My Eight Steps

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:54 pm

I have an example of step one. I need to recognize things as they are.

In the Introduction thread, I said that I learned that I was born in a Year of the Tiger, but I'm more kitten than cat.

My boyfriend says I'm a fierce competitor. He's teaching me to play tennis. I have never beaten him, but still, according to him, I'm fierce, Guinevere confronting a Saxon. That makes me more cat than kitten.

Also, at sixteen, a boyfriend is not a permanent relationship. He will find his Juliet. Odds are, she won’t be me, a noble truth and then some.

:soapbox:
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Jesse » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:25 pm

If your interested in Buddhism at 16 I'd think you have quite good karma. I wouldn't worry too much, learn, live and I imagine thing's will work out well for you.
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:18 am

I should have labeled this "My Steps" instead of "My Eight Steps" because I took a peak at Dr Snyder's book, and turns out that the Dharma has more than Eight Steps.

About suffering, when I was younger I had anxiety about being returned to the orphanage. I wanted desperately to stay with the three boys and their father and mother, so I did everything they asked me to do (wash dishes, clean my room, clean the house, do school work, follow the Mother to help with her charity work, hold the hem of the Mom's miniskirt and suck my thumb while the boys collect the groceries). Sometime in the time period I convinced myself that I had made a permanent change of station. I don’t live with Mrs Mom, her three sons, and her husband. I live with Dad, Mom, and my brothers. Now my greatest anxiety comes from worry about whether I will have a boy to take me to a school dance or a party.

I go to school with students who have upper income families, A few are no income families. They eat in "soup kitchens." It's bit of a misnomer. One has spaghetti and meat sauce at a restaurant near Disneyland. The other serves stew, but no soup. The stew menu is seven different churches, a different one every day.

So on balance, I have little real suffering in my life. If no boy wants to dance with me, I could live with that. That was the condition in the seventh grade. Now, lots of boys look forward to dancing with me. I try really hard not to hurt them, and somehow I have convinced them that they are safe with me.

:stirthepot:
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:20 am

Jesse wrote:If your interested in Buddhism at 16 I'd think you have quite good karma. I wouldn't worry too much, learn, live and I imagine thing's will work out well for you.


As the king says, "Thank ya vry much."
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Jikan » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:45 pm

Ghid wrote:Also, at sixteen, a boyfriend is not a permanent relationship. He will find his Juliet. Odds are, she won’t be me, a noble truth and then some.


I hope it's not exactly Romeo and Juliet--both of them dying at the end and all.

Enjoy the journey...
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:08 am

Jikan wrote:

Enjoy the journey...


Our mother's get along reee aaal goo ed, but he is Jewish and I am Catholic, so probably we're more like Boaz and Ruth. He's a Jew and I'm dah shiksah. Ever since my grandmother, who grew up on 14th St in New York City, found out that I have a Jewish boyfriend, she has announced me "Oy veh, here comes da shiksah."

So like I said in the last post, or if I didn't, I'll say it now: In the seventh grade I set an objective. Mostly I can't do that. My mother sets my goals. That's not really as bad as it sounds. I think that if I objected to her plans, she would change the plans, but I don't remember if I ever objected.

Objective: Find a boy with shoulders and arms and hugs. Find a boy who will pay attention to me and not his cell phone or video game. Find a boy who will let me pay attention to him without texting or video gaming or playing Pokemon or other card games.

First Stratagem: Find a safe place for the attack. I asked Mr D, my Spanish teacher, if I could eat lunch in his room, but I didn't tell him about my grand design. And that is where I wonder if I didn't follow step three. I didn't tell a lie. I did indeed want to eat lunch in his room, but I didn't tell him the real reason.

:stirthepot: and :namaste: yal
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby catmoon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:35 am

Dear Ghid


You, girl, are going to be a force to be reckoned with. Welcome aboard.
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby LastLegend » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:54 am

He might find his Juliet one day. But you are complete as you are, you don't need a guy to complete you. Knowing you are complete and does not need others to complete you, you then can complete others. No dependency on others for happiness. If happiness is dependent on on others, then it is not yours but given to you.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:25 am

catmoon wrote:Dear Ghid


You, girl, are going to be a force to be reckoned with. Welcome aboard.



Thank you. I had not thought about how I could be a ratio of mass and acceleration. :smile:

J, my boyfriend, says we are two quarks.

Be my quark
For a while,
At least long enough,
To run the next mile.

Kinda geeky, but sweet.
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:43 am

LastLegend wrote:He might find his Juliet one day. But you are complete as you are, you don't need a guy to complete you. Knowing you are complete and does not need others to complete you, you then can complete others. No dependency on others for happiness. If happiness is dependent on on others, then it is not yours but given to you.



Thanks for the sign post. Mom and I have had that discussion.

An artist, a singer from back in the dark ages, Barbara Streisand sings a lyric “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”

So Mom sings the lyric, and she says that when she was my age, her mother had a Barbara Streisand ‘record’ collection.”

And I ask, “What’s a record?”

And Mom says, “Google it. The point I want to make is that people who need people are unlucky with a capital U. Barbara Streisand believes lots of lies, and this one may be the worst one. Needy people are not happy people. Independent people are happy people.”

And she continued with a lecture on human personality development. People are dependent, then controlling, then the competitive.

The story of my controlling nature is really kind of funny.

And, at our church group, I have learned about being needy about material things. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to take your shirt, let him have your coat also.”

Anyone could wonder, who is more needy, the person who asks for the shirt or the one who won't offer the coat.

In my experience, instead of a shirt, it is a pencil. The really remarkable fact is that pencil-less students almost always return the pencil.

I got in touble one time when I was overly generous with a homeless person. That is a funny story too.


:stirthepot: :namaste:
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby catmoon » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:13 am

Ghid wrote:
catmoon wrote:

Thank you. I had not thought about how I could be a ratio of mass and acceleration. :smile:

J, my boyfriend, says we are two quarks.

Be my quark
For a while,
At least long enough,
To run the next mile.

Kinda geeky, but sweet.


Geeky? You want geeky?

Let F be the force applied
Let M be the mass of your boyfriend
then
A = F/M where
A is the acceleration of your boyfriend along a vector that points through the center of the front door.
Let V= the integral of A with respect to time
then
As long as the force is applied, V increases without limit.

Yeah I have some geeky history, too. :rolling:
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:20 pm

catmoon wrote:

Geeky? You want geeky?

Let F be the force applied
Let M be the mass of your boyfriend
then
A = F/M where
A is the acceleration of your boyfriend along a vector that points through the center of the front door.
Let V= the integral of A with respect to time
then
As long as the force is applied, V increases without limit.

Yeah I have some geeky history, too. :rolling:


In celebration of geeks, I will write a hiku. It is not particularly relevent, but it is a haiku. Sort of.

Tree huggers and tea
huggers Both expect to see
Armageddon soon.

:namaste:
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:50 pm

Last Legend has for me some very good advice. I think that in my reply I was wondering if the Buddhist idea of self is related to the Christian idea of sharing. If I share a coat (or a pencil) is that an expression of the Buddhist idea of self /not self?

****

So moving on, like I said, Mr D let me eat lunch and do homework in his classroom, and I went there with the intent to invite other students to hang out, except that I tried to invite students who were not Kurzweilian robots.

At that time, I had not heard of Ray Kurzweil, but Dr D (now he has a PhD, and he teaches at the high school) recently asked me to read two of Dan Simmons’ books, Hyperion, and the Fall of Hyperion. The story, written in the 1980’s, is set in a future society in which some of the “people” are sentient computers. They are connected to some kind of central computing system, something like the way many of my friends can’t live without texting nonsense on their cell phones or i-pads.

As I typed this sentence, I checked the spelling of Ray Kurzweil’s name by using his Wikipedia article. My success as a student is better, not worse, because I have access to the internet.


And I realize that the electronic nature of the internet is not the problem. I knew a cute boy (call him C-boy: blue eyes, dimples, shoulders, he’s a hunk ), but he was obsessed with a warriors and wizards card game. He never did anything without his deck of cards, something like some of my friends never do anything without their cell phones.

All that was three years ago. Maybe now I understand (if not ethotically, then at least logically)that people are what they are. I can’t change them into something else.

Ethotically, even if it is not an official word, would be to ethos as logically is to logos, two word I learned last school year in English.

Maybe this makes no sense, but I felt like I should say it.

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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:28 am

Why do we go to school?

Maybe the king, the man who connects heaven and earth, wants educated bureaucrats and warriors. If he is a wise king and even if he never heard of Buddha, he wants his people to see things as they are.

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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby catmoon » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:37 am

Ghid wrote:Why do we go to school?

Maybe the king, the man who connects heaven and earth, wants educated bureaucrats and warriors. If he is a wise king and even if he never heard of Buddha, he wants his people to see things as they are.

:stirthepot: :namaste:


A friend of mine who is a schoolteacher was once asked this question in class. She didn't answer it. I asked her why she didn't answer, and she said.....

"I didn't have the heart to tell the kids that the reason the class existed was because I needed an income, that my existence and prosperity was not inherently justifiable, and that the only solid reason I had for requiring an income was that I have three cats who require food, shelter and medical care and general spoiling."
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:40 am

catmoon wrote:
Ghid wrote:Why do we go to school?

:stirthepot: :namaste:


A friend of mine who is a schoolteacher was once asked this question in class. She didn't answer it. I asked her why she didn't answer, and she said.....

"I didn't have the heart to tell the kids that the reason the class existed was because I needed an income, that my existence and prosperity was not inherently justifiable, and that the only solid reason I had for requiring an income was that I have three cats who require food, shelter and medical care and general spoiling."


The teacher is absolutely correct. All the things which make my life: My running shoes and the street where I run, my new car (not new, but new to me) and the gas in the tank, my jeans (hand me down form my brothers), my sexy shirts and miniskirt, my floor length dress for Spring Formal, my little black dress for whatever, my sexy bikini, my surf board, my hamburgers with the tomato and lettuce, my broccoli and cauliflower with ranch dressing, my fielder's mitt, my Miley Cyrus tickets, my copy of The Complete Book of Buddha's Lists -- Explained, Mom's missal, which she takes to church with us every Sunday, while I confess, "Mom, I almost had sex with J-boy because we were all sweaty from having run five miles and we needed to take a shower, but honest Mom, he turned me down, ... And Mom and Dad and my brothers. I really miss my older brothers.

All this and more, I have because someone, somewhere, maybe over the rainbow, has three cats. Cowabunga, halleluiah, Red Rider.

And speaking of cats, Goldfish, our dog, just threw up on the rug.

:stirthepot: :namaste:
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:31 am

So I cleaned up Goldfish's throw up.

And let me say that I miss my brothers because they grew up and moved out. And I have a sister-in-law with whom I will be very good friends.

Turns out according to chapter three of Dr Snyder's book, Step one includes the four noble truths. Those are four thing which I must see as they are. I had expected that Step one would not be about animal, vegetable, and mineral or about animate, inanimate, etc. It's more like: Am I male or female, gay or straight, good or bad, ... Step one appears to be about things, which the king would not expect the schools to teach.

American children have been full time students since as far back as the beginning of the nineteenth century, like when Whitman or Longfellow went to school. My grandfather has been a full time student twice, once in his own childhood, and again as an adult.

He follows a student who is a sophomore. Since he retired, he has worked as an inclusion assistant, which is a relatively new sort of teacher.

School classrooms have traditionally had students and a teacher. I know this by looking at “The Country School” by Winslow Homer. He painted it in 1871 when my great grandmother ’s grandmother was a student. My grandfather says that his grandfather told him that schools in 1890’s had students and a teacher. My grandfather’s classrooms in the 1950’s, had students and a teacher.

When my mother was in school, the classroom population began to change. Her classrooms sometimes had teaching assistants for physically disabled students. In my classrooms we sometimes have as many as five classes of people. They are teachers, students, a parole assistant, a health assistant, an inclusion assistant.

I think maybe we have parole assistants because they help their students with various parts of the eight steps. I tried several times to get one of the convicts to notice me, but they were too hard, they were too interested in their electronics to have anything to do with me.

One time a teacher asked me to help a convict with his math. I could not help him with anything because he kept answering text messages.

Is patience a part of the eight steps?

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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:04 am

Like I said, my grandfather is an inclusion assistant. That means that he helps students with learning disabilities. Mostly for the last fifteen years he has helped autistic students. Three of his students have graduated from college. Gramps does not take credit for that, but as I have grown up, I have watched how his students changed from closed clams to beautiful butterflies. Something like me, when I met my grandfather, I was mostly a clam with a very tight shell.

The point of all this, if it has a point, is that for three years, I have gone to school with my grandfather. He and Mr D are friends, so when I went to Mr D’s classroom at lunch, I had lunch with Mr D, Gramps, and his student, R-boy.

R-boy is a good student, but like many special education students, he goes off to Never Land while he should be listening to the teacher. Also, he does odd things like he looks in trash cans, and if he sees discarded food, he eats it.

R-boy’s odd behavior became an asset for me because it became a reason for people to come to Mr D’s classroom. With Gramps’s permission and guidance, we took turns to help to monitor R-boy’s behavior.

I don’t know why R-boy has strange behavior. I suspect that Buddhists will say it’s karma, and Christians will say it ‘s sin. I’d guess it is what it is, just like I have have my own list of odd and strange.
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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby Ghid » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:18 am

I wonder about the nature of suffering. It seems like it is more complex than I thought

But the Buddha didn't really mean suffering; he meant anguish. He meant pain, for example the pain that comes from anger due to a desire for revenge. Ahab, the captain of the Pequod, wanted revenge. He wanted to kill the white whale.

Maybe the Buddha was not referring to the pain in Ahab's leg or the pain due to having been stuck by lightning.

Other crew members suffered. For example, Pip the cabin boy had been a castaway, a sailor had a toothache, and Starbuck must have suffered with his inability to remove Ahab as the ship's commander.

I wonder if Pip's zombie like behavior, the sailor's toothache, Ahab's pain from the lightning strike, qualify as the kind of suffering which must be recognized as they are.

I believe that the narrative does not say how Pip dealt with his suffering.

The ship's carpenter offered to pull the aching tooth, but I don't think the narrative says if the procedure succeeded.

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Re: My Eight Steps

Postby catmoon » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:54 am

There are several types of suffering included in the First Noble Truth.

There is plain old pain.

There is loss.

There are failed expectations.

There is even a form of existential angst included by many teachers.

I've probably missed some.
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