A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Learn About Buddhism
I have to tell you a very funny story. At least I hope you’ll think it’s funny!
See, I decide I want to know more about Buddhism.
So first I read several books and a bunch of stuff on the web. Need more.
I go talk to my Zen Buddhist priest neighbor, but he’s hard to talk to because he’s very into making no effort, and talking about Buddhism is an effort, and everything is illusory anyway, so why talk about it.
Then I decide to go to the source, the Dhammapada, becauses Eknath Easwaran’s Upanishads is wonderful, and if he likes the Dhammapada, that’s for me.
But the Dhammapada leaves me flat. I have notes all over the margins saying, This could be Ben Franklin–do good things, don’t do bad things, be earnest, spend time with good people, don’t spend time with bad people, master all your thoughts, never be angry, etc.
What have you got against Ben Franklin, you ask. Nothing, I say. I like Ben Franklin. I’m just looking for something a little more, shall we say, transcendental.
So next I go to my online friend Linda for advice. She is very helpful with perspective and further reading suggestions.
Linda also recommends I connect with her Buddhist teacher through Facebook. He has the very musical and evocative name Lama Surya Das.
I pull up his profile on Facebook, and what do you think is the first thing I see, right at the very top of Lama Surya Das’ Facebook page?
A quote from Ben Frankin!
“Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.”
I’m still in stitches.