Sunday Sermon "Bad Buddhist, No Nirvana!"

As I watched my friends in the Baha'i community work through the odd sleep schedules and hunger that their yearly fast entails, I was moved to examine my own spiritual path. I've thought, written, read, and meditated on the subject. It was pretty depressing, to be honest.

When I lived in Fort Collins a few years ago, just a few blocks down the road there was the Laporte Avenue Zendo. I used to sit there every morning with a small group of dedicated practitioners, and as Abra would say, "It was good." We were done by 07:00, and I would then approach my dreadful job as a customer service representative ("complaint taker") for AT&T with a clearer mind and greater compassion.

Today, I stumble through my morning and drag myself to class. I try to remember to say a gatha for breakfast, but often there's no time for breakfast, let alone time to be thankful. My hair is no longer on fire. Unlike the Baha'i crowd, I have no Zen community around here, so I have become slack. Bad Buddhist - no Nirvana.

There is an old Zen proverb about practicing like your hair is on fire - that you should try to maintain an urgency in your practice. Reverend Master Jiyu-Kinnet preached, "Time flies as an arrow from a bow..." I can still hear her crisp British accent admonishing all of us to work as hard as we could. The Buddha told his disciples that discipline, effort, and a certain tautness were essential to following the Middle Way.

Now I know that my loyal readers (all 3 of you) are wondering when the Reverend is going to get around to the moral of this story. You all know that the part where I draw this all together and make some attempt at profundity is just around the corner.

Not today.

Today, I'll simply say this; I'll be meditating regularly, first thing in the morning, starting tomorrow. If you want to come over and join in, drop me a line and let me know. If you want to meditate in your PJs at home, that's great too - just drop me a line and we'll acknowledge that we are sitting together at different places. Time is in short supply; there's so much to do. Start now!


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