Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category

On Being Happy

Posted: 06/11/2012 in Buddhism, Happiness, Karma, Practice

I have no idea what to write. True story. I sat down to my laptop with the intent of writing a new blog post, but my mind is blank.

And that’s a good thing.

I’m not pecking away at the keyboard bitching about the bullshit going on in my life, complaining about finances, work stress, my son’s attitude, etc. Typically this is where I would vent about the pressures and troubles in life, and what I’m doing to get through it by applying Buddhist principles and meditation and shit.

In general, my stress level is pretty low, I’m not worrying so much about everything, and overall I’m one happy motherfucker (thanks in part to having an awesome woman that came into my life 6 months ago). However, the analytical asshole that I am, I wondered what changed, so I’m going to spit-ball a bit on this…

I think in the beginning of following this path, I used Buddhism as an escape from reality, and maybe I’m not alone in that. We get all fired up about this new thing, working toward being awakened, or enlightened, or finding nirvana, yadda yadda yadda, that we lose sight of what is the real deal and think we can meditate our problems away.

Time still passes one second at a time. Life is still happening as soon as we drag our ass off the cushion and the incense dies out, so we don’t have a choice but to deal with the challenges that arise. Realizing that everything is impermanent and applying the Eightfold Path are keys to just being happy. Basic shit, amirite?

Yeah, the bills still show up, people can be dickweeds and everyone on the road is a horrible driver but you. Keep in mind that eventually you will be able to pay that bill, you can’t control how people act, and there is nothing you can do about shitty drivers but keep calm and continue to your destination (oh man, this is the hardest one for me).

This is what I’ve tried to put into action lately: To be happy, practice BEING happy.

Now, enjoy some Deadly Light, video below. And don’t forget, life is short, meditate naked. Peace out! \m/

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

I am Jack’s smirking revenge.

I am Jack’s raging bile duct.

I am Jack’s wasted life.

Fight Club is one of my top 5 all-time-favorite movies. If you’ve seen the movie, it goes without saying that there are many memorable quotes. I said it anyway because maybe one of the 3 people that read this blog have not seen the movie.

After watching it for the eleventeenth time a couple weeks ago, I sat down to meditate before bed. My mind was racing and I couldn’t relax, because I couldn’t stop thinking about all the stressful shit in my life.

The Buddha called this experience “monkey mind,” where thoughts run through your head like a monkey swinging through trees, not able to sit still. If you’re anything like me, you waste energy trying to tame the monkey, and that’s after you’re worn out just from trying to catch it. Next thing you know, you’ve forgotten all about the breath and frustration sets in. My nature is to beat myself up over things that don’t mean much; I sweat the small stuff. I have to learn to go easy on myself and just get back on track. Eventually I will be able to control the frustration, just shrug it off and keep going. No one said this would be easy, that’s why they call this “practice.”

I am Jack’s monkey mind.

365 Days

Posted: 07/22/2011 in Buddhism, Inspiration, Practice, sangha, Social

A year ago today, I became part of a simple idea that has literally taken Buddhists all over the world by storm. A friend of mine from Twitter, @TheZenOutlaw, came up with an idea to send out a tweet whenever we were going to meditate. Other followers joined us in giving shout-outs. Then it blossomed into people all over the world joining together in meditation, all types of practices. I don’t have much to say other than I’m glad to be a part of something so cool.

Happy Birthday, Online Meditation Crew!

 

\m/ Meditate and Destroy! \m/

Confession

Posted: 01/29/2011 in Buddhism, Precepts

I have a confession to make that may draw out some criticism:

Me being a vegetarian has become an epic FAIL.

I don’t have a lot to say about this. I feel I made a valiant effort, but found I just couldn’t do it. I’m not going to blame it on the fact that I moved in with my best friend who is an amazing cook, and the food he makes is irresistible. I am a big boy and I can say no if I want to.

I’m going to be completely honest here. Being a vegetarian (haha I just typed “vagetarian.” I’m still THAT LOL), turned into more of something for others than it was for me. I seriously thought more about what other Buddhists would think rather than the correct intention of not eating meat, and that’s not right. I also fell into the mindset that “oh, if I don’t become a vegetarian, I’m a hypocrite.” I guess I’m just not to the point in my practice yet where I can quit everything cold turkey that goes against the precepts.

I’ve had a rough few months personally that I won’t go into detail here, and my practice has seriously been lacking. I’m just at a point in my life where I have some shit to deal with. No, I’m not quitting this blog and I’m still a Buddhist.

That’s it, I don’t know what else to say, really.

Whenever we take a road trip somewhere, we have to stop for fuel or to take care of our human necessities, so we stop at a gas station or rest stop along the way. We need to get out and stretch our legs after being cooped up in a cage. I have related my practice to a road trip and for the past couple months I have been hanging out at the rest stop.

This past summer, I was off work for a couple of months so it was easy to focus on practice; meditating multiple times a day, devouring Buddhist-themes books, write on my blog, etc. When work started again and I’ve been getting up at 2am and driving all over Northern California and Nevada, getting back each day to spend a few hours with my son, then take him home so I can go to bed just to get up and do it all over again the next day, it’s been wearing on me. This means my practice has suffered, and I can tell in my attitude and stress level. In addition to trying to be a good father and the busy-ness of work, the tertiary bullshit in life has been wearing on me as well.

Because of seemingly jumping back into the same boat I was in mentally and emotionally before I started this practice, I’ve made it a point to pack up and leave the rest stop. I’ve stretched my legs enough, and now it’s time to get back on the road and continue this journey. See you on the road.

 

Meditate and Destroy,

\m/ Metal Buddha \m/

Fishing - Silhouette

One reason I started this blog was to document the various experiences and challenges I have on this new path I have chosen to tread. Here is one challenge that is really messing with my head:

As I study more about Buddhism, I find that there are certain concepts and experiences that are so ingrained in my mind and way of life that it’s difficult to change my view to where it aligns with the precepts. I wanted to discuss one renunciation that has turned into a quandary for me, and that is the act of fishing.

Common sense tells me that fishing would fall into the “cause no harm to living beings” precept. I understand the fact that the very act of baiting a hook, whether with a live worm or plastic baits, in order to entice a fish into biting that hook and impaling itself in the mouth causes harm to a fish, and of course the worm if you use it. Trust me, I get it.

The reason it’s difficult for me to renounce is that I grew up fishing. My father was a man’s man: a carpenter, hunter, fisherman, mechanic, etc. He had quit hunting before I was old enough so I’ve never been hunting, but we still went fishing. It was wonderful out there experiencing nature, spending time just being quiet, hanging with my dad and learning how to be a man. I would give anything to be able to have him back, but those are fond memories, and I’m wavering from my topic. Anyways, when we went camping, we would always go fishing, it’s just part of that lifestyle, they go together like peas and carrots. Now that my friends want to plan a camping trip, I’m wondering what to do. I mean, besides fishing or going for a hike, what else is there to do while camping?

I can’t wait to get out into nature and just experience the fresh air and the retreat of it, but when it comes time for fishing, it’s going to be a challenge. Not just because of the questions that will be asked, but also the fact that the activity of fishing has always been fun for me. I’ve always loved going to sporting goods stores and shopping for fishing gear, organizing my equipment, the challenge of getting the fish to bite, being bummed out after a day of getting skunked, the whole she-bang. It’s so ingrained into my lifestyle, that all of the sudden refusing to do it anymore is boggling my mind. I’ve gone fishing for 30 years. I’ve been a Buddhist for less than one. Some lifestyle changes are going to be hard to swallow, I completely get that. Like becoming a vegetarian, I haven’t quite been able to make that jump yet, but I digress. I’m just talking about fishing here.

What I’m saying is that I do understand that the act of fishing is the act of causing harm to a sentient being and goes against the Buddhist precepts. I just wanted to put fingers to keyboard and document an issue I’m having on my path. If anyone would like to comment about this quandary I’m having, whether it be an insight or an insult, please do.

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