I find it difficult to bring about the “Buddhism” topic around many friends. It’s not that I want to sport flip-flops and a tunic to spread Buddhism ideologies to the poor. I just want to see if anyone else ever looked into it too?
So, when someone “finds” religion later in their life, without parental influence, that event is typically preceded by a singular or series of unfortunate events. I’ve seen people find religion after a big break-up, or job loss, or something along those lines. I’ve also seen people embrace it all their lives.
For me, I’ve always felt insignificant in the greater scheme of things. Not in that “oh-pity-me-im-insignificant” way.. Rather, this world, this universe for that matter, is so incredibly vast beyond anyone’s comprehension, that it makes me getting dumped by a boy seem not all that important anymore–just a tree in the forest, bump in the road, (insert adage here). Yah that sucks I was a victim of a hit-and-run, but it really doesn’t matter so long as I’m still alive and healthy. In hindsight, all those unfortunate events in my life have always led me to something better. Or maybe I wouldn’t value the good things in my life as much if I didn’t have some bad events happen to put things into perspective for me.
With that said, I feel like if I try my best to be a good person, not to get angry so quickly, understand people’s motives, that things will always turn out well in the future. I mean, genuinely be a good person who acts selflessly and not that “if-i-open-the-door-for-this-grandma-i-hope-someone-will-see-me-and-give-me-a-hundred-dollars-for-being-a-good-samaritan” type of person. With that said, sometimes I do things for selfish reasons. But I try not to. 8)
I have a filter, even though it doesn’t seem like it most of the time. I just choose whether to listen to my intuition at that particular moment. Meaning, when your mom says don’t touch the hot pot, you do it anyways. Difference is, I learn from every mistake. Doesn’t mean I won’t make a similar mistake again, but I will definitely learn and try to become wiser. I believe one should yield to most temptations, as my good friend Oscar Wilde suggested when he was alive, in order to gain solid experiences to become a wiser person. What I meant was, try things out of your comfort zone to gain new experiences. Or if you really have to, try things against your better judgment to see what happens, just dont whine when you meet the consequences of your actions. Depends on the situation, avoid being inconsiderate. But for the insolent selfish swine who, without an iota of concern for someone else, continues to hurt people for his/her selfish gain…? Well, one can only hope he/she will stop someday and become a nice person.
So..where was I…religion..inspiration..Buddhism. There, no wait, inspiration. So my inspiration to research Buddhism wasn’t isolated to one event. I remember hearing about it in snippets from various people throughout my life. After a series of sad events in my life, which included unfair treatment, I experienced a week of feeling angry and thus found myself talking myself out of my anger so I wouldn’t have to feel so negative because what’s worse than feeling angry.
For me, I didn’t blame anyone for feeling this way or sought an extraterrestrial outlet to explain why things happened. Things happened because life was lived.. It’s how I wanted to deal with my discomfort was the issue. I needed to understand that there is justice in life and that being angry only adds salt to wound. The best thing I can do is.. not be angry. However, some anger is easier to extinguish than others. Death for instance, can bring about a torrent of negative emotions that only time and patience can heal. But there’s petty anger, which happen more frequently and is way more fleeting.
Because there are many things that are out of my control, my job is to focus on the things I do have control of, try my best, and know that I tried my best, which ultimately ends in happiness. 8) That was the impetus for me to download the Buddhism “cliff notes” application on my iphone.
I had always heard Buddhism was, for the most part, not a religion in the traditional sense, rather, a way of life. For the most devout Christians, Buddhism isn’t a satanic go-straight-to-hell-if-you-explore thing. According to my cliff notes application of Buddhism–it’s a way of life. Ideals that coincide with my beliefs, which in my opinion, can be summarized in one sentence: try your best. I mean, really try your best. Do things because it’s the right thing to do, not because you’re afraid someone will judge you otherwise. Found out some interesting facts too.. like Henry Ford converted to Buddhism, along with Steve Jobs for reasons explained in the application (Jobs isn’t in the application). But those aren’t the only reasons to explore Buddhism. Do it because you’re curious to learn more about the multi-faceted things in life.
I have to know that all this knowledge and these experiences accumulated during my life doesn’t simply dissipate into thin air when I go DOINK. What a waste of time that would be! I have to know that these things carry into another existence where I can build upon everything I’ve ever learned and apply these lessons to more life. I have to believe that we’re not all fighting an uphill battle against Time just to die then eat peaches in Heaven for all eternity. Then again, a Heaven with all your loved ones and all the yummy food you can eat and all the entertainment you could ask for is a great alternative too.
Anyway, the last thing I need is to subscribe to a set of strict codes that will send me to hell if I waver. That’s not life, and I don’t think anyone or thing intended one to live that way. I’m also not looking for something to justify my actions. If anything, any deity or whatever, would first and foremost want a person to be accountable for his or her own actions. If you slapped someone, you slapped someone. Not because there’s a greater purpose for it, or because they deserved it. You own your action and it’s up to you if you feel bad or not. If someone dissed my mama, I’d slap her too. But, if someone undeservedly received the sting from the back of my hand, I need to own it and apologize profusely and be prepared to never have that person as a friend ever again.
Shoot, so I lost my point. Anyway, I’m glad I can blog about my interest of Buddhism rather than be shut down during the first 5 seconds of the conversation. I’m interested in all faiths quite honestly. But I’m more interested in learning about you and me and why we do the things we do.
Happy New Year