Can’t we all just get along?

I wrote a post in June of 2017 called, “why am I so angry?” I talked about how I began to notice my anger towards religion, Christianity in particular.  I imagine it’s specifically projected towards Christianity because that is my background and here in the south, I’m surrounded by it at all times.  I’ve noticed that I’m not as angry any more.  I don’t really know if that’s better or worse or maybe just doesn’t matter?  But, that seems to be the case.  I didn’t say not angry at all, just not as much.  🙂

I still look at pages on social media like God on Facebook and Jesus on the Internet and stuff like that.  Many of the posts make me laugh.  But I’m sure that part of the reason I look is because I still have issues with religion.  It might always be that way to some degree.  Just stay away from the comment sections.  Wow!  I’m not sure why so many Christians comment on these sites?  I’m not sure if they are trying to change people’s minds about God or get them “saved” or what?  But very quickly, on both sides, they turn into arguments.  And those arguments quickly get personal.  It’s like sitting in a middle school cafeteria listening to students argue.  “I don’t agree with what you said”  “Oh yeah, well, you’re a jerk!”  “Your mom’s a jerk!”  And it just goes downhill from there.  At this point, it’s obvious that no one is open to the other’s point of view.  I’m not sure if atheists go to Christian sites and try to convert them, or troll them, or not?  Probably.

For myself, I try to keep in mind something that Timber Hawkeye (author of Buddhist Boot Camp) wrote that I mentioned in the angry post:
You don’t have to agree with, only learn to peacefully live with, other people’s freedom of choice. This includes (but is not limited to) political views, religious beliefs, dietary restrictions, matters of the heart, career paths, and mental afflictions.
Our opinions and beliefs tend to change depending on time, place, and circumstance. And since we all experience life differently, there are multiple theories on what’s best, what’s moral, what’s right, and what’s wrong.
It is important to remember that other people’s perspective on reality is as valid as your own. This is why the first principle of Buddhist Boot Camp is that the opposite of what you know is also true.
No matter how certain we are of our version of the truth, we must humbly accept the possibility that someone who believes the exact opposite could also be right (according to their time, place, and circumstance). This is the key to forgiveness, patience, and understanding.

I often have to remind myself that my beliefs are not right and everyone who believes differently is wrong.  Like Timber said, time, place, and circumstance.  If I were born in Turkey instead of the US, my beliefs would probably be drastically different than they are now.  If I was born 100 years ago anywhere in the world, my beliefs would probably be drastically different than they are now.  And if I’m still alive in 30 years, my beliefs will probably be at least slightly different than they are now.  And that’s ok.  🙂

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Still here

Hey all.  I just wanted to put a short post out there, letting anyone who might read my blog from time to time know that I’m still out here.

I’m working too much again.  And the work is really insane.  So any extra brain power that I might use for writing is being sucked into the abyss of US commerce.  And I am trying to find enough energy, at least a few days a week, for the exercise that I enjoy and desperately need.  Thus, no posts.

But, here are a couple of things I’ve been thinking about.

Fun.  I need to have more fun, and/or do more things that I really enjoy.  For example; I saw the Foo Fighters here in Memphis.  Wow!  It’s the second time I’ve seen them live in the last 3 years or so.  I’m not a big concert goer anymore, and not really a big Foo Fighters fan.  But damn.  They are so much fun to see live!  They just rock your face off for 3 hours or so.  I really enjoyed it.  I was pretty much laughing or smiling or both the whole time they played.  I know that life isn’t made up of hilarious fun all the time.  In fact, most of life is very mundane.  And finding enjoyment in the mundane is part of all this.  But having something like that, more than once a year, is probably a good thing.

Spiritual practice.  For me, it’s important.  Now, what do I mean by “spiritual practice”?  It could be meditating, yoga, spending time in nature, praying, going to church, going to see Foo Fighters, or any number of things.  One thing I believe right now (and this could change, thus, shifting beliefs) is something that several spiritual leaders have said in the past; you already are what you are trying to become.  I don’t think that a person’s spiritual practice makes them more spiritual.  But I do think it helps you to see that you already are spiritual.  I’ve referenced this quote before by Thich Nhat Hanh and I love reading it every time I see it:
“You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you. The kingdom of God, the Pure Land, nirvana, happiness, and liberation are all you.”
I believe that my spiritual practice (which includes reading, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and tai chi; which all kind of fit together) helps me to see this and hopefully live more fully in that reality.  It’s very obvious to me when I’m not practicing consistently.  The way I react/respond to the stress of everyday life is not preferable.  LOL
So, whatever it is that helps us remember that we already are what we are trying to become, maybe we can make time for more of that.  🙂

I am reading when I can.  I’m still reading Mark Nepo’s “The Exquisite Risk” and Phap Hai’s “Nothing to It”.  Also, I’ve started reading Stephen Bachelor’s “Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist”.  Very interesting so far.  No, I still can’t read just one book at a time.

I hope you all are well and hopefully I’ll have more to write about soon.