When I was younger, I didn’t like the Buddhists I met – and I’d still never call myself one – they seemed to be attempting to be good. That Buddhism would attract such fearful [of being bad] people is hardly surprising given that each factor of the eightfold path – in English – starts with “Right” [I’ve seen perfect instead!]. This translation naturally inclines to opposition with “wrong” when in fact the sanskrit root gives us the English word solid and that which is generally translated right is really more like whole.
The dubious use of “warmest wishes” – or similar – to end emails came to really stand out for me, resulting after a while in my neither greeting the recipients of my mails nor signing then off in any way. I realised that mail salutations were habit during a period in which I was keen to gently but persistently test habit patterns. When I tried leaving off the salutation etc. I discovered worry about what people would think of me. Well that did it! Fear was no good reason for such a habit.
The Buddha [is said to have] said that he meant intention by his use of the word karma, rather than the original meaning of action. That which will come back to bite you, your karma, for him [it’s said], was your intention not just your action.
I’m convinced that self-responsibility is a cornerstone of a buddhism-without-beliefs. If then, the teacher Gotama might be helpful to me, rather than a perfect beacon of light, and no teacher is perfect either, then I have me to fall back on. This turns out to not be easy, myself naturally flawed. Given my conviction of self-responsibility – no blaming others, no self-attack – however, I find myself with the uneasy necessity of working with myself as I am.
I’m also really grateful to the buddha and to my teacher, I wouldn’t want to do this alone.
What do you think?