8 Fold

There’s a theme in the back of my mind. It’s there all the time but more so during moments of frustration or strife. I have this idea, somehow, that like solving a once deemed impossible equation, there is a similar, definitive way in which one can do the same using language. Whether it be through the individual words you choose, or the way you put them together, there could be a way to do so and not only make your meaning known, but solve a life’s problem as well. And though entirely abstract, by using this perfect construction, your meaning will suddenly be understood by another person, nearing us all closer to something holistically perfect.

Obviously, this is just not so. Why else would there be religious war, crime, catty disputes over petty things, arguments composed of he saids, she saids. It’s tiring-the constant back and forth-and totally unrewarding in the end. Lawyers can argue a sound case, and even if the person they fight for did indeed stab his wife and her lover, they could win over a jury of people by merely conducting a logically sound argument. I’m not talking about that kind of equation. I’m talking about truth. An absolute one.

I guess that’s why I do this—write this thing. I hope to always find something better in myself and those around me, work through the things not quite refined or understood, and refine the things I do understand. By admitting human err about myself, I might become a better person or, at the very least, make someone else feel not so alone.

I took Buddhism when I was a sophomore. It was taught to me, or delivered to me, by a booze-guzzling, Buddhist. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense but it worked somehow. Anyway, he taught us about the Eight Fold Path. And the steps one takes to enter enlightenment. And while I never quite “caught on” and decided that I would run off and become a Buddhist, I was intrigued by the quest many practitioners have for honesty. Right Speech. Right Action. Right Thought. (I don’t remember them all). But for this raised, (recovering) Catholic, I was intrigued.

There was one concept which stuck with me the most. It was the idea that, through Right Speech, one could eventually attain Right Thought by way of honesty. Now granted, my education in Buddhism was not only taught by a self-acclaimed drunk, but I was half-there, mainly only in flesh, after crying myself through all-nighters and inhaling adhesives with warning labels longer than this post. That said, who knows if I “got it right” and I make no claims that what I say on here is fact. From my understanding, from what he said, practicing Right Speech does not mean saying what people want to hear, it’s not about saying only what is the nicest, kindest, sweetest thoughts a person thinks of only after removing the first, and possibly more negative thought. After all, it’s nearly impossible to not have some negative thought, Right Speech was something practiced to eventually rid the human mind of negative thought, bringing him or her closer to becoming an enlightened being. Right Speech might mean to say,

Hey, Michele, your feet stink usually always, you’re insecure sometimes, and you need to stop taking your grumpy moods out on Toby. I think you fear getting older. I think you fear losing the elasticity in your skin. I think you should do something about this.

Maybe the truth hurts. Maybe it’s meant to, regardless of how it’s delivered.

Who knows. What I do know is while I was a practicing Catholic, I would very nearly every day think of every “bad thought” I possibly could by trying to NOT think about it and by doing so, it’s all I could think about. (Which, as a 7 year old, was only “Tracy should only play with me. Never Dania. I hate Dania.” but still, quite negative). So this idea of pushing out the negative by actually admitting to it was, again, intriguing.

So what do we do with all the negative thought? I know we have them, I see them distributed by way of sneers, half-laughs, fake smiles, limp handshakes, side-looks and good, old-fashioned hatred. They fester, they grow, they mutate into cancerous insecurities.

And right now, I just want to wrap this up because a two hour project just landed in my lap. And It’s too long. And I’m not sure where I’m going with it. And I just rambled on for two pages. :] I hate it when I do that.

Here is a song for today. (4.2 mgs Rival Schools) And even though I woke up with my monthly visitor, I feel like shit, and I want to tell certain people to shove random objects up their ass, I chose a positive song, by one of my most favorite singers-songwriters ever to hit this place.

19 Comments

  1. funny you should mention buddhism and the 8 fold path, i’ve been looking into it, and thinking: “yes, thats what i want to try and do…”

    Like

    Reply

  2. It’s brought up a lot in Yoga. Which, btw, I don’t think I have ever been in a room with so many kind people at once. It’s truly rewarding. I left there last night thinking, “How is it everyone doesn’t do this for themselves?” Not Yoga, persay, but something to enhance one’s energy and social interaction. :] I wish I could give everyone some of what I feel while I’m there.

    Side note. Sorry. It is brought up often. Right Thought, etc.

    Like

    Reply

  3. I think it’s an amazing idea. :] What might you do?

    It’s brought up a lot in Yoga. Which, btw, I don’t think I have ever been in a room with so many kind people at once. It’s truly rewarding. I left there last night thinking, “How is it everyone doesn’t do this for themselves?” Not Yoga, persay, but something to enhance one’s energy and social interaction. :] I wish I could give everyone some of what I feel while I’m there.

    Side note. Sorry. It is brought up often. Right Thought, etc.

    Like

    Reply

  4. i used to do pilates an loved it, because of the energy, but also because of the people. i’m not sure if i want to pick it up again, or try for yoga. most of all, i’m just trying to find something new to do or see every day, even if its just a little thing…(like posting on here..)

    Like

    Reply

  5. I know what you mean about doing something new every day. Maybe walk a different way every day? Hmmmmm possibilities are endless, eh? For a while, every day during my lunch break, I would sit somewhere outside in a different place, but I’ve gotten lazy about that and it’s been crazy busy lately.

    Pilates is amazing stuff! That class kicked my butt. ouch. I couldn’t do it all. Very admirable. :] You go, girl.

    Like

    Reply

  6. it was great, my studio did’nt have the machines though!!! so we did alll the floor exercises, mixed up with a bit of yoga and modern dance stuff. there is a studio here with the torture chamber machine thingys, but theres too many people in the classes. ok, i’ll let you get back to work now!! (and have lunch somewhere nice!)

    Like

    Reply

  7. I think I prefer the floor stuff over those machines. I like the idea of making the body change by using the body. Good for you!

    You totally don’t have to stop talking. I like the diversion. And I can’t take a lunch today, way too much shit to do. :]

    Like

    Reply

  8. I’d like to take a whole two pages to respond to this post, Mihow… but I’ll try to cut it short.

    Your post, here, is a step in the right direction to managing negative thought. You first need to acknowledge your imperfection, and that you are, indeed, allowed negative thought. It’s what you do with that thought, that is the key. You cannot ignore it. Those thoughts (as with unacknowledged emotions)end up filed in your brain, and are allowed to fester and grow, until they rear their ugly heads fifteen years later. Rather, keep the thought, focus on it, decide if you can change it for the better, and, if not, give it up to the universe to handle.

    Oh, man. This is already long, and I’ve only just begun. Apologies.

    Your Catholic background allows you to see more negative thought than you ever thought you could have. Catholics very often focus on what you can’t do, what you shouldn’t do. Whereas, your Buddhist teacher (imperfect as he is!) shows you the path to enlightenment – what you can do, what you should aim to do. The Eight Fold Path is a fantastic thought. But the amount of spiritual and mental control it takes to live that way is out of most of our reaches. It is a path. Paths are meant to be strayed from, from time to time. Just ask Robert Frost.

    Like

    Reply

  9. Sniff…I miss Quicksand.

    From one recovering Catholic to another…RIGHT ON Mihow!

    Like

    Reply

  10. “But the amount of spiritual and mental control it takes to live that way is out of most of our reaches.”

    Ahhhhh, but idealism is such a grand idea. :]

    Seems many religions are set up this way, with an unattainable goal in mind, and when you don’t succeed or meet this goal you feel as though you have failed. Who knows. Then again, there is a certain love and fondness for taking the route, no matter where it leads. I guess that’s what you’re saying. It’s kind of funny, now that I think on it, I often become annoyed by the lack of one’s fondness for actually BEING alive (esp. in Catholicism) and instead paying attention to what happens in the end. I see that happen with exercise and dieting, ironically, people give up on the every day instead they want instant change. Part of the fun, in contrast, is the struggle, if you’d even call it that. I am totally rambling.

    I just wrote this, and haven’t reread it, I might take it back in a few minutes who knows.

    Like

    Reply

  11. I too meself some Quicksand. Rival Schools are pretty friggin hot, however. :]

    I say: “Walter? Is everything ok?”

    Like

    Reply

  12. I like the idea of the magic, noisefree, frictionless communication you describe. But I don’t think it is achieved through words-or texts-alone (that’s the point of the Eight Fold Path). Your blog, for example, is not just your text, nor is it the combined texts of your comments and your readers’ … but the activity of blogging, reading, responding. If any component breaks down (blogger, reader, commenter, web host, router, etc), we all sense it.

    I would say the challenge of the Eight Fold Path is not staying on it because it’s hard or demanding, but because it’s so easy for others who are not on it to knock you off.

    Like

    Reply

  13. “I would say the challenge of the Eight Fold Path is not staying on it because it’s hard or demanding, but because it’s so easy for others who are not on it to knock you off. “

    ha!

    The imagery I have in mind… priceless!! I am hoping to find a way to put this into a poster. Indeed. Brilliant.

    Imagine a bunch of enlightened individuals being pushed from the 8 Fold Path by some angry, disgruntled wretch. Like that kid from A Christmas Story… the one Ralphie eventually beats the shit out of. Indeed.

    Like

    Reply

  14. i love that movie.

    i really like the path imagery. i like to see my path as this kind of jungle that sometimes i have to hack through, with mosquitoes and bugs, and other times its all clear and straight with a really nice tree to sit under and rest at for a bit.

    Like

    Reply

  15. Scott Farkas with the green teeth and yellow eyes … he had yellow eyes!!

    “Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense.”

    Like

    Reply

  16. he did have yellow eyes!!!

    Like

    Reply

  17. Here is a conversation between an enlightened Buddhist, walking the 8 Fold Path and the mean, path-pusher.

    Path pusher: “I PUSHED YOU FROM THE PATH! YOU PATH FALLER! ENLIGHTENED LOSER!”

    Path Faller: “What path?”

    Yeah, ok. Time to fire me. :]

    Like

    Reply

  18. i can just see the Path Faller levitating in the lotus position, and the Path Pusher really confused…..

    Like

    Reply

  19. More like, the Path Faller farting and the Path Pusher passing out.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s