Cult or Culture (part 16)
Buddhism came in many varieties and it had as many branches as there were branches on a tree. I discovered the practice of chanting the famous four words to the great and powerful Gohonzon was considered to be one variety, by a handful of schools of thought, who also chanted the famous four words – but it was also considered to be nothing more than a hoax by some other schools of thought.
I discovered the Buddha taught many, many teachings and I learned about things I had never ever heard about from my Culture Center Clutch, like: The Four Noble Truths , The Eightfold Path, The Dharma Wheel , The Monkey Mind , and Attachments.
I learned Buddhism had many teachers both living and dead that I could study with and learn practical tools from, for navigating life’s suffering. I learned that people like Thich Nhat Hanh, Chogyam Trungpa,(by the way today is the 25th anniversary of his passing) and Pema Chodron were only a book away – whenever I got to a bookstore where all the books were not all written by one author.
I discovered that the Buddha, like my Mom had said about Jesus, was a really cool dude who taught some really cool lessons and he encouraged anyone who would listen, how to be just as cool. I also discovered he walked out on his wife and child to learn those lessons and that there were many austere practices he would endure for hours on end but chanting the four famous words until his earlobes drooped was never one of them.
I found my own copy of the big book that told the long story no one was interested in finding for me in the last century. I read it. I re-read it. I read it again and I saw why no one was interested in talking about it. It was a mystical mythical tale about different aspects of some of the Buddha’s life experiences; complete with flowers raining from the sky and eagles soaring to mountain peaks, or vultures soaring, depending on which translations you read. I read two.
Soon I began to have questions. Ok, I always had questions, but the new difference was that I actually asked my many questions out loud to whoever would listen and even to, people who really didn’t want to listen.
My research even uncovered a modern-day-buddha who used to work for the man with the glasses, who had been sued for pretty much saying, hey look everybody the emperor is naked! Ironically the things the modern-day-Buddha said had nothing to do with the other reports my research uncovered, about the emperor actually being caught naked once or twice with someone who was not the lady who always stood next to him, in the photographs…in case I lost you, the emperor is a metaphor for the man with the glasses!
The day I asked my Culture Center Clutch leaders about the reports I had discovered I was warned not to poison my mind with such non-sense…because you know nothing on the internet is true, unless of course it’s on the Culture Center Clutch website – the only place in cyberspace where truth and true Buddhism live…TO BE CONTINUED