The inclusion of this blog in a list of outstanding Buddhist blogs is surprising. I’m grateful, but perhaps unworthy. This is not exactly a “Buddhist Blog,” despite a few tentative attempts. Its more like a collection of political, leftist whining. Even in that aspect, it’s losing steam. Perhaps that’s a (insert appropriate judgment here) thing.
Neither do I necessarily feel I am a Buddhist, although I’ve taken vows, meditate (almost) daily and make continued progress to tame the mental patterns of my youth. I yearn to make a contribution to the social and spiritual awakening of your species. Reality says such an undertaking is yet beyond me; I am a Baby Buddhist, so I must make baby steps. For now, any influence I might own is small. So I focus on small tasks to positively improve the world around me:
- I can shed my rage in realization that is has done me only harm.
- I can stop dwelling on how I believe the world ought to function, in realization that “should” is a dangerous toy.
- I can speak only praise - or nothing at all, in realization that discretion is the better part of discussion.
- I can smile more - and mean it.
- I can shed excess emotive states, saving my energy for accomplishments.
- I can be gentle and courteous, professional and honest.
Having such modest aims as a centerpiece of Buddhist practice, I am amazed by its effectiveness. Within my tiny sphere of influence I has seen how these changes affect those around me and spread out exponentially. And when I forget, I recall the opening lines of the Metta Sutra:
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove…
Such are the tentative steps of a spiritual toddler on the path toward enlightenment. Its Changing my world, One smile at a time. Most of the smiles aren’t even mine.