Anniversary

It’s occurred to me as I’m going through all these revisions to my site that Buddhaworld is officially one year old. That it was the last week of June last summer that I went live, so to speak. On the one hand, I feel like there ought to be some modicum of fanfare, some bit of celebration, to mark this occasion. But, truth be told, I’m not feeling much like celebrating today. I’m feeling tired, and stretched thin as always. Too busy to plan my own party.

Another part of me feels like being reflective. To look back over the past year and think of all the incarnations this site has gone through and make some statement about it. To reflect on all the changes I’ve gone through and put it all into perspective. The perfect vision of hindsight. But that doesn’t feel right, either. It wasn’t until just a few months ago that anyone read this site who I didn’t already know in the real world. And while I’d like to think that this site has had some effect on someone out there, I don’t know that it has. In short, it feels too early in the life of Buddhaworld to tell how successful it’s been or what sort of an impact it’s making, if any, on anyone out there. Am I still just ranting to hear myself rant?

Hm. Having just said that, I do believe that those past two paragraphs are some of the most depressing things I’ve ever written. Which is funny because I’m not feeling all that depressed today, and even when I’ve been far more depressed, my rants have been far more chipper. Where is this feeling coming from? What’s going on beneath the surface of my mind? And I’m displacing whatever these feelings are onto this little site unjustly?

Perhaps. Most likely, in fact. I’m feeling sad and off today. And somewhere in there is a drop of animosity towards no one in particular. Why? Why, I don’t know. That part of me that likes to make mountains where there are valleys wants to overanalyze this current mood and place blame where there should be none. The simple fact of the matter is that I feel sad and off today and need to make no apologies and need to dig no deeper than that. Simply settle back into the stark reality that not every day can be perfect. Sometimes one just feels sad. But know that this, too, shall pass. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long. And in the end, it’s with yourself.

Over the past few weeks, I gave my students at San Quentin the good news that they are all, already, enlightened. That all discriminative thoughts about nirvana and samsara are just concepts, things we make up about the world. And, in the end, are all bull shit. This past Tuesday, I told them the Buddha was a punk. And of course he was a punk. Just when I think I’m getting this stuff, something comes from no where, blind-sides me, and shakes up my notions of Buddhism straight down to the core.

This is what Lin-chi meant when he said that if you meet the Buddha on the road, you should kill him.

The weather’s been lousy all week. Cloudy and overcast and just like summer in San Francisco. But the sun’s out today. And there is no reason why I ought to be inside any longer complaining endlessly about all my imagined problems which in the end are all bull shit. I’m a punk. And I’m getting out of here to engage deeply with this thing called my life. To shake things up. To change the world.

Or at the very least, to change myself.

Happy Anniversary!

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