Word


I can preface this by telling you that all of it made more sense while I was lying in my bed listening to the semi-erratic snorings of my husband with intermittent cooing from our 8-week old. I can’t sleep. Lying there waiting for the thoughts to stop racing has become routine. I always contemplate getting up to write, but I ultimately end up filling out myspace surveys or playing different variations of bejeweled or solitaire. Tonight while I was lying there I thought of a blog I wrote a while back with random thoughts in it. It made me realize that most of these ramblings seem way funnier/interesting in my head. It made me see that I am pretty arrogant to think I can just sit down and write something quickly and people will not only get it but wait around to see what I write next. Hmmm. notsomuch.

I wish that when I wrote, the first thing I wrote would fall to the end of the page, as if the page were a gigantic pitcher, then the rest of the thoughts would fill it up. Either way, I never finish talking about what I started talking about.

I have been thinking a lot about religion. I know that can be a touchy subject, what a relief I don’t care what other people who read this nonsense believe. I respect it, yet I don’t care. I get angry sometimes when I think about Christianity. I guess part of that is based on my personal experiences with it, but mostly it’s because it just doesn’t make any sense to me or really anyone who believes in a little thing I like to call scienctific proof.

I have taken the time to give a brief glance at several religions that worship God and believe in Jesus as their lord and savior. I was raised Missionary Baptist. Most people don’t know the difference in Missionary Baptist or Southern Baptist. I don’t either. My dad told me we were Missionary so I just believed him. I think it has to do with the position of the deacon who molests you. Anywho…maybe that’s just at our church.

I don’t believe any of the bible lessons I learned as a kid anymore. King James Version by the way in case you care. I believe in the moral lessons I was supposed to learn, the Golden Rule, the 10 commandments, mostly…mostly…but I absolutely don’t believe in God. It feels kind of liberating to say that out loud. I simply don’t believe it and I haven’t since I was about 12. I had different reasons for non-belief then, you know, 12-year old reasons. Now, as an adult I like to call my reasons VALID. I should segway, I didn’t sit down to bash on God or Christianity. Not at all. I totally respect everyone’s religious beliefs. It just so happens that Christianity is widely accepted and believed in my family and in my country. I do not have a religion. I don’t worship anyone or anything. I don’t pray. Though it is odd, when something bad is going down, it’s my first instinct. I guess I was raised to do that, but I don’t practice it any longer. Some call it “breaking the cycle”, but my husband put it best…he calls it “unplugging” kinda like the Matrix.

In the past 2 years I have been learning about Buddhism. It really isn’t a religion, there is no God to worship, and Buddhists do not worship statues or “idols” as the good old Missionary Baptists call ’em. The basic concept of Buddhism is this. “I am going to tell you the 4 noble truths to life. If you don’t find that these things work in your life, seek out your own truths.” Ta Da! No pressure, no guilt. I don’t think I will ever consider myself a Buddhist, as with any following there are pieces of it that I just don’t feel I should physically have to do to be considered a Buddhist. Like I don’t wanna chant and I don’t want to live in complete poverty -(and that’s actually very Buddhist-like of me to abandon the parts I don’t believe. My mom always did say I picked out what I wanted to hear…) I do however find the 4 noble truths to be noble, yet truthful. Here they are, simplified:

1.) Life as we know it is suffering, or dukkha. (I like to call it drama)

2.) Suffering is caused by craving or attachments to worldly pleasures of all kinds. This is often expressed as a deluded clinging to a certain sense of existence, to selfhood, or to the things or people that we consider the cause of happiness or unhappiness. (We always want what we don’t have, to be who we are not, and comparison of our things or selves to other worldly things is what makes us feel inferior and suffer and that brings us back to DO, a deer, a female deer…)

3.) Suffering ends when craving ends, when one is freed from desire. This is achieved by eliminating all delusion, thereby reaching a liberated state of Enlightenment. (Make yourself happy with your life. Meditate. Realize you don’t need all these things. Don’t get caught up in the silly machinery. Live inside each moment. As my friend Stephanie says, “Suck the juice out of life.” Stop wanting what you don’t have. Stop trying to keep up with the Hendersons)

4.) You can accomplish enlightenment by following the noble Eightfold Path laid out by this dude they called the Buddha a long time ago. He’s kinda like Jesus for Buddhists, but he didn’t claim to turn a couple fish into a freakin’ buffet for 900 people and there was no turning evian into smirnoff or whatever. He was a dude, I am gonna go out on a limb and say he was a “midnight toker” if you know what I mean, and he came up with this theory. The only thing they say he did that was kinda out of the ordinary is sitting under this joshua tree for like 80 years…I know it’s a stretch, but c’mon dude, it’s not like saying he died and came back or made blind folks see…here’s the cool part…if you don’t believe it…relax. You don’t have to go to hell or eternal damnation or any of that silliness. You just don’t believe it. Pretty simple, no punishment for not buying in. Just go on about your bidness. No harm. No foul.

So if you are still curious about the Eightfold Path, read on my brothas and sistas:

Tian Buddha

The Noble Eightfold Path, the fourth of the Buddha’s Noble Truths, is the way to the cessation of suffering (dukkha – yeah sounds a little like dookie…which is ironic because it’s all about suffering and we all know suffering. It’s a crock of dukkha.)

It has eight sections, each starting with the word samyak (Sanskrit, meaning correctly, properly, or well, frequently translated into English as right), and presented in three groups:

GROUP ONE
Prajna is the wisdom that purifies the mind, allowing it to attain spiritual insight into the true nature of all things. (free your mind and the rest will follow) It includes:

dṛṣṭi (ditthi): viewing reality as it is, not just as it appears to be. (basically, not believing in something, but knowing it. Unlike religion where you are not supposed to imagine what God looks like or even see Him. You are just supposed to believe He is there.)

saṃkalpa (sankappa): intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness. (you are not important, you are not to be harmful to yourself or others)

GROUP TWO:
Sila is the ethics or morality, or abstention from unwholesome deeds. It includes:

vāc (vāca): speaking in a truthful and non hurtful way (so don’t lie and don’t gossip. And bite your tongue. My mom has been trying to teach me this my whole life.)

karman (kammanta): acting in a non harmful way (don’t do stuff that hurts people or the world we live in)

ājīvana (ājīva): a non harmful livelihood (pretty simple. Don’t make money from doing things that are harmful to you, others, or the world we live in.)

GROUP THREE:
Samadhi is the mental discipline required to develop mastery over one’s own mind. This is done through the practice of various contemplative and meditative practices, and includes:

vyāyāma (vāyāma): making an effort to improve. (you ain’t perfect. you won’t be perfect overnight, but you have to continuously work toward the goal of being peaceful and harmless)

smṛti (sati): awareness to see things for what they are with clear consciousness, being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion (this one is tough. you have to see the world in reality. not sugar-coat it. admit your faults, dude. the truth often hurts. feel the sadness, reap the bad karma. admit when you are wrong.)

samādhi (samādhi): correct meditation or concentration (learn how to center yourself and block out any outside drama. find a way to heal in your own mind. Kinda like going to your happy place. It’s hard to do.)

The practice of the Eightfold Path is understood in two ways, as requiring either simultaneous development (all eight items practiced in parallel), or as a progressive series of stages through which the practitioner moves, the culmination of one leading to the beginning of another. Me, I can only work on one at a time. I have a potty mouth, and I can’t clear my head. Those two are my biggest ones.

I cut and pasted these terms from wikipedia. I have books on Buddhism, but this was just a way to get it out there. Buddhism is considered a religion by most. I don’t think of it as a religion but a way of living your life in a way that is honest and harmless. I have always found myself to be a pacifist, a bit of a hippie if you will. I want the world to be a better place, but I don’t want any beliefs or religion shoved down my throat. I have chosen to pass on what I see as truth. An interesting thing I learned about Buddhism is that people always have problems. Even people who don’t want to admit it, even problems that seem like CAKE to other people. You can choose one problem and focus your energy on it, and ultimately you may even resolve it. But it will quickly be replaced with another. You should live your life knowing that your life will never be perfect. Comparing your life to the lives of others is often why you feel as though your life is flawed. Think about it.

Find happiness in the simple things. Find happiness in your life. No, it isn’t perfect. It never will be. Find a way to make your fleeting life worthwhile. You really never know when you will leave this place. I try to do this every day. I try to live my life as though I will not live another day. Every day I tell my family I love them. Every day I wake up thinking today will be better than yesterday, and guess what? It is.

Life’s a garden, dig it.

Peace.



Do Work.


It is no secret that I am not down with workin’ for the man. I believe that 99% of who I am and the image I want to portray is literally being held down when I get up each morning and join the other drones in yet another uneventful hum-drum day at the office. I am good at what I do, but just because I am necessary does not mean I am important. I realize that. I don’t pretend to like accounting. It is NOT my bag. I am far too entertaining to sit there in the nerdery with the other nerds and their calculators (no offense to nerds and calculators) and deal with the monotony. Please know I am completely serious when I say it’s like killng myself on the installment plan, but it is not as fun as doing it with heroin or alcohol.

I want to be a writer. I want to put stuff out there that people can relate to. I want to make a difference. I want to make people laugh. I want to make people go hmm. I want to get conversations started. I want to change stuff. I want to show people that we are all unique, just like everyone else. I want to succeed at something I love and find some chump to pay me for it. I want to roll out of bed at let’s say 10-ish and be at the office. Is that so wronG?

My initial goal was to write a book. I even wrote a preface and some bullet points for subject matter. Then my loving husband bought me a website, so this is now my outlet. I am going to share all of it here. I am going to spillit all to whomever is curious/bored enough to read it. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you know I am borderline retarded. Sometimes I rant, sometimes I rave, sometimes I cry, sometimes I sit on the washer during the spin cycle because it tickles my mommy parts. I hope you enjoy what you see here and I hope you give me feedback. Good or bad. I can take it.