Okay, I love the point, so I borrowed the “Buddhism Schmuddhism,” thing from Lama Surya Das. His point? The point? Don’t bother becoming a Buddhist, or becoming anything at all, for that matter. Just wake up to the way things are now, to the way you are now. Wake up to your life. Grow your inner goodness. Be the wide open knowing at your center. Fall in love with and share your gifts. Live who you truly are. Not tomorrow, not last week, live right now.
Just Wake Up!
Don’t be or become a Buddhist, or a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim. Or, if you like, be any of those things. But please, for your sake, and our sake, and the sake of the world also… be who you are; that’s right be a Buddha. The word “Buddha” just means, “one who is awake.” So, yes, be awake and a Buddhist, or awake and a Jew, or awake with no religion at all… But please, be a Buddha.
“The true purpose [of Zen] is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes… Zen practice is to open up our small mind.”
― Shunryu Suzuki
What does it mean to “open up our small mind?” It means to be Buddha–to be awake. What do we wake up to? We wake up to ourselves and all of life just where we are, right in the here and now. Waking up means becoming less bound to and ridden by memories of the past. When we wake up the future is far less likely to fill us with fear
The delightful Thai Forrest monk, Ajahn Brahm makes this same point about waking up to ourselves in the here and now in his short book on meditation entitled Kindfulness,
“When you have abandoned all past and all future, it is as if you have come alive. You are here. Your are mindful… The reality of now is magnificent and awesome.”
If you’d like to explore these ideas further, and if you have 35-minutes to spend with Lama Surya Das on these themes, I think you are sure to benefit. I encourage you to grab a coffee or tea and listen to his podcast Awakening the Buddha Within: Mindfulness, the Key. Lama is lively, brash, kind of loud, but warm hearted. He loves humor and wisdom. He’s full of joy.
Here’s the link to the podcast: beherenownetwork.com/lama-surya-das-ep-38-awakening-buddha-within-mindfulness/
And here are links to more posts on meditation and mindfulness on this site: sweepingheartzen.org/category/buddhist-practice/mindfulness/
I hope you have a glorious week!