Intergration

I've been working diligently on trying to reconcile the various aspects of This Being Human... There are too many sides to that which makes up for me being Tao1776. That is, being from the "West" and having been born American and raised as a Christian creates a common indelible flavor that doesn't exist in many other parts of the world. And to top it off, many of us are genetically nothing more than mutts. This is not noted as something that is either good or bad, it is just my observation. Add to this the feeling that America has grown into a complex conglomeration of humanity; a mass of shallow one celled amoebas that live by being fed by a doctrine of constant consumerism. A nation of hungry ghosts with large bellies and mouths too small to be filled fast enough. I am often left feeling as if I'm living in a world of reality TV Talk Soup clips.
Entering the stream of a more universal sort of observation, I have splashed about in the waters of the Christian mystics, Taoist sages and Buddhist Lamas and Roshis. How I entered into the Lodge of Freemasonry is both amusing and a little befuddling.
I have found it necessary to separate my writings into several blogs and blogger attempts to address this conflict within myself. Rebel/pacifist. Buddhist/Christian/Freemason/Taoist/agnostic. A mean mutha fucka that hides behind a very real sensitive and frightened self.
I am tuned into the driving voice in my head teaching me to never be content. lust. Anger and sloth. Anxiety and doubt. I work hard in the hope that I will transcend it all, undefined as the wind; "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going." As the mirror in Zen that reflects nothing.
As a
common working man, like many of you, I have sought to better my status and to take care of my family. I've never been one to shit on others while I climbed to a higher position. I've always found it disturbing that some could behave as such so readily. This Being Human...was constructed as a vehicle to help me come to terms with such Machiavellian dealings. Losing my job, my position, my pay, hit me harder than I ever imagined possible. And it is time for me to let it go...
I've decided that it was necessary for me to return to some very basic Buddhism while examining my anger and depression. Feelings that I feared to feel. Where do these suffocating thoughts come from? When and how do they arise? If I observe my anger and the subsequent feelings of depression without judgment, would my thoughts pass on as clouds on a midsummer's day? Would I then be able to observe my thoughts and not be buffeted about by them?
I began to mindfully use the acronym R.A.I.N. as my guide. Recognize the thought as and when it appears. Accept the thought without attachment while being objective. Investigate whatever the thought may have to reveal. Practice non judgment in regards to the thought.
For example, during a meeting that I needed to attend a short while ago, my mind played an unending recording of thoughts that told me how awful it was that I wasn't as articulate as the others. That I had nothing to offer. I found that instead of having the usual response to these thoughts, which drove me deeper into myself, I used the RAIN approach. It was extremely liberating. I felt a sort of, "Is that so" come over me. Almost a "So what." It was non-violence against myself. I stopped beating myself up. I felt myself smiling and flowing with the moment instead of warring with the little schoolyard bullies of the mind.
I've begun to observe how often it is that Ir hold to some sense of injustice. Injustice does take place in the world and my focus is all too often drawn to that one single reality. There are those characters of history such as,
Clan Gregor of the Highlands (to whom I may be of blood),
Daniel Shays,
Tecumseh,
inhabitants of the Western Mass flooded towns,
and Smedley Butler, that I feel most akin to. I relate so very well and I don't really understand why. It is not that I have been so dispossessed of land and livelihood or reputation such as these. I've observed how it is that I hold to a cynics view of Government; that Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, was a short lived spurt of idealism that disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared. My experiences and observances are shaded by these deep seated feelings and the need to see justice and freedom be won again and again from the oppressors of the world regardless of how big or how small.
Freemasonry has also presented for me a degree of conflict and one of compromise.
The Chaplain is an appointed officer of the Lodge opening and closing each meeting with a secular prayer. As Chaplain, I am in charge of that duty.
Although Freemasonry believes that religious belief is important for a man, Freemasonry does not care what religion a man believes in.
Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory, illustrated by symbols. Our Order is NOT a religion, but religious in character. It is a philosophy of ethical conduct, which imparts moral and social virtues and fosters Brotherly love. Its tenets have endured since man turned the first pages of civilization. They embody the understanding by which man can transcend ordinary experience and build "a house not made with hands" in harmony, with the Great Architect Of The Universe. The Chaplain is an appointed officer of the Lodge opening and closing each of our meetings with a secular prayer. As Chaplain, I am in charge of that duty.Freemasonry believes that religious belief is important for a man. Freemasonry does not care what religion a man believes in. Freemasonry echos the sentiments of many of our founding fathers (many of whom were masons) that established the first amendment which prohibits the government from interfering with a person’s practice of his or her religion. Religious freedom is an absolute right, and includes the right to practice any religion of one’s choice; even to the extant of having no religion at all.
This is the true religion of America.
And to all this....It is no secret to some that I am a practitioner of Buddhism. But there are very few Masons within the Lodge that are privy to that information. Nor would most of them care; nor understand what that might mean. Not unlike Freemasonry, Buddhism is often most misunderstood; believing that Buddhists are atheists and that Buddhists do not pray. And although it might cloud the issue even more, let me say that being an atheist or praying in the traditional Christian sense requires "belief" and that for a Buddhist beliefs are ideas about truth and not truth itself.
And to all this....It is no secret that I am a practitioner of Buddhism. Not unlike Freemasonry, Buddhism is often most misunderstood; that Buddhists are atheists and that Buddhists do not pray. And although it might cloud the issue even more, let me say that being an atheist or praying in the traditional Christian sense requires "belief" and that for a Buddhist beliefs are ideas about truth and not truth itself.

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