I find it humorous when people who do not like what I have to say accuse me of being a poor excuse for a Buddhist in their expert opinions. I have never once claimed to be a spokesperson, representative or otherwise of Buddhism. Ever. I defy the classification. I practice Buddhism, but I am not a Buddhist. I never implied that my practice makes me perfect nor a perfect example of how to behave. Everyone has their own path. (Ironic that people judging me and lecturing me about Buddhism don’t realize that.)
I understand the confusion because of the history I have of championing Buddhist thought, Buddhist philosophers, Buddhist influences but there is a huge difference between adoring and promoting ideals you find intriguing, and asserting some illegitimate claim to a non existent throne. I am not the queen of Buddhism. Never said I was. Will never say I am. (Buddhist pun). I am a student of Nagarjuna. I have never read anything quite as elucidating as his Mulamadhyamakakarika regarding the essence of reality and logic. Mind blowing! I believe the bundle of conditions into which I was born has set me up to represent the spirit of Vimalakirti. I strive for the freedom of Zhuangzi and I find comfort in the dictation of Laozi. Their philosophies changed my life for the infinitely better. I hope my respect for them shows through when I continue their search for meaning and the ability to let go of the need for it.
So that is that. I am not so much a religious Buddhist, although I do meditate. I know that it is in man’s nature to need to quantify every bit of data they take in, so for those of you who wish you understand my religious leanings, I would encourage you to learn all you can about the Bhagavad Gita as this can be seen as the most profound spiritual guide I have discovered in my quest. A quest that has spanned over 20 years, a search for the ultimate truth. I highly recommend Eknath Easwaran’s translation. Out of the six I’ve studied, it is by far the best and I believe available on line. The truth “is” is not that I “am” a Buddhist. If you must call me something, I recommend
In essence, I believe I was born into the dharma of public service. It is not always pleasant, but it is a necessary job. My dedication to the truth stems from a belief that every conflict begins with a misunderstanding. The only way to clear up a misunderstanding is to get to the truth. Some people like to dance around this process. I am not one of those people. I will not apologize as a practicing buddhist for being true to my Kshatriya dharma. I find it possible, nay, inevitable that the two concepts are not separate. I understand people like to wallow in the mire of misunderstanding rather than face an unpleasant truth. My view is that it is not compassionate to stand by and allow that to happen without at least saying something. (And that regardless of how detrimental or damaging their actions have potential to be, people do not always appreciate reasonable input.) What I say may change no one’s mind. I only can plant seeds, I cannot tell them how to grow. But I fail to see the compassion in allowing another fellow human being make a huge mistake with out at least trying to reason with them, regardless of how uncomfortable it is. If reason doesn’t work, you keep reaching in your tool box for ways to approach the situation with the least bit of devastation possible. I couldn’t live with myself if I watched others destroy themselves without just pointing out how their fates were their own.
It is a metaphor, just like the Gita, but until order is restored, someone has to police the chaos. Kshatriya.
Namaste Lord Krishna.