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I have to laugh and blow off some steam here. That is such an oxymoron, “cranky Buddhists,” that it is hard to even wrap my brain around. They do exist however, I have met them.

In the West Buddhism can be very cool, like a label one tries to wear, more as evidence of having rejected organized religion and the idea of God entirely, a kind of status symbol.  As my cranky Buddhists like to tell me, BUDDHISM IS A PHILOSOPHY, NOT A DELUSIONAL RELIGION LIKE CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM! Yes, yelling in all caps like that.  Nothing says inner peace and potential enlightenment better than shrieking about the place and endlessly bemoaning the foolishness of all the other humans.

I cannot say a word of course, but I very much want to ask if they should not perhaps meditate, do some yoga, maybe rake their zen garden and calm down? DO NOT TOUCH THE ZEN GARDEN! IT IS THERE TO REMIND US OF OUR IMPERMANENCE! Yes, okay, but is impermanence not somehow related to change? Will the entire fabric of the universe really be rent if the little zen garden gets disturbed? Besides I am only dusting here people, and as much as I like the idea, I doubt I can rip a hole in the space-time continuum. They seem concerned I might, however.

I truly envy the monk like existence, the fine art on the walls, but a room devoid of all else, no clutter, no knick knacks, just a yoga mat and the calm, serene decor, free of worldly distractions. Rather than inner peace however, it just screams out obsessive control to me. I envy it for that very reason, I should like nothing better than to live in the midst of pristine order, free from the chaos and confusion of the world. Should I ever tire of such sterility, I am free to simply rake my little zen garden in a different direction entirely, to live dangerously perhaps and comb in a few squiggly lines.

boldly flee