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Dept. of Sunday

Things I Learned This Weekend

1. I'm really not Buddhist, not in the least. I tried to read a book I picked up at the library, which had been recommended by a friend. It was written by a Buddhist nun, and it was about how to try to approach, or in some way deal with, difficult times. It's something I need to learn how to do, so I wanted to read this book, this very slim little book.

I managed about five pages of it and ended up yelling at the book. There was no way I was going to make it to the end, slim or not. The language made me roll my eyes, I kept arguing with individual sentences. Individual sentences, people; I was arguing with words on a page.

BB, who has a much more Buddhist nature than I have had read a bit of the book; when I told him the book made me extremely angry (and that's the thing I'm trying to deal with), he sighed and said "This isn't the book I'd have suggested for you to read." He was right.

And more generally, I was reminded that I'm not Buddhist in the least, as I said. I know that the dark is part of this world; I know that death is part of this world, but I'll be goddamned if I have to like it, or accept it.  I'm with Dylan Thomas; I'll rage against the dying of the light.

2. I was reminded, once again, of how much I love BB. 

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/656265.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2017 03:56 am (UTC)
Living in a culturally Buddhist country, I can also confidently say that while there is much to admire in it, Buddhism is not the belief system for me. There are darknesses that need fighting, and I can't see myself changing my outlook on that.

Edited at 2017-03-27 03:58 am (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2017 06:45 pm (UTC)
My own philosophical foundations are much like yours, although we didn't continue along the same paths. And I am a very linear person. Both of those things argue against us being comfortable with some of what I understand to be the key concepts of Buddhism. Mind you, I suspect you have a sense of patience that eclipses mine, so you'd probably be better at it than I would be. I am not a patient person.
Mar. 29th, 2017 07:47 am (UTC)
Ha! Well, I'll take that as a compliment, but I am most definitely not a patient person, either.

But I mean, I don't even believe in predestination, in the Calvinist sense, so the chances of me developing a Buddhist-type outlook of acceptance are pretty darn low!
Mar. 29th, 2017 05:12 pm (UTC)
I don't even believe in predestination, in the Calvinist sense,

Heh - I just got a mental picture of John Calvin looking utterly horrified after someone told him that some of his ideas conform to Buddhist ideals. I think he might have fallen over had someone told him that.
Mar. 31st, 2017 04:35 am (UTC)
Heehee. That mental image makes me snicker.
Mar. 31st, 2017 12:25 pm (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2017 11:54 am (UTC)
Heh, well, if a thing isn't for you, it isn't, really. :-)
Mar. 27th, 2017 06:45 pm (UTC)
Indeed. Rule of thumb; if it makes you want to throw a book across a room, it's time to back away from it, slowly, and look elsewhere. Heh.
Mar. 27th, 2017 03:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, heck, just reading Marie Kondo's book made me realize there are good ideas in the world that, while I might agree with some of them, just aren't going to work for me.

Actually, I think part of acquiring wisdom is realizing that not all good ideas are going to work for you, and that's okay.
Mar. 27th, 2017 06:49 pm (UTC)
While I have learned how to look at things in perspective (a skill that's been painful in the learning, and only partially acquired), and while I think it's a good skill to have - it's certainly helped me avoid panic or undue sorrow on many occasions - I can't go farther than that. I can't "live in the moment" and I can't "turn fear into tenderness" as this undoubtedly very nice lady advised.

Gah. So, yes, what little wisdom I've learned to date tells me that these beliefs and practices are not for me.
Mar. 28th, 2017 04:48 pm (UTC)
There's a lot of stuff I'm never going to do: meditate, practice yoga, become a vegan, practice a formal religion on a regular basis, travel widely, cull my wardrobe to nine or ten articles of clothing in only black or white, stop eating sugar. I'm never going to get up at 4 AM and exercise (the one time I tried it, I almost threw up). I get that there are people out there who do those things, and that those things bring a lot of meaning to those people's lives. But those things are never going to bring meaning or joy to my life. And that's okay.
Mar. 29th, 2017 05:13 pm (UTC)
You know, that was beautifully and elegantly written. And I agree with it 1,000 percent.
Mar. 29th, 2017 06:18 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked! : )
Mar. 27th, 2017 05:27 pm (UTC)
Was that Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, by any chance?

I have issues with acceptance, too--I've mostly run across it in a health/anxiety management context and while I can do the "I accept this is a thing that's happening" or "I'm not going to hide under a blanket until it stops" and that has been really helpful to learn, when it gets to the, like, looking a problem in the eye and shaking hands with it, or being chill with it riding shotgun in the metaphorical car of my life, I want to run away screaming.
Mar. 27th, 2017 06:51 pm (UTC)
when it gets to the, like, looking a problem in the eye and shaking hands with it, or being chill with it riding shotgun in the metaphorical car of my life, I want to run away screaming.

Seconded, with a great deal of emotion. Not only do I want to run away screaming, my next response is to want to run back toward the thing and beat it to death with a stick. Not very civilized of me, much less Buddhist ....
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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