Sunday, April 12, 2009

don't begrudge others

Around here, it's a beautiful Easter Sunday morning. Cloudless blue sky, sunshine, cool-but-not-cold temperatures. It would be a nice morning for zazen, but the various post-op bullet holes in my abdomen make zazen seem unwise. So John, who called yesterday to say he would come irrespective of company, will have to pick up the slack this morning and sit for both of us, so to speak.

Easter. I suppose I could weave a tale about that. Resurrection. Transmogrification. Joy in the wake of sorrow. Magical doings. Churches full of beautiful flowers.

This morning I read on a Buddhist chat board the questions of a fellow who was bound and determined to understand the set-up on a Theravadin altar ... how it was composed, what it might display. He seemed pretty serious about it. There is probably a tale there as well, but just now I can't seem to find it.

All I can think of is ... don't begrudge others their hopes and dreams and philosophies and religions. Agree, disagree -- that's OK -- but don't begrudge them.

Aren't we all like dogs chained in the backyard -- dogs that rush out to play or attack only to find themselves held back at the end of their chains, choked uncomfortably by hopes and dreams and beliefs and philosophies? It may be an uncomfortable metaphor, but isn't it true ... brought up short of the goal by the very invitations to that goal?

I kind of wish the Dalai Lama hadn't said it (people have a tendency to think that if the Dalai Lama said something, it is somehow extra-true instead of being just true) but I certainly do agree: "Everybody wants to be happy." Fools, sages, anyone at all. Isn't it just true?

Let's not begrudge others who are not one whit's different from ourselves. To begrudge them is just to shorten our own chains. Nobody wants to be brought up short. Everyone wants to be happy.

Enjoy the chains as long as necessary.

And then ....

Well, it's a beautiful Easter morning here. I hope it is the same where you are.

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