I’ve studied through the slogans a dozen times in my life;
these are my musings on the slogan currently, not a formal interpretation.
For that reason they are less about straight Buddhist teachings,
and I think able to be shared with most practitioners of other faiths or no faith
(unless yours doesn’t allow you to read any other tradition.)
If you have time and the inclination, I published the WHOLE thang here!
Late but oh well… Mom is taking precedence these days.
I’ve reach a section of the slogans where there are many that seem so obvious,
so easy to understand, things as a young Catholic I was taught,
things my family taught me I needed to do in order to be a decent human being.
I am always floored they need to be elaborated on.
Yet in sanghas around the world,
(and churches around the world though not called lojong slogans)
they are taught thoroughly, and so much of the difference
between dysfunction and a decent human being lay in these ideas.
When I read these, the simplicity of “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you,” is what comes to mind. When I am working the slogans and these happen to land in my altar, I breathe in all the pain and suffering caused by the lack of care in these issues,
and breathe out that phrase, envisioning a world whereby people CARE.
SO TODAY I ASK,
WHY ARE THESE SUCH AN ISSUE?
In the USA, we’ve elected a President who does the opposite of each one of these.
He makes fun of those with birth defects.
He uses women and makes jokes about rape.
He tweets his (mostly) lies about whomever he is angry at that day.
When the world is mourning, he attacks.
He is never wrong, never has been, never ever done a thing.
He does not take responsibility.
He is beyond competitive… even with his own children.
I bring this up not to be political, because my issues with this administration are waaaaaaay beyond politics, as I am daily horrified as to what is happening and
how easily the American press is about what is happening. I want to point out the
utterly depressing fact that even if you don’t agree he won an election, many many people voted for him. Many many people align with his way of being.
Many people want to harm the poor, thinking they are inferior and do not count.
Many people do not care what happens to children once they are born.
Many people want to harm the elderly, leaving them cold, hungry and abandoned.
Many people hate on gays or people of color.
Many people are okay with women being used for their bodies without consent.
The press is gleeful that they have someone who drives ratings;
ratings is all they care about, even if it is harming the people and our country.
If you think that I am wrong, then why did so many people
vote for him when he made these issues clear before the election?
I come from a split family politically and my Republican family is not like THAT.
In our home, when we denigrate, even in some of our discussions about politics,
we always look at where this issue may be lurking in our own psyches.
So I ponder our current politics and the evil behind this administration,
take it to the zafu when meditating, in order to fine-tune my own habitual mind…
and what I see, is that when very angry or fearful, I tend to think about
revenge, greed, etc… minds do that… but I don’t act on it.
Maybe I did as a child and was upbraided by my mom for my actions.
I remember a few incidents at 7 or 8 years old.
She usually taught me to think about how I’d feel if it was done to me.
I thought about it; I didn’t like it. Gradually the grossest things shifted, and even when someone harmed me, I didn’t retaliate in an infantile harmful way.
I confronted them and got angry directly, and later would begin to tame that tendency.
Anger harnessed properly can be a productive force.
I’ve never been able to stop my mind from any negative crappy thoughts,
but I can stop my actions, I can do what is right.
In the refinement of Buddhist teachings, one tries to stop the negative mind games too, and I try, and usually fail woefully. But I stop my actions!
In the last two decades we’ve had seven people try to harm us in various ways.
Three were unbalanced family members.
Okay, I get that, even if I didn’t deserve it… it hurt.
But their stuff is a bit easier to see clearly. And in each case I did not harm, a good test.
The others were just people… Yes, we can say they are disturbed,
gads people who try to do others harm are disturbed!
Active alcoholism in involved in some…
Jealousy? A spurned sexual encounter?
Hating men (then I am the outfall with Mitchell as a mate)?
While it has always been a pain to fight through these things to balance,
each time the one thing that depresses the crap out of me is the why?
Why would anyone go out of their way to harm someone,
especially one who has not harmed them at all,
possibly even sometimes championed them?
I don’t struggle with the action of “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.”
I struggle with my vindictive thoughts, and if the Universe is trying to get me to clean up
my negative thoughts, good luck on that one (I am laughing as I write this.)
When attacked, I still think about someone getting their due…
I can resolve to clean that up too but I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.
After all, a lifetime of meditation and I can’t always get my mind to quiet!
I struggle with the heinous nature of the people who would go out of their way to harm.
It rocks me to my core, depresses the crap out of me.
It can take me out, make me sob, make me wonder why humans are allowed such power by the Universe / God / Goddess / The great IS.
This is why what is going on in our country is so far beyond politics.
It is about decency, basic goodness, and evil.
We don’t need to be enlightened to have the world be a better place,
we simply need to BE DECENT PEOPLE and vote to support decent people,
if we can find any to support.
Okina Journal, with pen and ink,
©D. Katie Powell.
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