That title was once said to be by a friend. I’m not calling out that specific friend because we did have a conversation about it but I am deciding to address my readers as well as the universe because I am still bothered by it. Can you not be so Buddhist today? It’s a question I’m actually surprised was said in the first place. What’s so wrong with being Buddhist.
So some context of the occasion. It was pride festival in my area. I wasn’t in the best of moods, and had no intention of going to pride this year in an effort to avoid certain people who added to my mood and struggles this past year. My friend wanting company with his boyfriend invited me, also wanting to help me move past my state of mind. I was grateful and our adventure began. Once we arrived and parked it seemed his enthusiasm had increase 100%. Knowing my spirit still wasn’t at the best place, he committed I should get in the pride spirit and let loose; also stating how pride was our one day a year to let go and be loud and ourselves. Naturally I had my own opinion on pride, and while I usually allow others to be themselves and enjoy their feelings, not sharing my own and run the risk of affecting them negatively, I decided to respond. I shared I saw pride as I saw most holidays; just a day like any other, and I should be exactly who I always am each day. I personal wear my pride for being gay, black, and just Buddhist loud all the time. I’m just me. That statement wasn’t empowering to him, thus the blog title question was said, placing me in a worst mode than I was before the invitation.
So my answer is no I can’t stop being Buddhist today or any day for that matter. This is not a fad or something to turn on an off between shot at the bar, or clocking so many hours of meditative thinking. I’ve found my path to answers to my soul and I believe answers for a better world. I also don’t see how being of an enlightened mind and spirit can cause harm to the fun he or anyone wants to have. Of course I no longer co-sign all night drinking, rude “reads” ( just the gays love to read, straight people call it something different), and heavy gossip (another gay pastime). I’m still fun and probably more so now because my interactions are with my whole being and not out of a need to fit in or show off. So let me say it again for extra emphasis…No, I will not stop being Buddhist.
Being of a more aware mind, I saw exactly why he reacted the way he did. I knew before and while I was making my rebuttal to his joy of pride that I was injecting my energy into his. I did what I tend not to do during a conversation unless asked; I gave my opinion which was colored with my experiences, as they all are. I with my opinion took the win out of his sales and I can’t say with all honesty that wasn’t a small part of my reason for expressing them. I could have easily just said “that’s nice,” or at least allowed him to feel the day his way, and if I had I actually would have been more Buddhist than I was in that moment. Instead I actually was very much outside my Buddhist principles as I did not use “Right Speech”. I beside to not be mindful, after being mindful of my position and what it would do if verbalize, but I did it anyway. His correct question should have been more of a statement like, ” wow that wasn’t very Buddhist of you.” He would have been absolutely correct.
Many people have a basic and often times, bias understanding of Buddhism. I’ve been studying off and on for 11 years and I’m barely scratching the surface. More details will emerge of my Buddhist journey in further post but I will share what the public perceives of Buddhism is drop in an ocean of what it truly is. The incorrect comments do get to me. referencing Buddhism, and showing the limited understanding of it, but still trying to speak point as if a person’s information base is stronger than it is, bothers me. I’m working on my tolerance, and as I do I will be a much bigger Buddhist than I was. So for a third time to round out my love of trilogies…No I will not stop being Buddhist.
FYI, Pride was a lot of fun.