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Fat Tuesday

February 16, 2010

If you are strolling along the French Quarter in “N’awlins”, right about now you are likely about to dive face first into most that is excess and debauchery (secretly two of my favorite things).

If we are honest, most of us will admit to sharing a soft spot for excess and debauchery…the extra slice of cake, followed by the next one. The 3rd beer, which becomes the 4th beer, which becomes the Jack n coke. The blog, U-Tube, and TMZ frenzies we follow faithfully as if it is some kind of religion. And no, we are not following these sites to keep on the pulse of all that is right with the world; we are on the prowl for debauchery.

I’m guilty. There is one particular blog I read almost everyday (sometimes two or three times a day – he over posts) only to see what outrageous thing he is going to say about a particular Buddhist sect. It’s NEVER anything nice. And it gives me a chuckle. Sorry, but true. He’s even been banned from another popular Buddhist blog also I read; yet I drive the extra miles on the super information highway to read him, with fervor. He is the National Enquirer of Nichiren Buddhism. And like my Mother used to say, “You crackin’ but you fackin” – translation: you are poking mean spirited fun but there are some facts in your rhetoric. I won’t say who he is but if by chance you follow him too, let the guy know George Carlin is dead, LOL!

I’m getting off track here. My point is that regardless of how much we indulge ourselves in excess and debauchery deep down we know it’s consequences. Good old Fat Tuesday was the traditional day to have-at excess and debauchery in preparation for relinquishing it for the next 40 days leading up to Judeo- Christian’s Easter.

But what if you are a self-proclaimed Buddhist and the whole Lenten-give-up-chocolate-and-sex-and-meat-on Fridays thing gets lost on you? Can’t you still carve out a little time to relinquish the consequences caused by excess and debauchery? What would that look like?

What if for the next 40 days (starting tomorrow of course – today is FAT TUESDAY) we didn’t have the extra cake, or rice or sake? What if we didn’t rush to read what new evil has been uncovered at CSI? What if we didn’t stoke the fires of dissention in our workplaces? Or spread the TMZ stories or U-Tube videos? What would that look like?

Maybe it would look a little bit like Samyak-sambodhi?

With bead covered gassho,

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