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Maitake mushrooms are known in Japan as the dancing mushroom. According to a Japanese legend, a group of Buddhist nuns and woodcutters met on a mountain trail, where they discovered a fruiting of maitake mushrooms emerging from the forest floor. Rejoicing at their discovery of this delicious mushroom, they danced to celebrate.
Crucial to how we feel is being aware of how we are feeling in the moment. The sine qua non of that is to realize that you are being emotional in the first place. The earlier you recognize an emotion, the more choice you will have in dealing with it. In Buddhist terms, it’s recognizing the spark before the flame. In Western terms, it’s trying to increase the gap between impulse and saying or doing something you might regret later.
Jesus represents a point of common ground an esteemed rabbi to the Jew, a god to the Hindu, an enlightened one to the Buddhist, a great prophet to the Muslim. Even to the New Age guru, Jesus is the pinnacle of God-consciousness. At the same time, Jesus is the divider. None but Christians see Him as a member of the Godhead on an exclusive mission to repair the broken world.
Ultimately the case for shunning animal flesh does not rest on what the Buddha allegedly said or didn’t say. What is does rest on is our innate moral goodness, compassion, and pity which, when liberated, lead us to value all forms of life. It is obvious, then, that willfully to take life, or through the eating of meat indirectly to cause others to kill, runs counter to the deepest instincts of human beings.
They have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality. … Can you imagine having the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as defense minister, or Mahatma Gandhi as minister of health, education, and welfare The Hindu and Buddhist idea of karma and the Muslim idea of kismet, or fate condemn the poor and the disabled to their suffering. … It’s the will of Allah. These beliefs are nothing but abject fatalism, and they would devastate the social gains this nation has made if they were ever put into practice.
My experience with forgiveness is that it sort of comes spontaneously at a certain point and to try to force it it’s not really forgiveness. It’s Buddhist philosophy or something spiritual jargon that you’re trying to live up to but you’re just using it against yourself as a reason why you’re not okay.
The Hindus are busy letting themselves be seen riding in Cadillacs instead of smearing themselves with sandalwood paste and bowing in front of Ganpati. The Moslems would rather miss evening prayer than the new Disney movie. The Buddhists think it’s more important to take over in the name of Stalin and Progress than to meditate on the four basic sorrows. And we don’t even have to mention Christianity or Judaism.
The one philosophy or religion I find I am most close to is the Buddhist one. I think it is the one that respects others and the one that doesn’t say that this is the only way. I think happiness is the moment when – if you’ve forgotten those little things – they suddenly come back into focus for you.
Buddhist words such as compassion and emptiness don’t mean much until we start cultivating our innate ability simply to be there with pain with an open heart and the willingness not to instantly try to get ground under our feet. For instance, if what we’re feeling is rage, we usually assume that there are only two ways to relate to it. One is to blame others. Lay it all on somebody else; drive all blames into everyone else. The other alternative is to feel guilty about our rage and blame ourselves.