John W. asks: I’m wondering about the role and efficacy of prayer. Why and how do we pray in a non-theistic world-view? When one sees intercessory prayers (Please help me kill my enemies or don’t let it rain tomorrow for my picnic or please take away this disease you’ve give me) as…
So I went to a friend’s funeral today…a sweet, dear friend that took his own life in a pretty horrific way. I know he was in pain, I know he was tortured, I know he endured some very challenging hardships in his life…still doesn’t make me feel any better. Right now, I am floating somewhere between “at least he’s not in pain anymore” and “how could he do this to his wife, family and friends?”. Thankfully, I’m not plagued with delusions of afterlife, heaven/hell, rebirth or any other airy-fairy hypotheticals that NO ONE can prove. All I know is I am alive, I am breathing, I am grieving a loss. I also know I have this heart of mine that loves and feels compassion for others and wishes that all beings live with ease.
My intention for writing this is not asking for comfort or support. I guess my hope is that anyone reading this think twice before attempting to commit suicide, it might permanently end the impermanent suffering you are experiencing but FOR SURE, you will be causing pain and suffering in others…your friends, family, etc…the ones left in the wake of your decision.
“If you have time to breathe, you have time to practice Dhamma. Meditation is nothing but this awareness and sensitivity, but when you talk about meditating while [you are doing activities], people think it means to sit down in the market and close your eyes. Awareness means knowing what you are doing at the moment. Today did you speak, act, and think wrongly? If you have mindfulness, you must know.”—
“You suppose you are the trouble
But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it
It’s too bad that you want to be someone else
You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.”—Rumi
Glad to know you are doing good works in recovery. It's so important and life affirming. I'd love to be able to attend at some point, but I live out east in Norfolk, VA and there isn't much in the way of buddhist recovery groups or dharma punx around, unfortunately. Maybe one day. Anyway- hoping alls well with you in the here and now. Be Well.
Cret- I know what Noah would say, start your own group! If there aren’t any 11th step meetings in your area, that’s something easy to start in an existing clubhouse. Or find a room and start a weekly Buddhist recovery group and I can email you the format we use. Or just start a weekly sitting group that’s peer led, a community effort. I guarantee it will be rewarding for you AND your sobriety. Hit me up anytime if you wanna talk about it or anything else. garyisdead AT gmail DOT com
Hello- and thanks for the follow. I opened your tumblr page and was kind of taken back in that your About section kind of described me!! Father of 2 girls, husband to a definite powerhouse, aspiring (but more just reading right now) Buddhist- getting there with the tattoos and most definitely Sober!! Strange how things work. Anyway- I'm going to check more out on your tumblr cause it looks like you have some cool links posted. I don't know if you saw 'Meditate and Destroy' the documentary about Noah Levine, but I did some audio work on it.... Alright- it's nice to virtually meet you and I hope all's well in your world. Take Care.
Great minds, eh? Yeah, I def know Meditate and Destroy, esp since Noah is my friend and teacher. I’ve been co-facilitating the Tuesday night Buddhist recovery meeting at Noah’s Melrose center for about a year and a half now.
Are you up in NorCal? I’m pretty sure the people that made that film are up north. If so, do you sit with any of the Dharma Punx groups up there?