My Thoughts on Buddhism

Buddhism has been around for a long ass time but I find that it’s become almost like the in thing to do lately in western society.  Kind of like yoga and green tea.  What drives one to look into Buddhism?  Probably a dissatisfaction for one’s own life.  If you liked your life you wouldn’t go out of your way to flip it upside down.

A couple years ago, I began studying Buddhist teachings.  I bought books (and read a couple of them too!), took a course with a bunch of other curious folks, meditated here and there, and watched spiritual Buddhist like videos on YouTube.  It seemed great at first but after a while it felt like everything else that seemed great at first.  When you’re looking to fill a void, you put a lot of hope in the first thing that makes some sense.  Buddhism makes sense but I feel it only works well in theory for most of us.  Just because it makes sense it doesn’t really mean it’s possible.  Being a devoted Buddhist means denying your natural human instincts and desires.  That’s the whole point really.  You hate your life cause of your monkey attitude so stop being a monkey.  I think Buddhism works effectively to an extent.  It can make your shitty life less shitty but I find it doesn’t do much more.  It’s not suppose to bring you to happiness, it’s just meant to take you out of the shitsphere.

Buddhism pretty much leads you to live a boring life.  Instead of idolizing rockstars and millionaires, it rather you emulate dudes with shaved heads who sit around with their legs crossed trying to take themselves out of life.

i went to the meditation centre about a year ago.  There’s one by my place and there was going to be this monk giving a lesson so I thought I’d check it out.  It was cult like.  Everyone in the room treated this guy like God.  You have to stand up waiting for him to walk in the room and when he does, everyone bows.  Everyone addressed him by some title that I can’t remember.  When we got to doing these chants I felt like getting up and walking out.

One of Buddhism’s main teachings is to do away with your ego or at least as much as you can.  It sounded great at first but now I sort of regret stomping on my ego.  The ego is like a vital organ.  It keeps you wanting to live even when your life blows.  It’s irrational and stubborn but it does its job well.  It gets you into big trouble but without it, you lose your zest for life.  Having a big ego is obnoxious but having a healthy one is probably beneficial.

The quest for spiritual enlightenment of any kind is great but when faced with the daily grind of a long life and its category 5 hurricanes, can one just meditate it away?  Can you trick yourself everyday by rationalizing that everything is just fine?  That it’s really the way you look at it and not the way you feel?  Sometimes but not all the time. Maybe if you live in a monastery where you’re secluded from life.

I see Buddhism as a compliment to an already decent life and an escape from a shitty one but not really the answer.  Yes I think we should calm our ego, stop chasing unfruitful desires, be more compassionate and all the rest but to be a full time Buddhist seems not possible.  If someone with a gun is pointing it at me while I’m in my car, I’m going to run them over and not call the ambulance.  Sorry compassion, you have to take a backseat to Mr. Monkey, otherwise I’ll be involuntarily meditating in the hospital bed or a casket.

Semi-conclusion…I guess if it’s working for you keep doing it.  We all need something to believe in.

 

 

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Stuff around my home

Pretty bored these past couple of days and I don’t got much drive to do anything.  Freaking sounds like depression.  I really don’t think I’m depressed though.  I just don’t believe in anything.  Denial? I think the list of symptoms of depression are long enough that everyone has 1 or 2.  The ones that got me thinking about it recently are loss of interest for usual activities and withdrawing from friends and family.  Isn’t it possible to just become tired of your usual activities, friends and family?  I never really liked what I usually did for “fun”, I just did it cause I thought I was suppose to.  The same goes for friends and family.  Maybe I’m not happy but at least I’m not lying to myself anymore and there’s some peace to that.

This was suppose to be a post about stuff around my home wasn’t it.  Let me get back to that.

 

This is a plant that has been deceased for 3 years.  Someone gave it to me but I couldn’t keep it alive.  It was just too demanding.  I promised never to love again until I was ready.

plantdead

 

This is my new plant.  I found it at the supermarket and the label said it didn’t need much light or water.  I was like holy shit, I can do this.  A year later we’re still together.  This thing goes weeks without water and I keep it inside where there’s not much light.  I wonder sometimes if it’s even real.

The ceramic Indian inspired elephant was something I got off Craigslist.  I love these things.  There’s nicer ones but I don’t know where to go to get them.  $50 for 2 of these.  He stays outside and guards my front door.

plant

 

 

This is my weed grinder.  I hardly ever even smoke weed but this thing is so cool.  It’s suppose to be a decent quality one too.  I figure I could keep this for life anyway even though I’ll probably lose it one day.   The operation of it is really smooth.

grinder2

 

This is the grinder taken apart.  It has 4 pieces to it.  The weed gets grinded and the finest particles go to the bottom.

grinder1

This is my radio I turn on every morning while I’m getting ready for work.  I listen to news, weather and traffic.  I don’t really need to listen to traffic cause work is only 5 minutes away but it makes me feel good to hear all those suckers are stuck somewhere in a highly congested route.  I don’t mean it, they’re not really suckers but it still feels good.  I get a little joy from other peoples misery, so what?  Not like I can do anything about the traffic.   I bought the radio from a flea market for like $50.  Ya I know, it looks like something you would have to pay someone to take away.  It’s made in like 1970 or 1980.  It’s not that easy to find a decent radio these days.  They’re starting to become extinct.

radio

This is my plant again closer to its actual living spot.  Behind it is my Buddha statue.  I bought this when I got all into Buddhism and spiritual stuff.  Got kind of boring.  Hahaha.  I’ve spent a lot of energy throughout my life looking for some kind of meaning or direction.  I even opened up to the Jehovah Witnesses and hardly anyone is ever that desperate.  They were so excited when I showed interest.  Now I can’t fully get them off my back.  They write down your address and give it to whoever is doing that route that day.  One day these 2 younger guys knocked on my door which is in the back of a house cause I rent.  I accused them of having my location on their list and they denied it.  They said, “no we don’t, we go to the back of houses all the time.”  I know they have a list cause when I see them walking around they’re looking at this piece of paper all the time.  This other time there was this older Jehovah Witness guy and he would come around during my lunch break.  He knew I was home cause my truck was parked outside.  I told him next time to come on a weekend.  So what does he do?  Next week he knocks on my door while on my lunch break again.  I didn’t answer and he never came back.  Hehehe.  When they found out where I worked they informed the Jehovah Witnesses at work and then they started bugging me.  I just act all grumpy when they start inviting me to things.

I like Buddhism better cause you’re not obligated to try very hard and they’re so forgiving.  Not sure what I will explore next.  Maybe crazyism.

 

buddha2

When you’re not feeling so great it’s good to get some exercise and fresh air.  The shitty thing is when you don’t feel so great you don’t feel like doing anything.  It’s like trying to get a job when you don’t have any work experience but every job asks for work experience.  The End!

Is it possible Happiness does not exist?

I’ll admit I have believed in happiness for 98% of my life.  The last 6 months or less being the 2%.  My belief in happiness was similar to that of  someone who believes in Jesus.  You believe it exists but have never seen it and neither has anyone else you know of.  However, you’ve seen it in movies and people always preach that you can find it.  No matter how many years go by without real evidence you just keep on believing.

I’m not so sure anymore.  Well, I think I am sure.  I don’t think it exists.  Not the everlasting kind that we’re all looking for and for sure not for most of us.  Definitely there’s spurts of happiness here and there but that’s just the same as getting high or drunk.  We’re looking for one long semi euphoric rush that never meets a come down.

If you think about it, “happiness” is just a word to describe a feeling.  There was once a time that no such word existed.  Maybe the idea of being happy only existed when the word was invented.  Happiness could just be a fairy tale.

Telling someone happiness does not exist is like telling a 5 year old, Santa Claus doesn’t exist or a die hard Christian that Jesus does not exist.  They won’t believe it and won’t even entertain the idea.  Who wants to believe the one thing that everyone is striving for does not exist?

The way I see it is, happiness is like the dangling carrot.  We’re designed to desire it and chase it but not have it for very long if at all.  You may have heard before that we were all meant to be happy.  No we weren’t.  We were all meant to ensure the survival of our species and to continually figure out ways to enhance it.  Since when did anyone design anything for the sole purpose of someone else’s happiness?  The universe does not give a shit about your happiness.  It’s just a lure to get you to reproduce, continue eating and to search for a more comfortable habitat.

We want to believe in happiness because we spend so much of our lives not being happy and struggling for some kind of peace.  We want to think there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is worth fighting for.  Perhaps we’re not miserable but we’re not usually flying high and that’s where we’d rather be.  That’s why we snort, drink, rectally induce and swallow.  But that’s not real happiness, right?  It’s as real as any other happiness..short and depressing after.

Why is it happiness is different for everyone and everywhere?  Howcome it’s not like 2 + 2 = 4?  You see  some of these 3rd world inhabitants on TV saying how happy they are even though they work so hard for barely enough to eat and they sleep on dirt.  Are they telling the truth? Were they just having a good day?  I don’t know.  Possibly they feel happy because they get the high feeling more easily.  Daddy brings home an apple for 4 of them to share and they go bonkers.

The whole happiness idea is more of a developed nation thing.  When it’s so easy to survive we get bored and then we get unhappy because there’s so much time on our hands.  If surviving is so easy then what?  How about finding happiness!

Happiness is this memory and dream that we chase.  Our monkey brains are designed to go after these things that we think will make us happy.  When you think back on the times you were happy, you want to go back to those times.  You want to recreate them for your future.  You watch movies and see these people so damn happy and you’re convinced if you lived a life closer to theirs you would be happy too.

I think the happiness that people chase comes in the form of envy and acceptance.  You try to be the best you can be in your community.  Trying to be happy is really just trying to enhance your community and yourself.  The feeling of envy and admiration from your community is the happiness people are chasing.  I don’t think you can be “happy” by doing nothing.

The most unhappiest thing one can do is chase something that doesn’t exist and fail miserably.  Believing that there is possibly no such thing as happiness provides me with a sense of relief.  Screw you nature, I’m not falling for your dirty trick any longer.  I must sound like such a miserable SOB.  Hahaha.

I do believe though there are some lucky ones out there that live a mostly happy life.  I sort of believe this because there’s people out there who are always depressed no matter what so isn’t it possible there’s some out there who are almost always happy?  Like a lean mean serotonin machine? Who knows.  The thing about happiness is that just like religion, science cannot disprove it.  As long as it cannot be disproven people will always believe in it.

Although I don’t really believe in happiness like I did before, I will welcome it anytime and entertain the possibility because I can’t help myself.  Just like when powdered, pilled or liquid happiness comes around, I just say yes.

Just wanted to say that I don’t rectally induce anything but if you do it is ok.  It gets to the bloodstream faster that way.

 

Exercising The Mind

The mind is no different from anything else.  If you want it to get better, stronger, etc you have to work on it.  It’s true with everything else in life so why wouldn’t it be true with the mind?  Stronger muscles, learning an instrument, sports, you name it.  If you want to improve you have to keep working on getting better.

Getting in the routine of thinking negatively is so easy just like eating shitty food all day everyday, never getting off the couch to exercise, staring at the TV everyday, you get the idea.  I bet if you spent everyday constantly thinking positive thoughts, sooner or later it would bring you to a better state of mind.  The thing is though it’s so difficult to believe this will work and just as hard to practice it.

You can see the results of progress from other people when it comes to wealth, looks and anything visible to the eye.  You can’t really see the progression of happiness from someone and be able to measure it.  There’s no denying someone looks better, has a nicer car, has a significant other but seeing and believing someone’s happiness is not as easy.  We’ll often deny we see it just to make ourselves feel better about our unsatisfactory lives.

It’s the same with ourselves.  It’s really difficult to see and believe how much negative and positive thinking affects our mind.  You can’t make a progress chart, which often kills the motivation to continue thinking positive.  You also can’t make a progress chart on how negative thinking is affecting you so the negative thinking can continue without much thought.

Just like all other aspects of life you can put yourself in an environment to set yourself up for failure.  If you want to stay healthy you can’t hang out with gluttonous sloths all the time.  If you want to learn about sociology you don’t walk into a math class.  If you want to have a positive mind you don’t step into places where you have to constantly battle negativity.

To always think positive thoughts takes discipline and the belief that it will work.  You really have to stick with it like any other regimen.  Am I talking fairy tales here?  Feels like it sometimes. There’s just so much crap in life it sometimes feels impossible to get a positive break from it all.  I can get pretty negative sometimes.  It feels good to go on the path of mental self destruction sometimes.  Isn’t it a fairy tale though when it comes to most of your negative thoughts?

Feeding your mind positive nutrients instead of a routine of negativity.  It’s probably worth a shot.  It’s not easy but at least it’s free. Negative thoughts are like tasty junk foods.  It’s easy but hard to give up and it makes you feel bad.  Positive thoughts are like healthy foods.  Not much initial satisfaction but one day soon you will see and feel the benefits.  I think positive thinking is mostly a recent philosophy not really existent in hunter gatherer times.  Life is just so much more complicated and also more easy now that we need positive thinking to not go crazy.

I used to think positive thinking was just a method of tricking yourself to not be sad about your shitty life but now I kind of think whether sad or happy it’s all a trick anyway.  It’s all in the mind, right?  I’m going to try this positive thinking crap more often.  I hope you do too.  Like the Jehovah Witnesses say when you stump them on a question about their religion, “you just have to believe.”

 

Clean your place, clean your mind

It’s one of those things in life that have been swept away from our consciousness and buried under decades of life evolving rubble.  For most of my life I never saw the real benefit of keeping a place clean and tidy other than the fact that it was more pleasing to the eye and pleasing to my mother.
As we go through life we usually never have a difficult time collecting more stuff but have issues with letting them go no matter how useless they are to us now.  We don’t see it affecting us cause it happens so gradually similar to the aging process.  You see yourself in the mirror and you’re like whatever but when you see a picture of yourself from just a few years ago you’re like, “*%$#@(*.”

Just like all the crap and messiness in your home it happened slowly and your mind slowly adjusted to its new surroundings but was never pleased.  Imagine you left a clean and tidy home and the same day you came home to a tornado of a mess.  It would be unacceptable and you would probably do something about it right away.  It happened too fast for your mind to accept such a drastic change.  It’s like waking up one day with a wrinkly face.  You’d freak out and do something about it even if that something was jumping off a building.

 

Not too long ago I decided to just throw out anything I probably would never need and declutter my place.  I wanted my place to be as space efficient as possible.  I didn’t care that most homes had a coffee table, if it was taking up too much space and I could do without it then it had to go.

When mission was accomplished and the dust settled I realized something.  This became more than just a cleaning project.  It became a realization that it was something spiritual.

Once there was less of everything in my environment there was less my mind had to deal with.  Having my belongings in an organized manner sent visually less confusing projections to my mind.  The inside of my home was much more simpler which brought a kind of peace to me internally.

The coffee table was a representation of conforming without being conscious and the realization of its unimportance was sort of an awakening.

A home is a lot like life.  It starts out empty and along the way you add things.  Some things stay with you for long term and others not so much but there’s probably a bunch of things you don’t need and should get rid of.  It’s hard to let go but if you don’t it’s just another obstruction.  You think by adding more to your home or life will make it more positively evolved but often the less you  have the more simple and peaceful your life will be.

 

Are you happy?

How do most people come up with an answer when they are asked this?  I have a few theories.

A common one is to never show weakness and always say “yes.”  Doesn’t matter if their husband left them for a younger woman or if their wife left them for a big black man last week, they will always say, “yes.”

Probably the most common one is trying to figure out their happiness on paper and then root on the side of happy.  It’s like paper happiness.  You would think of things in your life you like vs the things in your life you don’t like so much and if there is more wins in the happy column then you’re happy.  If the happy column is losing and it’s the 4th quarter you just have to trick yourself and add some ringers to that team.  You always hear people say something like, “ummm ya, overall I’m happy.”  Isn’t it you’re happy or you’re not?  I don’t know, I guess you can be so so happy and so so not so happy.  I think in this kind of situation there’s probably a big aspect of their life they don’t like but they have something that keeps them going like kids or retirement.  Or beer.

To show you I’m not completely cynical, negative or too real I do think there’s a good number of people who are genuinely pretty happy.  They will tell you they’re happy cause that’s just how they usually feel.  I can’t say I’m that way.  I generally have a “whatever’ feeling or when I’m feeling positive I’ll say, “I can’t complain.”  I’m too honest.  That’s why it’s so hard for me to get a date.

I think to be one of those genuinely happy people you really have to be living life the way you want.  You have to have supportive and accepting people around you.  Staying healthy by sleeping, eating and exercise always helps too especially when you get older.  You definitely can’t be concerned with keeping up with the Joneses.  Being able to let go is a big one too.  Not just with past situations but with thoughts and ideas that hold you down.  Being selfish don’t help at all either.  Being able to give just to make someone else happy and to not even expect appreciation shows there’s at least some happiness in you for sure.

So am I happy?  I definitely can’t define myself as happy.  I don’t feel it.  I’m very happy about some things but happiness is not usually my state of mind.  Although, I’m going through something right now that is somewhat depressing me but I don’t feel like talking about it here.  I do remember though just a while back when I had not much and nothing plaguing my mind, I was pretty happy.  I had next to no social life and stayed home a lot but I was feeling very positive.  Looking towards a more spiritual path did wonders for me.  I guess I’m not immune to the bruises from the bumps on the road of life.  I guess like everything else though it will pass.  Like gas.

Actions say everything

We live in a society of so much fluff, kind words and unfulfilled semi promises.  No one says what they mean or means what they say.  Expectations that are given are never realized.

It’s always so easy to say that you care, that you will call someone or better yet tell them to call you that way you don’t have to do anything but when it comes down to it the actions hardly ever match the words.

Everyone always likes to say that they care just because it seems so nasty to say that you don’t.  You say you care about this person you call your friend but ask yourself in what way do you really care.  Just because you wouldn’t want to see them get hurt or die doesn’t mean you really care.  I don’t want to hear about anyone in this whole entire world to get hurt but it doesn’t put them in my actual caring category.

Often the case is that people only care about their own guilty conscience.  They care when this has to be cleared.  If they don’t know you’re in need then it’s all good but if you call them and ask them for help then they have to care.

Seriously, if you haven’t talked to a person you consider a good friend for several months and they live in the same district as you then you’re not really caring and you have to question the validity of your good friendship.  What would you call your friendship if you spoke even less than that?  It be pretty much nothing so what makes you good friends?

All the other people you care about in your life, how often do you talk to them?  Your mom, sister, wife, dog.  I bet you don’t go that many weeks without speaking to them.  I guess in this society, depending on the label of the relationship, certain ones carry some higher obligation and some less.  We’re always infatuated with labels.

People will think you have a f’d up relationship if you only spoke to your wife every other week but if you only spoke to one of your good friends every other year you would probably get a pass.  You know, life’s been too busy and all.  Or you just don’t really care.

Shit man, in half a year someone can get depressed and kill themselves.  You could have a friend like this.  I suppose you can say, “you didn’t know” but what’s the likelihood anyone in that situation will just call you and tell you.  I guess calling just to see how someone is doing is just too much.

If you really care about someone shouldn’t you make it a habit to call them.  No one is that busy to call anyone they care about.  If you are then you’re just too busy to care.  Follow through with your words and promises because someone might be counting on you.  Broken promises can pave the way to a lifelong path of negativity.  Spread the positivity and the compassion instead and hopefully we can infect the whole world one day.