Thursday, October 20, 2011
I have a dear friend who,when she became a Buddhist, gave me the Rosary that her favorite Aunt had given here when she was a child.It has a sterling silver cross and crystal beads and is quite beautiful.I have lost it twice and twice it has come back to me.I treasure it and our twenty year friendship.
Perhaps because of her,I am open to learning about Buddhist thought and find some aspects very interesting.When I wander through the gentle teaching often I will bump up against the idea of mindfulness.It is hard for me to get my mind around this in a behavior changing way .If you are doing dishes,do dishes and focus your mind on that not on the person who cut you off in traffic three weeks ago.Be present to the present moment as much as possible.
If we are in the habit of roaming blithely through the land mines of the past or peeking endlessly into the fear fraught,nuclear winter of the future,this change is not easy.Scripture supports this "present" notion when encouraging us to not worry about the future,it has it's own challenges.Most of what we worry about never happens so we are tarnishing the present with worthless negatives.
I have for a very long time been afraid of heaven.I know a Christian should be headed that way and looking forward to it.It's the idea of forever that stops me cold.Like falling off a cliff into infinity.That is so scary to me.Whatever I am doing will NEVER end.I can't handle that.I know, with our limited minds we think in finite terms so we can't get it. Maybe the Buddhists can help me here.
We have many accounts of near death experiences that tell us what heaven might be like.Suppose heaven is always the present.Our thoughts are on the bliss we are in,the Love at hand and we don't need or want to be anywhere else in our minds.No future,no fear.No past,no pain.Just now and it is exactly what we were made for.It fits who we were created to be.Completely.I can do that.