Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/08/2016

Hard Times

I just can’t shake this apocalyptic feeling but, since I’m Buddhist, I don’t necessarily have. Instead I just need to be mindful of how it arises, persists and passes away all the while causing dukkha and being dependent upon a complex web of interdependence.

As a result of these times and the idea that our time here may be shorter than anyone wants to realize, I’ve begun considering additional, daily life practices of restraint that might help me work on those areas where I’m stuck while helping me to generate compassionate understanding of the plight of some many in worse circumstances than I. Truth be told, I’m kind of embarrassed to publish the list as it contains things like: May I not order from Amazon Prime” and “May I not use my smartphone when in the presence of another person.” Silly, yes, but ultimately these are the things that cause friction, harm and to which I’m attached.

Today, for example, is the first day after the uposatha so I woke up extra hungry and ate when I first had the chance at sunrise. A few hours later I ate again but I have recently committed to eating only twice a day as a practice of renunciation and commiseration for those who go without. This has always been a tough practice for me and I found myself trying to wriggle out of it this morning once I realized I’d eaten two meals by 9:30am. But that’s the point, isn’t it: to push oneself outside of one’s comfort zone and learn to take refuge in something beyond the senses. I won’t die but I may be uncomfortable.

May I regard all food as a parent would regard eating the flesh of their only child. May I reflect upon the suffering of the beings upon whom I depend for sustenance.

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