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The Buddha

Especially in the time of Trump, it is hard to know what to say that will cut through the noise.

This is a perennial dilemma for Buddhists. On the one hand, the Buddha was right. His account of the universe and human reality needs no embellishment. One of the precepts enjoins lying, so that route is out, no matter how well it seems to work, in the short run, anyway.

But reality is often not very pretty. It definitely is not always very appealing. Taking your favorite prescription medication or drinking your favorite drink is easy and will make you feel better. But only for a short time.

If you really want to feel better indefinitely, you need to meditate and let go of everything. Everything.

It is definitely kind of scary. Our delusions are familiar and comforting. Staying warm in bed is so much easier than getting up and facing reality. The problem is that reality comes to get you in the long run whether you like it or not. You’re going to die. The only variation is in what happens to you after that.

You can get off of the hamster wheel and never come back, or you let yourself take yet another rebirth, in the seemingly infinite stream of samsara. Awakening is the best option by far. Nothing on earth can remotely compare. This does require a leap of faith because the bliss of awakening defies description in human language. People who know do their best, but words cannot describe. You just have to look at the people and decide whom you want to follow.

The truth of the Buddha is not fancy. It’s not sexy. It’s not fun. But it is the truth of the universe.

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Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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