February 18-A, 2023

Dogwood 04/06/2018 08 Oil Paint Rendered — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina
The First Noble Truth of Buddhism is 
"All life is suffering."

I say, "Stop right there!
Suffering is a frame of mind!
A way of seeing!
A way of evaluating what you are looking at!
An opinion!

"All life is an opinion!
The way to be free of suffering
is to change your mind 
about what is important!

"The Eight-Fold Path 
is nothing more than eight steps
to changing your mind 
about what is important--
with 'Right Seeing' being the first one!"

Right seeing is seeing our seeing,
evaluating our evaluation,
having the Right Opinion
about all of our opinions
and maintaining Right Perspective
all along The Way.

We can come at this from a different perspective:

"It's all useless, hopeless, pointless, 
futile and absurd--
and coming to a very bad end!
Everything DIES!
So why try?
Who cares?
What difference does anything make?
Nothing matters!"

To which comes the retort:

"You say, 'Nothing matters,'
in a way that suggests
it matters that nothing matters.
You are the very evidence you need
to change your opinion/perspective/point of view
about nothing mattering.
If it matters that nothing matters,
check out your breathing.
That is probably a second thing that matters.
And, before long, you will have a room full
of things that matter,
'Eating when hungry,
resting when tired,'
for example.

"So stop it!
Don't give me 'Nothing matters!'!
Change your mind,
your perspective,
your point of view
about how things are
and what can be done about them,
and turn the light around!"

Everything comes down to
turning the light around.

Some people look at absurdity
and conclude that there is no reason
to go on.
Other people look at absurdity
and laugh,
and keep going.

Turning the light around on
"So what, who cares, why try, nothing matters,"
by asking of it,
"So what if no one cares,
if no one tries,
if nothing matters?
Let that not interfere with 
the things that matter:
Cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven.
Chocolate shakes,
hot showers,
good company,
puppies and kittens and children's laughter...

The list is long,
so stand up!
Step into what needs you to do it,
and allow your life 
to carry you into the next thing
that needs you to do it,
all the way to the last thing,
laughing and loving all that is to be loved,
enjoying all that is to be enjoyed,
seeing with right seeing
evaluating with right evaluation,
opining with right opinions, etc.,
all along The Way!


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.

One thought on “February 18-A, 2023

  1. Yes indeedy, and as your photo suggests, dogwoods blooms are just around the corner. Suffering is way overrated, and gratitude is an effective antidote.

    Liked by 1 person

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