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The Buddha

The Buddha could be a real buzz kill. All this reality stuff. Pretty disappointing.

I just got a new computer! How exiting! For about 30 minutes.

I’m actually very pleased to have a computer that works well. I write all the time, and having a really slow computer drives me up the wall.

But the message of the Buddha remains — all is impermanence, including the fun of having a new computer. Having to fight with Microsoft certainly does not help. The newness wears off pretty quickly.

But it helps a lot, for adults, anyway, for the Buddha to point out that this is inevitable and unavoidable. One defining feature of being an adult is the ability to react with some equanimity in the face of inevitability.

If rain is falling, adults realize they can do nothing to stop it and adjust accordingly. Children may rail at the rain and invest useless time and energy in wishing that the rain would stop when they want it to.

Rain does not work that way. Life does not work that way. One might wish that the excitement of a new computer, or a new car, or a new job, or a new spouse, or a new anything else, would continue indefinitely, but we know it won’t. Only the deathless is, well, deathless. So stop stomping your foot at the universe and keep meditating. The rain will stop when it is ready.

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Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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