Taking a step today that scares me. Going to become an “Initiate” Buddhist at a morning ceremony. Do a prostration, touch my forehead to the floor and recognize a Power greater than myself.
That’ll be the easy part. Saw enough Catholic priests drop to the church floor during a 40-hour service that I’m used to seeing American Buddhist ladies and gentlemen do the ritual at the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia.
It’s “detaching” that’s got me worried. May have too many “attachments.” Writing this Blog is one of them. Don’t want to stop. Hope I don’t have to. I mean, really “write.” Not just “puff” pieces that talk of Love and make you feel good. Those are needed. Desperately needed in these tough times.
But the hard-hitting ones, stories where I bear my soul and confess of something crazy I did in my youth (maybe even last week) in the hopes of seeking some therapy, or more importantly, to connect with some “lost soul” who experienced a similar off-the-wall experience. For him or her to know they’re not alone.
I don’t want someone to get so offended they condemn me with the words: “. . . and you call yourself a Buddhist.” Don’t want to smear the Buddhist practice with my screw-ups.
Damn it. I want to curse. Not all the time, but when it’s called for. Also, I like to drink my red wine, and I thank God he permitted His only Begotten Son to use wine in his first miracle, as well as blessing it in his last official act at the Last Supper. Want to sip it now and again.
Don’t want to give up my passion. Want to let my feelings flow through words and ideas. Let me speak unmuzzled with a clear conscious full of love and compassion but without any Buddha mumbo-jumbo you might find in some of the 84,000 teachings of Buddhism.
I felt this only once before. When I was drafted into the Army. Could not see the future and felt a change “was gonna come,” to paraphrase the old Sam Cooke song. I sold most, if not all of my record collection. All my 45s. Many of the LPs. Gave up my “attachment” to music and singing. Could see just so far and that was to a place called Vietnam.
I’m ready to take this step. I’ve already “let go” some things to get here. Other things may become less important as my time on this path continues.
Take a deep breath, Michael J. Close your eyes. Now, arise and forward march . . .