Monday, March 1, 2010

The Un-Buddhist

When people find out that I'm a practicing Buddhist they're a little surprised, I suppose because I don't fit their image or notion of what a Buddhist should be like or even act like.  That alone is an issue, but not for me to wrestle with here.  I normally respond to their quizzical looks with, "What?!!  I have the haircut." 

People's preconceived ideas of what Buddhism is or isn't is actually a source of great humor for me.  Practicing Buddhists are seen, at least in many minds, as peaceful, stoic, and deeply thoughtful, but I'm here to tell you, 'that ain't me'.  My wife often chides me about being the most un-Buddhist Buddhist that she has ever known; of course I think I'm the ONLY Buddhist she has ever known for what it's worth.

Being a Buddhist, in my very uninformed opinion, does not make you emotionless, its exactly the opposite.  Emotions are very intense and well-felt.  When I'm happy, I'm happy; when I feel saddened by something, I'm sad.  It's that simple.  I think the difference is that I don't carry those emotions around with me for days on end, letting them dictate my thoughts and actions.  Emotions are like a house-guest, when they're present they get all of your attention, and when they leave… they're gone.

As far as being 'deeply thoughtful' is concerned… not so much :)


Anonymous said...

Now this last line perplexes me. Seems like you are one of the most deeply thoughtful people I read. Maybe it's a question of word choice? Dunno.

Eric said...

Nah, I'm not very thoughtful at all. My father is thoughtful... I've got a ways to go yet :)

lorraine said...

I read your site because of the way you think of things and the things you see that I don't. As a nurse I understand "game on" in the next post. We "know" when this is serious and all focus is on. It filters over to other situations too. You write so well about what you feel and think - keep it up and no more long pauses, O.K.? lorraine