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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why I Am Not a Buddhist

In my free time, I sometimes read books about Buddhism. I'm not a Buddhist but I find reading about meditation and emptiness and being in the moment counterintuitive and therefore interesting and worth thinking about.

Last night I was reading one such book that stated it was going to enumerate four steps of a given practice. It then enumerated three steps. And this is why I'm not a Buddhist--because I absolutely could not let go of this. I kept rereading and rereading the passage, looking for the missing fourth step (the first three were labeled, First, Second, and Third). I could not move past this part of the book because I needed to find the fourth step, and until I did, I could do nothing else. For me, there would be nothing else until the errant fourth step was located.

I even tried to convince myself that this was perhaps an object lesson--that the book was trying to teach me to let go and not be so committed to a fourth step, promised or not. To just be in the moment with the three given steps.

I could not do this.

And I realized this is why I am not, cannot be, a Buddhist.

And why I probably need to be.

But can't.


Anonymous said...

So did you ever find the missing 4th step? And if so, what was it? (Or does the question make me Buddhism-incapable too??)

Jessica Goodfellow said...

I found something that, though unlabeled in the way the other three steps were, was sufficiently distinctive enough for me to decide it was the terminal step, and thus to stop looking. Sheesh. Here's hoping your more Buddhism-capable than I am!