i have a friend who is buddhist. it's helped him get through a lot - war, cancer, more cancer, brain surgeries, seizures, etc. he'd probably tell you his buddhist practice is the thing that's saved him.
over the years, he's tried to get me to think about it too. i've told him no thanks, i'm an outlaw. i can't be a buddhist. he says come on katy, outlaws can be buddhists too.
i've said no, really. i think i'm too stubborn. he says that's actually a good trait for a buddhist to have. (he's stubborn too, continuing to persist.) i still say no. i'm not patient enough. the truth is, for some reason, i think i'd make a horrible buddhist.
is there such a thing?
have you ever noticed how buddhists seem to accept their own realities as a kind of 'truth?' they see, therefore it is? (or something like that?)
he says regarding any kind of misfortune, which serious illness is, the buddhist's say it's not a matter of why me, it's more a matter of why not me?
he tells me the first is a question. the second is an answer.
I never asked why me btw. I'd say if I did.
did i say i was buddhist? no. but he goes along as if i am, la la la, asking, have you been practicing your breathing?
can one practice that?
he says katy, close your eyes. breathe in through your nose. out through your mouth. in a quiet place by yourself. start with 5 minutes a day. only 5. just breathe.
over time, it's crept up to 15 minutes.
(did i ever say i was doing the 5?)
the lessons have continued. make your mouth into a circle, and produce a 'who' sound when you exhale.
i've tried this.
i've found myself breathing during the interminable waiting for countless test results these last few months. i've remembered to breathe thru the contrast MRIs and wire insertions, and weird needle piercing biopsies and during the sci-fi back to the future breast compressions, and inside those far away sterile rooms waiting to go into the surgeries.
i'm not saying i'm a buddhist, but i've gotten pretty good at the breathing.
there is something to it, it definitely helps.
it's been a nice surprise.
i'm not saying i've 'graduated' from buddhist pre - school, into buddhist kindergarten, but the lessons are expanding.
because now the lessons are about acceptance.
he says 'i don't mean to preach,' (uh huh sure....) but the first lesson of the dharma says all suffering is based on desire.
the second lesson is, if you stop desire, there is no suffering.
i think this means take what you get.
what choice is there?
it's all learning. buddhist or no.