Thursday, June 17, 2010

Buddhism 101

I'm not really a traditional Buddhist. I didn't even really call myself a Buddhist until about a year ago, even though I've been mediating a long time and an active participant (even board member, eek!) in a Sangha for a number of years. I don't really believe in the six realms, although I do believe each of us finds ourself in each of these realms at different points in our life. Right now, I'm definitely human with all the flaws that implies. I also believe in the four noble truths and the eight fold path.

There is suffering (dukkha).

There is a cause of suffering (craving).

There is the cessation of suffering (nirvana).

There is the eightfold path leading to the cessation of suffering.

Somehow, I don't really know exactly when, I've gone astray from the 8-fold path. Whether it was in terms of right speech or right action I’m not quite clear. When I realized some corrective action was necessary, I did try to do the right thing, did try to be of help, but there are some things I have no control over. I should have realized that and stopped. In terms of the effect, I put myself and others in harms way, and for that I am genuinely sorry. Although I’ve forgiven the folks involved who have done me a disservice, I didn’t really realize that by straying from the eight-fold path, I essentially allowed them, maybe even gave them permission. It is unfortunate that my wrong speech and wrong action also affected the lives of others I care about deeply and admire tremendously.

Although I'm still working with my first koan, I recently came across a koan on the web where I think the main point was that the conditions and circumstances really don't matter. What matters, is what we do from here. I still don’t know what I am going to do with my life now. None of my existing options really feels right.

But this much I know:

All evil actions committed by me since time immemorial, stemming from greed, anger, and ignorance, arising from body, speech and mind, I now repent having committed.

It’s the best I can do from here.


Jordan said...

I go astray
every day.
Then wake up and realize
I'm still on the way.

Happi said...

Thanks Jordan. Our mistakes are great signposts, as long as we take note.

"May all beings embody the great way, resolving to awaken.
May all living beings deeply enter the sutras, wisdom like an ocean.
May all beings support harmony in the community, free from hindrance." ~ Soto School Scriptures