Monday, November 10, 2008

Saffron and red robes (I heart your blog)

I just deleted a post. I was writing in a style that is not my own. It's because of TMC. Her playful spirit is infectious. Her blog, Return to Rural, brings a smile to my face.

She's funny in a wry and often self-deprecating way. She lavishes praise on others without being soppy. She posts contests, games, and all sorts of pay-it-forward activities. She brings folks together. Do you realize this, TMC?

I was writing (and deleted) some stuff about how "I HEART her blog". I have no idea how to put a heart symbol where the word "heart" is. TMC does.

I was trying to be nice but a little bit snarky. Trying to be is not being.

Then I thought about how we're both Buddhists. She wrote that she wanted to be a Buddhist nun, and if she was, she'd be wearing saffron and red robes.

I once thought that I might be better suited to living the life of a monk, but if I were to become one, what color robes would I be wearing? Black, gray and white.

Buddhism hooks people in different ways and sometimes, I think, it's externals that get you at first. Now, I have no idea how TMC got to be a Tibetan Buddhist, but I know this about myself: I love the austerity of Zen. I love the stories of these crazy stoics, like Huike, who stood outside the Bodhidharma's cave until the falling snow had reached his waist. This was still not enough to prove to the Bodhidharma that he deserved his teachings, so Huike cut off his left arm to show his sincerity.

The ardent students of old would tie themselves up so that they would not fall over when they were in meditation if sleepiness came upon them. Zen tales are overflowing with masters hitting their disciples with sticks. Kwat! You fool!

But, when the Dalai Lama laughs, we all laugh. We cut off our arms with Huike, too.

Thanks, TMC. I do heart your blog.

Image note: From BananaFrog, who make beautiful, fun and playful paper goodies.

Addendum: And I forgot, she is the one who roped me into writing a novel in a month. Мне виноваты вы! Je vous reprocher! 我譴責你! Yo culpo a ti! मैं तुम्हें दोष! Ich Schuld Sie! 私はあなたのせい! But: Vi ringrazio per ispirazione a fare qualcosa che non ho mai pensato ho potuto fare, anche se probabilmente è un mucchio di vapore caldo cane merda su un pomeriggio di agosto. Vedi, io maledizione!


TMC said...

awwwwww. : ) You're so nice.

I'll tell the story of how I turned TB someday. The short version is "moody, drug addled teenager meets structured, potentially rules-heavy spirituality." After that, lovelovelove! ♥ ♥ ♥

p.s. Hold down your ALT key & hit the 3 on your keypad (not the #'s at the top of the keyboard)... = ♥

; )

Julie H. Rose said...

I can relate to that, though was not a teenager, unfortunately.

Some people I know think all the structure and rules are just absurd. When I told a friend I wqs going to spend some time in a monastery, she gasped, "But they make you bow to the teachers! It's Nazi-Buddhism!"

Alt 3 doesn't work for me. Alas.