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genkaku Veteran


Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
Last Active
Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
  • Re: Dream Interpretation

    I always thought "dreams bring out what we long for or what we fear" was a pretty good definition.

  • Re: Turning 30

    Would you say your practice gets easier with age?

    @mingle -- Still looking for a silver lining, are you? "Easier" and "harder" are for high school math tests. Practice probably becomes less solemn as time passes, but I'm not sure. To be honest, though, I'm not quite sure what "practice" means any more ... or doesn't mean.

    Another sign of old and fat and lazy, no doubt.

    Screw it! Do it!

    Or don't.

    Just try not to kick the cat.

  • Re: Turning 30

    @Mingle -- Take up Buddhism for a change. It may help you to stop believing in time, believing in age, believing in death and worrying about stepping in the dog shit we all step in from time to time.

    Or, alternatively, find a nice quiet corner, sit down, and enjoy being depressed about what can't be changed. :)

  • Re: Confused new member

    Welcome @jhutter33 -- hope you find something useful here.

    I suppose if you look long enough and far enough, you can find a statue of "Buddha" doing parkour. Of course that and $2 will get you a bus ride. Symbolism and tall tales have their uses but I hope you won't take them too seriously. Go ahead ... be the Buddha, be the snake, but most of all, just be yourself.

    Best wishes.

  • Re: Spiritual livelihood in the western world

    If I could, I would urge everyone to relax a little. "Spiritual" stuff isn't labeled and then offered in Aisle 3. Wanting to get things right (spiritually speaking) is only half the story. The other half is getting them sometimes horribly wrong.

    There was a time when I thought monastery life was the life for me. It was the old heroin-addict's mantram: If one's good, two's better: If meditating 40 hours a week in the city was good, just imagine how much better things would be if practice were 24/7 in serene surroundings with hundreds of Buddhist knick-knacks all around. I signed up for a six-month tryout at a monastery. I lasted a little more than two. I can't tell you how guilty I felt when I pulled up stakes and fled the scene.

    Looking back, I am pleased as punch I went and pleased as punch I left. I'm not monk material and -- wait for it -- that is worth knowing.

    Things can feel miles from the obvious targets of spiritual endeavor. And yet how, in any realistic sense, is that possible? Without you, Buddhism is just another tongue-wagging religion. Just what you need, right? Trying to outflank your own falsehoods, you don another falsehood. But that falsehood is a priceless bit of serious information and experience.

    Mind you, it may not be fun. It may be embarrassing as hell. But the advantage of making a mistake is that it is the one thing without which Buddhism is just bullshit: It's honest.

    OK. Things aren't perfect. But try to remember that if they were perfect they couldn't possibly be perfect. Take a break. Eat some ice cream. :)