October 31st, 2001

red panda eating bamboo

Well, it's true in my heart

LEVEL 5-- TOMBOY
You are a womyn who spent her youth fighting to get on her local Little League team. You excel at sports and have season tickets to the WNBA! You have many scars on your body from old skateboard accidents and falling out of trees. Currently you have road rash from eating it on your Razor scooter!

How Do You Rate?

red panda eating bamboo

Friday

7:00 am

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday Dear Stef
Happy birthday to me
I'm 40 years old today.

Collapse )

  • Current Mood
    Older and not older
red panda eating bamboo

Reading as spiritual practice

Here is something I wrote in jenett's journal.

She wrote:

For those of you who hold religious or spiritual beliefs, do you think that reading about the subject is a good thing for you/a thing you think you should be doing, or do you think that reading about religion/spirituality is bad/undermines your own faith?

An important part of my spiritual practice is reading the writings of Westerners who have studied/practiced Buddhism as adults.

But I really don't like reading much about paganism or shamanism, the other aspects of my spiritual practice.

I did read a lot about paganism when I was first learning about it, but I got burned out on reading about it. The doing part of it appeals to me more. I don't even like to talk about it very much.

I don't think it's bad, in an objective sense, to read about paganism. And "faith" doesn't describe my pagan views. But reading about paganism does tend to undermine my connection to paganism. If I read about it, it starts to seem foolish somehow.

I read a little bit on shamanism, but learning it in workshops seems to work better for me than reading about it. I like to talk about it, but mostly only in a teaching context or in a sharing-experiences context. I can't stand arguments about techniques or dogma (examples on requst, for those who can't quite envision what a shamanic dogma would be, *grin*).

I was raised Christian, and I have developed a renewed interest in it lately (although I don't consider myself to practice it). I did a lot of reading on the history of Christianity in college and in my university press job in my 20s. But I don't like reading about Christianity very much either -- I much prefer to ask people questions about it. (I might be asking online and thus reading the answers, but that's different from reading books about it.)

I have read here and there in Judaism, another religion that is part of my life (my OH's family are practicing Jews and I participate in some of the family rituals), but mostly have learned what I know about it from people who were raised in it.

[I had never thought about the differences in the way I approach those things, and I find it fascinating. Some people go "Oh, I am visual-kinesthetic in how I learn" or whatever. I don't seem to be any particular thing, preferentially.]

  • Current Mood
    geeky geeky
red panda eating bamboo

Silence.

I think I need more spiritual practice / ritual in my life and I want it to be silent. I wonder if it makes sense to look into doing some Buddhist practice.

[opening browser]

Kannon Do
292 College Avenue Mountain View, CA 94040 (650) 903-1935
WEDNESDAY EVENING
Visitor Instruction 6:30 p.m.
Meditation 7:10 p.m.
Service 7:50 p.m.
Lecture 8:00 p.m.
Visitor greeting / Tea 9:00 p.m.

If any LJ folks reading this know anything about Kannon Do, or other organizations that might help me accomplish my goal, let me know.

red panda eating bamboo

What to say and do.

I am reading about the notion of "correct speech" from a web site on Buddhism. The Pali Canon teachings of the Buddha disapprove of:
talking about kings, robbers, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity [philosophical discussions of the past and future], the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not

debates such as these -- 'You understand this doctrine and discipline? I'm the one who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you understand this doctrine and discipline? You're practicing wrongly. I'm practicing rightly. I'm being consistent. You're not. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You're defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!'

running messages and errands for people such as these -- kings, ministers of state, noble warriors, priests, householders, or youths [who say], 'Go here, go there, take this there, fetch that here'

scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, and pursuing gain with gain

such lowly arts as: [various forms of quackery]

or they earn their living by counting, accounting, calculation, composing poetry, or teaching hedonistic arts and doctrines

From elsewhere on the site (I think this is written by the site's maintainer, John Bullitt, but I am not sure):
In the suttas, the Buddha speaks again and again of the many rewards awaiting those who follow the Path, long before they reach nibbana: the happiness that comes from developing generosity; the happiness that comes from living according to principles of virtue; the happiness that comes from developing loving-kindess (metta); the happiness that comes from practicing meditation and discovering the exquisite bliss of a quiet mind; the happiness that comes from abandoning painful states of mind; and so on.

and

purchasing a piece of dead animal meat....may indeed help keep the butcher in business, [but] I am not asking him to kill on my behalf. Whether he kills another cow tomorrow is his choice, not mine. This is a difficult but important point, one that reveals the fundamental distinction between personal choices (choices aimed at altering my own behavior) and political ones (those aimed at altering others' behavior). Each one of us must discover for ourselves where lies the boundary between the two. It is crucial to remember, however, that the Buddha's teachings are, first and foremost, tools to help us learn to make good personal choices (kamma); they are not prescriptions for political action.

I think I like that. It seems hard, in the subcultures I run in, to get clarity on the difference between personal and political action. I know that "the personal is political," but I know that I feel overwhelmed by that at times.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious
red panda eating bamboo

It.

This is about something very hard that's been going on in my life for more than two years. It's actually resolved now, but it wasn't on Saturday morning when I wrote this.

Collapse )

  • Current Mood
    scared scared
red panda eating bamboo

Resolved.

The meeting seems to have gone well. I waited in the garden outside while they talked. A long-haired cream-colored cat that reminded me of my kitty Booboo joined me and sat on the bench getting pets from me and listening to birds. The cat's name, on a collar tag, was Tikkun.

When I returned to the waiting room toward the end of the session, I heard laughing several times. They hugged when we left.

They seems happy with how the meeting went. They said they hadn't decided what sort of relationship they were going to have, but I was no longer to be an information conduit between them. Apparently they both ended up with wrong information about each other's wants. I am not at all surprised about that, and not being in the middle suits me just fine.

It's going to take me a while to process all this, but I'm getting an inkling of just how much it has been bugging me on a not entirely accessible level for a very long time now. I am hoping that I will feel lighter and relieved of a burden. I have been in a pretty dour state of mind.

  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved