February 18, 2021


Aspens 06 Oil Paint Rendered — Jasper National Park, Alberta
My beef with Buddhism is its 
not-caring solution to suffering.
The Buddha's big idea
was to not-care.
To call suffering an illusion,
and have nothing to do with it.

I much prefer Jesus' solution to suffering,
which is to suffer!
To bear the pain of caring
and to care even if it kills you.
That's more like it, I say.

Both Jesus and the Buddha
would be quick to say
that it is easy to care too much
about the wrong things,
and that it is easy to care
about the right things
in the wrong way.

Caring is tricky,
and that's what I like best about it.
Life is tricky.
I love that about life.
There is no formula for living.
No recipe for getting it right.
Now we have it,
now we don't.

We keep getting up
and going back at it,
hoping to do better this time
than last time,
or the time before last.

I love that about us.

The thing I love best about us
is completely out of our control.
It is an unconscious,
spiritual, thing:
Our ability to resonate with some things.
We can fall in love.
We can see eye-to-eye with others.
We can sing in tune and on key.
We can harmonize.
We can vocalize.
It is magical.
We are magical.
I love it!

And I can't get the Buddha's 
not-caring about any of this!
If you are not going to love deeply
what is to be loved about life,

You are wasting your life!

We have to embrace life totally!
The wins and the losses,
the suffering and the celebrations,
shouting YES! to it all!
Bearing the pain of it joyfully!
Relishing the honor of being able
to love something with all our heart
and soul,
and mind,
and strength--
to love it enough to die for it!
To go to hell for it!
That's living!
Why hold yourself back?
Why hold anything back?
This is our one chance at living life
the way it needs to be lived!

Get in there and do your thing,
and don't let anything stop you,
or even slow you down!
"If you meet the Buddha on the road,
kill him!"



The Relic 03 Oil Paint Rendered — Down East North Carolina
Where does your fear thrive?

Where are you forcing things to be
what you want them to be?

Where are you willing your way
through your life?

Where are you meeting opposition?

Where is there conflict?

Where are the contradictions
most apparent?

What are your symptoms?

What are your dreams telling you?

How long has it been
since balance, harmony and flow
were companions in the journey
through your days?

What is more important:
Having your way,
or finding your way,
or taking the way 
that opens before you,
calling your name?

How long has it been
since you gave up your way
and followed the impulse
of your nature?

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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