I've been thinking about drishta dharma sukha viharin. "Dwelling happily in the present moment". May is my Zen month this year. I'm learning to meditate, reading Buddhist texts, listening to soothing Scottish guys hypnosis-ing in apps and stuff (OMG, how awesome would it be if Patrick Stewart read audiobooks...OMG, what if he already does?), doing yoga, etc. During the month of tornado possibilities, I will remain calm. I will remain calm. I will remain calm (repeat until insane).
So far all I've really done is start reading Thich Nhat Hanh's "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" which is a book that CHANGED MY LIFE in 2002ish.
So far I'm struck by two things: one, that Buddhism is confusing. They really could have SteveJobs-it into a much more simplified theory that still would have given me goosebumps when I read about the concepts (my secret is that the real reason I read Buddhist texts is because the way they talk about everything being made of everything else and stuff hypnotizes me and makes me feel all tingly...). For example, the Noble Eightfold Path is a central tenant of Buddhism and consists of right thinking, right mindfulness, right action, right concentration, right view, right speech, right diligence, and right livelihood. Don't some of these things sound like the same thing to you? I would boil it down to two of these: right action and right mindfulness. Body and mind. Doing and thinking. And the Four Noble Truths are basically thus:
1) Sometimes stuff sucks.
2) It doesn't have to suck.
3) Sometimes stuff doesn't suck.
4) There's stuff you can do to ensure that stuff sucks less.
A lot of emphasis seems to be on point #1. Acknowledging that stuff sucks. Duh, stuff sucks. No one denies that suffering exists. No one. I will concentrate on #4 only.
The second thing that I'm realizing as I attempt to be more in the present moment: I'm already very good at this. I'm usually TOO involved in the present moment. I think remarkably less than I look like I'm thinking. I'm usually just quiet and looking into the sky dreamily. I take pictures of the same 5 things that I find beautiful (wait, two...animals and nature). I don't like smoking pot because I'm spacey enough as it is...my natural state is that of a contented cow chomping grass in a meadow.
Nonetheless, I enjoy reading Buddhist books because it makes me feel connected to the earth. I love that feeling of becoming grounded, because so often my head is in the clouds. I'm like Andre from season two of Project Runway...frolicking through the forest with a look of pure joy on my face. Who needs Buddhist texts or koans when you can simply ask yourself, "What would Andre do?"??