Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I will never be Buddhist.

I lived with Tibetan monks the summer after my sophomore year of college. I was an intern at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the monks were there to build a mandala. It was an amazing time. I would watch them, transfixed, as they scraped a metal stick up and down a grooved metal cone. The vibrations of the cone caused the sand inside it to come out like water, and soon monkeys, clouds, gorgeous buildings, and writing took shape. The monks worked for a week, sometimes for 10 hours a day. When not working, they were the most kind, gentle, and surprisingly playful people I've ever met. It was probably the most formative experience of my time in college.

But that darn One Good Bumblebee has pretty much prevented me from ever becoming a Buddhist. That's right, my path to spiritual enlightenment has been permanently roadblocked by their Jar of Whimsies. Why? Because the jar is filled with stuff, stuff I desire. Buddhism calls this desire Tanha, and it's apparently not good. But Buddhists, how could you expect me not to want "glass glitter imported from Germany, vintage cotton spun mushrooms, gold foil leaves, viles, millinery supplies, vintage beads, vintage costume jewelry, vintage clothespins, typewriter keys, jingle bells, vintage marbles, wooden spools, sugared fruits, antique skeleton keys, vintage game pieces, watch parts, foil dresdens, miniature toys, vintage swizzzle sticks, charms, and so much more." So much more! Clearly I need this. Clearly enlightenment will have to wait until the next life (and maybe in my next life, I'll already HAVE all this stuff, so I won't want it. It's like the Eightfold Path loophole).

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