Sunday, December 14, 2008

To boldy go... the direction of having the courage of my convictions:

It's 17:01 as I write this, for those who wonder what she's babbling about, that would be 5:01, but for a Trek fan, it's not as much fun. So I kid you not, all the clocks in the house as set to 24 hour notation, not 12 hour. I lose one BOB o'clock a day, what with it being 20:08 and all, but I get a map of the day that isn't daylight dependent. Having spent to many years in situations where there was no way to look out a window and figure out if it was 5:01 in the morning or night, I just use 24 hour time. Makes my life easier and less confusing. Plus some of the career choices I had in the past required all paperwork to be annotated in 24 hour time. Live that way long enough, and a clock that say 5:01 twice a day is a confusing experience.

So I wrote something in reply to one of Alan's comments that I wanted to share here, simply because I like what and how I wrote it, and what it said about me:

Well, you and I have discussed privately my penchant for talking to complete strangers (and often the stranger the better) while out and about. For me, it helps lessen the interminable wait on line, and it spreads just a little bit of Dharma wherever I go. Someone envies something they see or sense in me, I do everything in my power to share it with them in a way that turns the envy, and the willingness to talk to me about it, into a blessing.

My path, my journey through life, is about lessening suffering in any shape or size it may present itself. Mine, someone else's, doesn't matter to me. I live my path, and practice what I don't preach. To borrow a line from a M*A*S*H episode I once saw;

"I am Buddhist person"

And for me, that means spreading sunshine and joy in every direction from me, whenever I can. Not in a bible thumping "my way or it's the highway to hell with you" kind of proselytizing that is so favored by so many, but in a "what would Buddha do" way.

So I spread joy when and where I can, and am as open, honest, available, and approachable to people in a religion not included fashion as possible. I like to think of it as living my faith rather than preaching it while doing something else. I like the middle way best myself, being a positive, real, live, example of what's good about it without making it into a federal case, or coming off like some mindless, hypocritical rube who harangues people because it's about control, not faith.

I like to think of it as the Tao of Sam... But really it's Buddha who showed me how to get here. So the Tao of Buddha then no?

So that made me think of Trek, and what I loved about it. The whole go out, wander about, doing the RIGHT thing, and then leaving. Right as in the 8 fold path, not in "might makes Right," or the religious right. So in a way, this post could even be considered a "What I learned from Star Trek kind of thing, but not really." I mean don't get me wrong, there was this whole neo-buddhist attitude that I can see now through the whole franchise that warms the cockles of my heart, but does so without coming off as preachy. I kinda like that.

I suppose that's why so many Judeo-Christian types don't really consider Buddhism a real religion, despite the fact that we were around more than a thousand years before they were. So I always find it kinda funny.

I also find some comfort in the fact that I can, and do now say, with a certain sence of peace, and pleasure, "I am a Buddhist person" and really feel that it's true. So, I thought I'd share that with you who might not read the coments.



Véronique said...

If Buddhism is a religion for you, no problem, but I don't consider it a religion. I think it's better. For me, Buddhism is a practical path to follow, a set of guidelines that I have found work well for me. I don't have faith in the Buddha or the Eightfold Path. I stick with it because of evidence that it helps me.

Samantha said...

Oh no worries Luv, I don't really consider it a religion either, but many other people do. So it cuts down on having to go into the technicalities of post graduate work in theology... Just a shorthand of sorts...

I quite agree, it's impact on my life has been powerful and profound, and if asked about my religion, I'll tell folks I'm a Buddhist to cut down on arguments or deep theological conversations.

Yes, help me, and other folks too, so I'm all for it. Even if they don't know what it is!

alan said...

So very many think they know what things are all about when they really haven't a clue, but no amount of discussion is going to convince them of it!

Pardon me if I find comfort in the person you are as well...

I very much like what you wrote as well, and very much believe the same ideas, though I'd have not been able to put a name to them.

Having spent more than half a century watching major "religions" not only condemn each other as "false", but even the subdivisions within, perhaps "philosophy" is a much better option for us all!

Once again, thank you for being you!


Chandira said...

Amen to that sister!

yes, to quote my own Master, 'What religion owns the Holy Brightness?'

That's in my blog title, and I love it. Divine Ignorance (as in the constant and deliberate remembrance that none of us know what anything really is), is well worth practicing. That is where the real Bliss is.

Samantha said...

Ironically enough my Dad insisted I take Karate when I was young. Found an excellent teacher, one who took only special students. Kinda like Mr. Miagi before he was cool. I was taken before this wisened Japanese gentleman as my father implored him to take me on as a student. He looked at me pointedly and said who are you and why should I teach you? Out of almost reflex I gave him a half bow, and said "Knoble Sensei, I am no one, and know nothing. I would greatly appreciate an opporunity to share tea with you, but first I must learn."

I'd been exposed, and remembered enough to have some idea what was going on. Needless to say, he took me on as a student. Some of the best things I learned, I learned from him, and while I can easily, to this day, pass my hand through a brick,that wasn't the real important stuff I learned from him.

I love your line about "what religion owns the holy brightness" that one I'm going to have to remember because it is so true!