When you come back from retreat like I just did, you find out something. Although you were away from noise, information and conversation for 10 days, you didn’t miss anything that matters. Sure enough, you miss out on the savagery that passes for political and cultural affairs – the insanity, hostility and depravity that we are dangerously desensitized to – but the good stuff comes right on schedule.
So I missed another episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska.
But then right here in my scopes I caught sight of something good. A group of Buddhist bloggers gave this blog Cheerio Road a prize. I’m not usually keen on awards. My approach to them owes much to Groucho’s famous take on club membership. Namely, I’m not that interested in winning an award that would have me as a winner. But this one was meaningful because I’m not well known, and frankly, not that well liked as a Buddhist blogger. Sometimes people tell me that I get under their nerves or disappoint them. They tell me my approach to Buddhism is trivial and inane. More people tell me this every day. There’s a whole discussion board in which I’m carved limb from limb! So I’m normally gun shy around card-carrying Buddhists.
It’s obvious that hatred sells and provocation pays. When you come back from a retreat, you see things in high relief. You see the abject loathing, pious greed and bloodthirsty ignorance that are destroying us. We live in a crazy world, so close to combusting that it’s terrifying. Seeing this, you might decide to let someone else pass by, freely and undisturbed. You might decide to practice passing by yourself, freely and undisturbed.
Thank you for letting me pass by. Thank you for encouraging me in my practice. I accept whatever comes my way, and apply the lessons here.