A comment caught my attention and surprised me today on Facebook, it read: “In most cases Buddhist has as much in common with Buddha as Christian with Christ.” What shocked me most was not the comparison of Christians and Buddhists, but rather the implication that one was sitting in judgement over others who follow Buddha and determining on whether or not they were living up to the judge’s standard on what it is to be Buddhist. If the old adage is to kill the Buddha we see along the road, then perhaps before we start the journey down the road each day we should look first in the mirror.
Remember we are all at different points along the journey, some of us have larger gapes than others. It is not our place to admonish someone for taking longer.
“Who is this Migasāla … to know the complexity of the human character?’ Then he added: ‘Do not be a judge of others, do not judge others. Whoever judges others digs a pit for themselves.” -Buddha
Today I find myself pensively mulling over questions instead of coming to any answers. I will keep things brief in my explanation. I had a troubling experience online today with a perspective romantic partner. Needless to say things ended abruptly and in order to keep the peace and not fall into temptations I had to cut off communications. I cannot help but wonder if the reason for the ending of the relationship might have been do to fundamental differences.
When it comes down to it I really cannot know what other people are thinking, what is on their minds so like anyone else I have to take actions and words at face value. With that in mind I have been brought up, even before embracing Buddhism, to believe that violence solves little, and mostly serves to insight more violence, whether it is violent action, or violent speech. To that end I do my best to avoid using profane words because lets face it, they are called curse words for a reason. I wont go into the history of the curse word, but I am sure we are familiar with it being touched on very lightly and satirically in an episode of South Park.
Today’s incident had me thinking about the Dhammapada, especially the verses where the Buddha advises us that it is better to walk alone if one cannot find their equal, a quote I have shared before in previous posts, It has me pondering, as it were, if a practicing Buddhist can find a successful relationship with some one of a different faith. I do not want to argue the semantics on whether or not Buddhism is a philosophy or a faith, so I implore you, my readers, to ignore my syntax if you would be so kind!
I find myself asking if a relationship can be found that meets the following criteria:
- The understanding that Equality is not based on statistics. Equality is based on shared values, shared communication and shared self-respect. With full knowledge that One does not sacrifice himself, or herself, to the other.
- The acceptance that the only thing that ever stays the same is the fact that there is always constant change in the universe. Change must be embraced and explored, a relationship must be free to evolve with time, that it is commitment that keeps it alive.
- The realization that when obstacles do arise, not if, that they can only be overcome by honestly accepting our faults and mistakes and apologizing with sincerity, we practice compassion towards ourselves and others.
- The need to stay present, we all have our pasts, but if we continue to listen to our past stories in our minds we can never hope to rewrite the. Our freedom from past mistakes comes only by moving on not reliving them.
I do not know if there is an answer to this question, I suppose my experience is limited to the fact that I have never attempted a date with another Buddhist. Perhaps this is simply an issue of just not finding the right person rather than a shared faith, perhaps this is an issue only we westerners come across because there are so few of us Buddhists in our more remote areas.
I do not think I will glean the answer tonight despite meditation or study, but perhaps I am not meant to know just yet. I do hope however that the individual I had a conflict with does find the peace they are looking for, I do not wish them any animosity but I suppose I must continue to evolve myself spiritually to better prepare. Perhaps I am too sensitive towards anger yet.