Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Baghdad Buddhism

A green awning. I love the way it transforms the light when standing underneath it.

There's been a mosquito in my room every night bugging the living hell out of me. I have all I can do not to wake up, hunt it down, and squash it into oblivion. All life is sacred, I'm told, even the pesky mosquito's. I endure and wish it well.

It’s hard to reconcile living in a war zone while at the same time relishing all living things; quietly sitting zazen with a 9mm tucked under your shirt. The contradictions here are endless but at the same time so are the opportunities; for compassion, kindness, and empathy. It reminds me of the opening lines of Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”


Anonymous said...

I want to say "grow a set" Eric. It's kill or be stung. You or the mosquito. When I was rolling around in pain suffering from dengue fever I kept wishing I'd squashed a few more bugs.

I guess Buddhists have the same dilemma in war... "mmm... someone's shooting at me, but I better not kill them because all life is precious". You could just crank up the AC and let it go into suspended animation. I hear that's how the Dalai Lama gets out of that particular predicament.

I know you're counting the days till I get back home to Baghdad!

Anonymous said...

I've always thought it was interesting how the Japaneese feudal society incorporated Budhism after it had passed through China. In the end, it comes down to: If you are detatched from the outcome of a action, Karma will guide your blade. This means if it was'nt the bastards time then no matter how hard you try, your blade would not cut.