Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Buddhist and other nihilisms

If you are happy and you know, do nothing.  Don't strive, don't save, don't worry, just quietly exist, much like a happy and well-adjusted philodendron.  

I didn't want to say anything because I am a dilettante in matters of Buddhism  and meditation.  But, I can see how a person might fidget and squirm and come to desire something, anything, even if for a while, there is enough friendship, enough warmth and food.  I'm telling you, being well-adjusted and satisfied is not all it's cracked up to be.

Sure, when you are down, it pays to focus on your blessings.  Most of us have several.  Many of us have dozens of blessings, including the ability to be aware of our blessings.  It does pay to realize that the past is over and the future hasn't arrived, that the present is all we actually have and it is fleeting.  

But for us incomplete, immature, impatient beings, we feel driven sometimes.  We want to see what is on the other side of the mountain.  We want to listen to Andean flute music or watch some porn.  We want to run to exhaustion or not spend any money on anything at all for a while, just to be different.

Once Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist and student of Eastern applications to American life and times, mentioned nihilism ('nothing-ism'), I realized I wasn't the only one who sometimes bumps up against too much calm appreciation of all I have.  The guru in the lotus position at the top of the mountain is undoubtedly a fine fellow.  He has good advice and I like it and use it.  But, I see that, like most things, I can get enough of being calm and accepting of what comes.

The animals - dogs, cats, cows, songbirds - are said to live in the present, to take no thought of the morrow, to accept what is.  That's good.  But I do like to think ahead a bit and have a Mother's Day gift ready for that morning.  I do like to plan a meal for maximum wow effect on the guests.  I do like to replace my tires before they blow out.  Turns out I am a foul-weather Zen-ist and a poor excuse for a dog, cat, cow or songbird.

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby