First Thoughts

… bird tweeting outside my window… not sure what kind it is but it starts singing well before the other birds do in the morning…

… no alcohol three nights running, generally feel better this morning and any morning where i haven’t drunk the night before… even modest amounts seem to have negative impact… have i lost tolerance for it?…

… i will have a blood panel done on Friday… i am nervous about it… i am always nervous about it… i always imagine that something bad will come back in the results… on the other hand, it will be good to be back in the routine…

… i have been following a line of thought in my head about being a Buddha… the base question being, can you be a Buddha without being known as a Buddha?… i have only skimmed the surface of Buddhism though it attracts me more than most religious systems do… i suspect the Buddhist answer to the question is “of course!”… and, possibly, “it is the preferred way!”… and possibly, “it is the only way!”… it may sound like a silly question, but i don’t think it is, especially when framed within a consumer society that places great emphasis on celebrity and accomplishment that people know about… if one were to loosely equate an instagram influencer with a Buddha, then the point is made clear… one of many things Buddhism is about is letting go of ego… for an influencer, having as many followers as possible is the goal, which is all about ego… that is, being known as an influencer, someone that should be listened to and emulated… my sense is that a true Buddha does not proclaim their Buddhahood, nor seek to have others proclaim it… a true Buddha does not seek followers… the world of people can recognize Buddhahood or not, and when recognized, they can learn from it or not… each of us has to decide to seek Buddhahood or not… if we decide to seek it, we do so because of what we might come to understand about ourselves and the cosmos… not because we will become renowned Buddhas…

… social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are built to addict people to a culture of liking and following… they lead us astray to anti-Buddhahood… the anti-Buddhahood of attention paid to me…

… i have been very susceptible to this anti-Buddhahood… i am changing that… i am withdrawing from Instagram and Facebook… i have removed their apps from my phone as of yesterday… i will only check in through my desktop computer, once a day at best… interestingly, today i received an email saying someone i know has posted on Facebook… i have never received an email like that before… the anti-Buddha beast senses my attempt to withdraw and is trying to suck me back in…

02 The Daily Read:

Issa haiku…

… a remarkable set of poems this morning, of the six i read, all six stand out for one reason or another…

… the first pictures a dry river bed seen by the light of a lightning strike… a river bed that is about to flow with water again… a creative mind about to be released into creating by a powerful experience… a poem about summer rains?… where i live, rivers are more likely to be dry in the summer… thunderstorms and heavy downpours are more likely then too… there is also the threat of flash flooding… to much water in too little time…

… the second begs a flea not to jump, as the river is where it will likely land… i suppose it is very Buddhist to wish continued health and well being on even a lowly “nuisance” creature… i would have flicked it to it’s drowning death… of course, the poem might also be about undertaking challenges that are too big, perhaps the flea is the novice, beginner mind, that wishes to forge ahead too quickly and will be drowned if it does?…

… the third talks about how being in this world is like walking on the roof of hell, distracted by the lovely yellow flowers… a poem about not being willing to do the hard work of facing all aspects of one’s reality?… of not admitting the horrors of life which abound… of only being able to acknowledge the pleasures of life, superficial as they may be…

… the fourth is about being naked on a naked horse riding through the rain… now there is a foundational nature image… i read that the Japanese worshipped the horse as a god and “believed that the “divine spirit” appeared in the human world on horseback”1… i also read that the horse is very important in Buddhism… Siddhartha2, the future Buddha, had a white horse that was his favorite and which transported him when he escaped from palace life and began the journey of becoming a spiritual leader… and so, the image of naked human on naked horse in the rain is a deeply spiritual image?…

… the fifth is about a fly wringing its front and hind legs, begging not to be killed… again, i would struggle to be a Buddhist in such a situation…

… and the sixth is about a cat frolicking on a scale and weighing itself… this catches my attention because i wonder what sort of scale would have been in use during Issa’s lifetime?…