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View Diary: I sucked at Buddhism last night (257 comments)

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  •  I have a car, but it's not a good car, (1+ / 0-)
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    nuclear winter solstice

    because it can't fly.

    Buddhism is for what Buddhism is for.  It's not an engine of social change.  It's inward looking.  I'm not a Buddhist, but I at least recognize that much about it

    Your teacher really may be an ignorant asshole or just bad at his job.  His example isn't very good, I suppose.

    But I find compassion a bottomless problem.  Do you ever watch wildlife flicks?  Did you ever see a lion chase down and catch a Thompson Gazelle?  It's beautiful, yup.  Beautiful from the POV of the filmmaker and from the POV of the lion, certainly.  But the look of shock in the gazelle's eyes, its rapid last kicks and gulps of breath...  

    Start to think about it, if that's you.  And it's repeated over and over again, not just in mankind, but all over the world, hundreds of millions of years of that.  Maybe you can sluff it all off by separating the pain of humans from the pain of dumb animals like Thompson gazelles.  I find it a bit harder.  

    And yet I still eat meat, just like that lion.  I still vote for the continuation of the same relentless process of death and birth and pain with every bite I take.  I don't approve of it.  I just can't process it all.

    So if your teacher has to explain the pain of the world via analogies involving cream for your coffee... well, whatever works for him, I guess.  There are deeper theological and metaphysical questions that need to be asked but have no clear answers.

    •  re: wildlife flicks- (2+ / 0-)
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      Dumbo, Creosote

      exactly. I was going to watch Meerkat Manor with my granddaughter, but I saw enough of it first to cry and cry over the way things turned out for some of the critters I had come to care about and couldn't share it with her 'cause she's still too young for that much.

      She's getting there though. We have a wild grouse that comes out of the woods and up on our porch looking for not just food but companionship (don't ask me why, but she adopted us I guess.) Anyway, the same day the grandkids met the grouse I had a turkey in the oven...Very strange to contemplate and try to explain how we choose to feed some birds and eat other ones, from the point of view of a 4-year-old. Why do we...? Yet I've never been able to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle for long.

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