Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Buddhist Poke In The Eye With A Sharp Stick?

We need art with our Dharma, don't you think? Otherwise the offering wouldn't be quite complete. Just a little art patch on a monk style bag. Functional art, wearable art, whaddya think?

And the Dharma on my mind doesn't tie in remotely with the art other than the Buddha is some how implicated. A lot of teaching came to me via yesterday's post. If you read the comments you might have noticed that someone googled ICARUS and it's spokesperson and they were not to be found anywhere on the internet. When I went to search I found a posting on "One City, One Dharma" where they had gone through a lot of back and forth regarding this writing on "Buddhism As Best Religion" and the sniffometer was pointing toward something smelling a little funny. The product of someone's creative pen?

Now this clever creative pen offered some interesting teaching. Because the message in the piece seemed pleasing to me I just accepted it without question. Nothing oddly skunky until some-one pointed out that it perhaps smelled a bit off. I didn't stop to wonder why all the clerics from other traditions would jump on the Buddhist bandwagon and leave their own religion languishing at the station in the dust. So my logic and reason were lulled to sleep when the writer tapped into my pride (in that I do think Buddhism is a preferable religion, if I had to choose). A cautionary note to self suitable for many occasions. We often easily believe things that uphold our current opinions.

And while it is good in many instances not to be suspicious, questioning is what the Buddha asked us to do. "Think about things," he said. "Make them your own. Don't just believe what I tell you." This instance gives me the opportunity to look at the fact that sometimes I can trust too much, too soon. It is an opportunity to remember that it's good to take time (ah, patience) and digest things prior to swallowing them whole. You can get a nasty stomachache from swallowing things whole, especially if they are a bit off. So a little patience combined with some attention would have been good seasonings to have poured on this little email.

But in the end I was extremely amused that the whole thing was an invention by a creative mind. Someone who knows Buddhism it would seem, and someone doing a little instructive Dharma, don't you think? Helping us see how we get egg on our face. I loved the bit at the end where the article says no Buddhist could be found to accept the award. Ironically many of us were patting ourselves on the back for belonging to or being associated with such a selfless group. And yet weren't we accepting the award by believing the story and passing it around? An amusing piece of writing with a lesson packing a bit of punch. Maybe Brad Warner wrote it in his sleep before he was wide enough awake to throw in a few four letter words. I gather he likes to go about poking people with sharp sticks. Although this one definitely got me in the funny bone.

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