BuddhamartDo you remember me saying “… I’m seeing Buddhism everywhere I look…” in my last post? It happened again.

Monday I had to hit Sprawl-Mart for a filter for the AC and some mayo for the wife. Naturally these two items were on opposite sides of the store. After picking up the filter I decided to cut through the houseware and then clothing section in the middle of the store instead of walking around them. What did I see half way through? Jam Master Buddha.

The Dalai Lama At Emory University 2007

I’ve been trying to get refocused on my practice lately as I know my focus has severely slipped. I’m not sure if that’s why I’m seeing Buddhism everywhere I look or if it’s just coincidence. For example: I was reading a mystery performer forum and found a link to a documentary featuring Eugene Burger (it’s ok if you don’t know that name). When I followed the link I saw a link to another video featuring the Dalai Lama. See what I mean?

There are a total of nine videos here from the Peace Conference in 2007.

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The Pros and Cons of Tiger Hiking

Tiger has made the news a little more interesting since the holidays. Violence, sex and religion. All of these are things that move papers and sell advertisements.

Then self righteous started preaching that Tiger needed to convert to Christianity to find forgiveness. Tiger didn’t respond. His handlers didn’t respond. Nobody connected to Tiger responded! This was both good and bad. Good – It showed us that snappy rebuttals don’t always solve the problem. Bad – The media frenzy it would have caused didn’t happen. I wanted entertainment! Oh well. Aside from the parade of women something entertaining was bound to happen, right?

The apology arrived. While Tiger was busy apologizing I was busy making sure the company wide webinar the CEO was putting on was available to the 600 or so workers in my home town. By the time I was done working Tiger was done apologizing. I hit the news sites to see what I missed. Did his wife get up and throw a shoe at him? Did another woman run in holding a baby and announcing Tiger was the father? Did Fred Phelps stand up with a sign that said “God Hates Tigers” ? Nope! Nothing exciting happened.

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Life. It happens.

Life is what happens when you aren’t paying attention.

In November I got hit with Bell’s Palsy. Even though I knew I would recover it still hit me pretty hard. Quite a few things came up at work that increased my stress load. The week after Christmas my son wound up in the ER (don’t want to publicly discuss that yet).

During all of this I let my practice fall off.

Why am I posting that I have failed at my practice and need to start over? So you know you aren’t the only one if it happens to you.

Today is a good day to begin again.

Karma: Get Rid Of It

Want to find more comfort in your belief system? Get rid of the karma in it.

All religions have karma but they call it different things. Maybe it’s the realm your spirit moves on to, perhaps it’s the life you’ll live after being reincarnated, maybe it’s the things that will happen to you next week based on what you do this week.

The moment you stop to think about how your decision will impact your karma you have stopped living. When you worry about how your actions affect your karma you are trying to decide if you want the reward or the punshiment. That isn’t karma, that’s desire. Stop worrying about your karma and just live your life.

This isn’t to say you should abandon responsibility. You wouldn’t fire a gun into a crowd and not worry about the results.  You wouldn’t get drunk and try to drive around town. Common sense is your friend.

The rain doesn’t worry about where it will land. It just falls.
The wind doesn’t worry about what is moves. It just blows.
You shouldn’t worry about your karma. Just live.

Break Room Thoughts

I was sitting in the break room taking a late lunch when I realized I was just staring at the sky and clouds. Then I realized the main reason I take a late lunch is so I can stare at the sky and clouds.

While not exactly “meditation” I’ve been using the break room as a place of silent mindfulness in my own unique way.

Looking back over your day do you see where you were able to stop and just exist for a few minutes? Try it tomorrow.

Taking Comfort In Suffering

A few posts back I mentioned a co-worker that became a teacher. He recently sent me the gift of Netflix free for a month. I love it! I’ve canceled my movie channels and use Netflix and Xbox live for streaming movies along with the famous red envelopes. How does this apply to Precious Metal? I was finally able to see the Meditate & Destroy DVD because Netflix offers it. See Nate’s review by clicking here.

Something Noah pointed out on the DVD is that we take comfort in our suffering. His example was how abused children will cry when they are taken from abusive parents. The child was treated terribly but he finds comfort with his parents, even though they cause him pain. It sounded crazy at first but then I realized I’m living that life right now. No, I’m not abusing a child. I’m taking comfort in my suffering.

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Stop Looking For Teachers

We need to stop looking for dharma/buddhist/zen/spiritual teachers because we will never find the one we want. Why? Because nobody can live up to the expectations we create in our minds!

There are plenty of teachers out there and if you keep your eyes open you will spot them when they cross your path. Learn what we can from them while you can and keep moving down your path.

How will you know when you see a teacher? Will he be wearing a saffron robe? Will she be meditating on the beach? Will he have a group of followers writing down his every word? Will she have an ethereal glow? If you are looking for any kind of sign you are doing something wrong. Know what it is? You’re looking for a teacher! Stop that.

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