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Buddhism & Taoism

Buddhist beliefs: Rock and Roll Buddhist

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Why are the 2500 year old teachings of Buddha still relevant for us today? Maybe, you are a Buddhist and are finding it challenging to be a Buddhist while being bombarded by tweets, emails, texts, and the like.  Or maybe you are not a Buddhist and never want to become one, but are curious about what all the hub bub is about.   Join John Bigay as he shares how Buddhist beliefs have guided his life.

John’s Bio:

No, John is not a monk, nor does he live up in a cloistered monastery.  He’s a regular guy, just like yourself.  He is a family man,  is in a demanding job, and suffers just like the rest of us.  John has  studied and practiced zen and vipassana meditation for 15 years.  His primary teachers have been Gerry Shishin Wick, Roshi, Larry Rosenberg and Douglas Phillips. John’s practice is deeply rooted in the core teachings of the Buddha and the work of J. Krishnamurti, with emphasis on the application of these teachings to everyday living.

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CJ’s post show comments:

I love the practical example of what you do when anger arises as someone cuts you off in traffic.  Do you give the person an obscene gesture, yell and bang your steering wheel, or be neutral?  What would the Buddhist’s perspective on this whole crazy scene? This is the part of the show that still rings true to me and that I have since offered as sage advice to my clients as the difference between pain and suffering.  Pain is inevitable, inescapable, and part of the human experience. It’s an emotional thrash to have someone cut you off and it is painful.  The suffering comes in when you create the story about the person driving the car. He’s a jerk. Guess your life is way more important than mine, which means you are totally justified in cutting me off… Gosh, what did I do wrong? I feel bad… and the like fall into stories or as hallucinations.

When experiencing hardship it’s pretty common to have several responses: deny it exists, run away from it, blame others for it, or just generally get pissed off at others, these are just made up  stories that potential lead to our suffering. Suffering is what the Buddha was trying to prevent and why he sat under the tree for so long. So come on people, let’s make sure the Buddha didn’t sit in the rain for nothing 🙂

One thing that is not helpful to do with the above passage is to now beat yourself up about why you created a story.  Don’t add to your suffering and create more suffering by judging yourself.  To me, this a waste of time.   More helpful is to view these negative emotional states as signals that you have not let go.  The Buddhist would likely describe this as an attachment to an idea, belief, or identification of who you are. Anger, blame, denial, and many other negative states of minds are just emotional states that indicate that something has knocked you off of your center.  These emotional states can be helpful and lead to opportunities to get  centered.  To get a better sense of your misconceptions of others, the way you react to stress, or tap into your inner beliefs about your identity and who you are… all of which are part of a spiritual path.