I think I have to become a slightly more than almost Buddhist.
- Well, first, no one knows if it’s a religion or philosophy.
- And, 2nd, the Buddha never claimed to be a god. He just said he was awake. Which is cool. (Much as I love Jesus, in a non-secular way, I have to admit the Buddha is kind of cooler.)
- Then, the Buddha never asked for faith. He threw out ideas and told his followers to go try them for themselves. See what works for you, basically, was his thing. He didn’t need people to give up their independent thinking capacity. He truly wanted to simply help them wake up and not suffer so much.
- Also, there have been no Buddhist wars in history. I’m talking about a Buddhist holy war, in which Buddhists try to conquer some people or some country. Non-violence is the most fundamental precept of Buddhism…and unlike “turn the other cheek” (which radical Christians interpret as “oppress everyone”), it’s actually practiced with great discipline.
So, the Queen of Commitment Anxiety is considering a commitment. I now say, “I’m kind of a Buddhist.” Since there is almost nothing in Buddhism with which I disagree, and since I spend my time meditating and reading the literature, and since whatever/whoever knows, I am always in need of accepting “what is,” well, I’m kind of a Buddhist.
It took me ten years to marry my partner the first time…which I did with my usual emotional grace. Note the following lines, all said by me:
- “I have a history of fainting at religious events!”
- “Can’t we just live together for the next ten years and pretend we’re married?”
- “You’re a controlling, kvetching, passive-aggressive jerk and I’m going to marry you anyhow.”
My flirtation, turned affair, turned almost-commitment with Buddhism is now 18 months long, so I am definitely improving.
So, I am in the process of becoming a Buddhist. I mean, I’m almost a Buddhist. Okay, I’m a person practicing Buddhism.
I like that last line. It fits with the Buddhist “no-self,” non-identification, non-clinging philosophy. I am practicing Buddhism, however ineffectively (non-violence at every level, not engaging in road rage, self-blame or tickling my partner in the ways I know she doesn’t like is HARD). And I am not clinging.
Works. Sort of.