I’ve got a couple of self-promotional sort of things to say. And then I want I want to talk about what a big fat jerk I am.
First up, as some of you may remember, I gave a talk at the Gay Men’s Buddhist Sangha this past Sunday. The talk was about Jodo Shinshu, or my take on it at any rate. It was, all in all, a pretty good experience. I have no idea how it was received. They may have all thought I was a raving lunatic for all I know. But it turns out they post audio of their talks on their website over this-a-way. So check that out when you have a chance. My talk isn’t up, yet, but they have a lot of stuff there that looks pretty good. (I’ll let y’all know via Twitter when my talk is posted.)
Second in the line of self-promotion, Harry and I are back with a new episode of the DharmaRealm podcast. We actually recorded this back before we took the long winter’s break, so I’d almost completely forgotten what we talked about. And, if I do say so myself, which I do, I think it’s quite good. We ramble a bit about how it is we came to discover Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu, but despite how narcissistic that sounds, we talk about other stuff, too. Like Charlie Brown. Really. (Ron will, no doubt, be disappointed to hear that there’s no Princess Bride references.)
Third, and also in the category of things to see on the Internet in the future, I’m in the process of writing a review of North American Buddhists in Social Context for the Journal of Global Buddhism. I mention this because (a) I think the JGB is a damn fine academic journal, is available online for free, and regardless of whether or not my name is in their virtual print, you should check it out; and (b) the forthcoming review in question centers around all those sticky issues of “American Buddhism” that gets me and some other bloggers all riled up. So while my review for the JGB will be appropriately academic, expect the “deleted scenes” to show up here forthwith. Or least in the next couple of weeks. (Something else that I will “tweet” about (as the kids say these days) when the review is published.)
Which brings me to why I’m a big fat jerk. I’ve been ridiculously busy these past couple of weeks. February, the shortest month of the year, seems to have a lot packed into it, so I’ve been trying my damnedest to Get Stuff Done before classes start, before week-long intensives start, before I go to Los Angeles for a symposium, before a romantic holiday and my wife’s birthday. Things are coming together, thankfully. Yesterday was particularly hectic. And, as a result, it was an exceptional day for Buddhist lessons in mindfulness.
Because of all the stuff going on, this little Buddhist found himself feeling overwhelmed and the very definition of stressed out. And, for a time, my outlet was being more than a little short with the folks I work with. Which is just terrible considering how calm and nice and polite these people are and thus undeserving of my negative karmic waves.
I’ve made amends. If I’ve learned anything as a Buddhist it’s that mindfulness means recognizing when you’re not your better self, then choosing to behave differently. Each moment gives us a new opportunity to do just that, so here’s mine.
It’s a new day. The rain has finally come, it is the end of a long week, and having finally caught up on some of the Big Projects, I can put my energies where they may be needed most. The lousy economy is hitting home in March. And Dana’s going to need my love and support. That’s where all this high-minded Buddhist stuff is going to come in most handy.