This morning, as my teen dashed out the door for school, he told me he left me a copy of his world religion essay on my desk, because he thought I would “appreciate it.” On my way to write El Morno, I stopped to read his paper and decided to start our Odd day with a guest post by Cole.
Buddha: The Lesson of Doubt
Buddha instructed his followers to “be your own lamps, be your own refuges…..Hold firm to the truth as a lamp and a refuge and do not look for refuge to anything beside yourself.” In order, to light your own way Buddha explains that it is proper to doubt and be uncertain until you see things for yourself. According to the teachings of Buddha it is bad to accept things thoughtlessly and without direct experience, enlightenment occurs when the knowing comes from observing and experiencing life directly.
When we are children we accept that our care givers know what is best for us; and our foundation is laid with their beliefs usually without question. If our parents belong to one political party we will announce our allegiance to it, if our parents are vegetarians we will announce that we are vegetarians. Buddha encourages us to doubt what we hear from others even if they are authority figures, and not to blindly follow anyone. Buddha tells us that we must find out for ourselves what will bring us contentment, clarity, and peace. We must follow our own path.
This Thanksgiving Walmart, Best Buy, Kmart, and Target are some of the stores that will open on Thanksgiving to kick-off the holiday shopping frenzy. The stores doors will be rushed with customers trading a day traditionally spent with families and friends for heavily discounted merchandise. Few if any of these Thanksgiving shoppers will notice the store employee checking them out*, or putting merchandise on the store shelves whose job would be in jeopardy if they chose Thanksgiving dinner over checking out shoppers purchases. In contrast, if we use Buddha’s teaching to apply doubt to the pack mentality surrounding Thanksgiving shopping the scenario might change. Potential Shoppers would investigate retailers claims of deeply discounted merchandise, observe the media campaigns created to please advertisers and expose greed and panic in the consumer, and question if they want to turn Thanksgiving into just another shopping day, realizing if they don’t shop, stores won’t open. Of-course, using Buddha’s teaching this scenario could also play out in favor of stores opening on Thanksgiving. His teaching tells us to doubt, observe, investigate, and make our determinations based on what we have experienced directly. The teachings do not tell us what we should ultimately believe. However, I’m pretty sure Buddha would be on the side of celebrating Thanksgiving, family, and green been casserole.
(quick text before school)
Great essay Cole!
Thanks, I thought you would like it.
I did! Just wondering why green been casserole instead of Turkey. (well, aren’t you curious?)
Mom, I’m sure Buddha would be a vegan.
Please visit our Thanksgiving The Real Deal face book page, click to like the page and support everyone’s right to enjoy green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. Thank you.
Odd Loves Company!
More terrific blog posts.
* I would never in a million years clarify…his teacher might, but I won’t 😀