

Am thinking about this because I’ve been asking myself lately why am I engaged in this Buddhist endeavor. Every now and then it’s not a bad question to ask. The answers do change over time. That may be one reason why some people get stuck in practice. Holding on to one prospective answer.

The practice of Buddhism seems to me to be similar to the kinds of things detectives and forensic scientists do. Observations, taking things apart, discovering clues, sifting through various leads, determining what is and isn’t fruitful all done in a patient, alert and careful manner informed by established and proven methodologies.

The main difference is that it isn’t really a team effort. Though encouragement and advice can be helpful. Only the individuals themselves have access to “the scene of the crime”.

Why do Buddhism? Curiosity about a great mystery.

By NellaLou

4 comments on “CSI Buddhism

  1. Funny. It seems like I’m constantly bumping into Bassui’s “Who is it?” lately. My motivation for practice has shifted gradually in this direction too; a year and a half ago, it was primarily about getting life not to suck so hard, a year ago, it was mostly about learning the mechanics of it; a few months ago, it was about deepening the practice and getting into some somewhat non-ordinary states of consciousness. And lately it’s been a growing, nagging sense of mystery and curiosity. Who goes to sleep? Who wakes up? Is going to sleep different from dying? If so, how? Who’s asking all these questions anyway?

    Perhaps I ought to take that up with Sensei when I see him at the retreat in a week and a bit.

  2. Nice post. I’ve been reading these things forever, starting with Father Brown and Sherlock Holmes. Love the stuff. Have published a couple myself. Unraveling the mystery, yes, Buddhist to the core.

  3. In a previous incareernation, I was an archeological Chemist. Nothing I loved more than to have someone put a blob of icky-sticky stuff on my bench and ask: what is it? Now I get to do it to my nonself.

    Got to admit though, those fancy machines on CSI just make my heart go bloop-bloop with lust!

  4. Always wondered why I find those shows, undeniably brutally gross at times, equally fascinating.

    Perhaps it’s an encouraging sign about humanity that they’re the most watched shows on the medium I usually think of as a mostly unmitigated cultural blight. (Unless, of course, they’re being watched for the brutally gross parts.)

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