Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Happy Accidents

I make comment here and there regarding my Buddhist practice/religion. Well...It all started here. I stumbled across an acquaintance in the mall one day, and he was reading this book. Being a reader myself I asked about the book and he explained that the author described the principles of Taoism from the perspective of Winnie the Pooh. You see, Pooh just is. Sometime over the the next year I picked up a copy for myself. I was intrigued. Then I bought my first copy of The Tao Te Ching...which led to more Taoist writings...which led to books on Buddhism...which led to books on Zen/Chan Buddhism...which led to AHA!

I wish I could say there was a particular day that I woke and said, "I am a Buddhist." That would make answering the question of "How long have you been a Buddhist?" much easier. The best I can do these days is 16 or 17 years. I know many would describe this as a conversion. For me, however, the experience was very different. It was finding something that defined my beliefs not changed them. I was raised a Christian and was a studious little Bible scholar in my own right, but my true spiritual nature didn't awaken until I became a Buddhist. For the first time, who I was matched what I believed.

I approach the world, my daily existence...good and a Buddhist. All things are best when I meditate consistently and after many years of practice I can say I think I "get" it now. I understood before, but there's a different level now. A simple example is that I used to have a lot of rules when I meditated about my breathing, what was good and bad focus, what was successful or not, etc. Now...I just sit. I understand why Shunryu Suzuki kept yelling in his book to, "Zazen!" He was telling me to just sit. Approaching life without construct, without boundaries, being present to how life comes is part of what being a Buddhist is for me.

There it is. Winnie the Pooh made me a Buddhist.

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