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Issue #1356 - Thursday, February 20, 2003 - Editor: Jerry  

Theme: Walking  

Vicki Woodyard

And then the buddha said...yadda, yadda, yadda

The buddha is a shadowy figure at best to me.
Try as I might, I can never remember what it
was that he said exactly. Frankly, I just
remember how he looks. Fat little guy with bare
feet and his hands thrown upwards into the air.
Quite possibly he was an early weatherman...who
knows.   Of course, sometimes he is seated in a
reflective posture. He is more than likely
counting his fat handles, it what you will. Let's be
frank...the buddha was obese. If he had to have
his body fat ration calculated, it would not
have been a pretty picture.  

Didn't he say that all of life is suffering?
know that I have been suffering ever since I
sat down at the computer to write this piece.  

Buddha is a buddy of mine. I met him at the
Waffle House and he bought me a cup of joe and
sat with me in buddha posture as he buttered
his waffle. He seemed unattached to the outcome
of eating all of those waffles.  

"Buddha, buddy," I asked him, "aren't you
worried about your cholesterol count? Are you
on Zochor or Lipitor yet?" He regarded me
quizzically and said nothing. He chewed and
swallowed each morsel daintily. His aura was
redolent of bacon grease.  

As he got up to leave, I cautioned him that he
shouldn't travel alone, as people might try to
kill him if they met him on the road. "Not to
worry," said the round little man, "if my
disciples don't kill me, the waffles will."  

"Then why don't you quit eating waffles and for
heaven's sake, stop being a buddha. Just be
ordinary. Then no one would try to kill you."  

"You don't understand," he said wearily. "I am
ordinary. That is what makes me the buddha.
It's you disciples who are trying to make me
extraordinary. If you knew how ordinary I was,
you would let me eat my waffles in peace. You
would let me go and come to your senses."  

I opened the door of the Waffle House and let
him precede me into the cold, dark night. His
secret is safe with me.

Vicki Woodyard  


Walking to work, I hear a child yelping in the next block. It is odd,
the way the sound bounces from building to building, each echo of the
same sound entering my ear at different times. The echoes, taken
together, remind me of yelping dogs. A flock of pigeons erupts from
the park up ahead - did they hear the dogs, too? All of this timed to
the metronomic sound of my footfalls.

Then, I am here, at the park, crossing the street, eyes on the
pigeons above me, slightly dazzled by the sun skirting the tops of
the buildings across the street, when I hear the dull thud. I know
that sound already, and though I am shocked when I look back to the
pavement to see what has happened, I am not surprised. One pigeon
lying with limbs in disarray, a single pigeon leg extended to the sky
from a bloodied round body.

I think the sound of the thud was too large for the impact of such a
small body on a car. I watch a second pigeon, mere pigeon steps away
fromt the first, skulk away. I see the car, already a grey fuzz in my
peripheral vision, drive on. I marvel at the roundness of the pigeon
body and the geometry of the leg, pink pigeon toes extended,
flaglike. I hope to not see it move, but I watch and look for
movement, anyway. I feel irrational anger. For a moment I believe it
could have been avoided; this is not supported by anything I have
seen and probably not by anything I have not seen.

Once, I piloted a small motorboat among the San Juan Islands. The
islands moved relative to each other relative to my boat. This
parallaxic dance was experienced as a sort of freedom. Uncannily, it
was experienced as the islands moving as well as the boat, sky and
sea moving as well. Each definable form moving in its own pattern
relative to the rest.

The timing of my walk to work, a yelping child become dog pack,
pigeons in flight against sheer building faces, a car and pavement,
my body in space, footfalls and field of vision... all boats and
islands, sea and sky. The buddha is a part of that, too.

If you kill a buddha, does it matter? There is always another to fill
his place in the parallaxic dance.

Whatever the answer, I'll probably still cry for his death on my walk
to work.

from Daily Dharma

"Every day, priests minutely
examine the Dharma and
endlessly chant complicated
sutras. Before doing that,
though, they should learn
how to read the love letters
sent by the wind and rain,
the snow and moon."

  Where to live a Buddhist environment

-- Bon Giovanni

My friend was very open and brave in his description of his state and desire: he lives at home, has no job, and wants to live in a Buddhist environment near Madison. He tells that he would like to swap his labour for lodging, as needed.

As a wondrous stroke of luck, I know a place that may serve him well. It requires a great deal of work, self-sacrifice, attention, and study but the results are worth that. The people in charge are living Buddhas, and if one studies them carefully, and does one's work well, enligtenment is guaranteed.

The place is exactly where he is now: in his folks' home, serving his parents, paying them with labour attention and affection.

from Google Answers

What does the concept "Walking the red road" mean?

"Walking the red road" is basically a mental
and spiritual concept. It relates to a
spiritual journey, in the good, right, way.
"Red", as in the colour of God. However,
choosing the red way to walk in implies also a
behavioural change.

This behavioural change is the understanding of
the place of nature in our lives, and the need
to be in harmony with the nature. Therefore,
the concept also refers to achieving "mother
earth" spirituality, going in the nature way.

For example, a user named Jason writes in
alt.freemasonary, that "The Lakota Sioux
principle of "Walking the good north-south red
road", walking the holy way of life (...). The
Lakota see the most fundamental step to walking
the red road is giving yourself over to Great
Spirit." (Source: Jason, "Essay on ancient
Freemasonry, critiques welcome!"

Some reservations must be expressed, or so it
seems. This expression and concept is referred
to "Indians", and might stem, at least
partially, from the view of the Indians as a
homogeneous mass, not as different groups with
different traditions. Therefore, the concept
might not be spread as "non-Indians" seem to
think. Native American religious traditions
have gone, since the 1960s, in a process of
reshape according to some expectations of
believers of New Religious Movements, who
consisted mostly of white, suburban, middle
classed, followers. That means, identification
of "wholeness" in indigenous religions (in
contrast to Judeo-Christian institutionalised
ones) and a sort of unification of different
traditions (of different groups) along the way,
as they are all "indigenous" (You could find
more about this interesting realm of the
Religious Studies and the Sociology of Religion
in the University of Virginia site

Another Jason (presumably not the former one)
writes about it in the alt.native discussion
group: "Every since Dances With Wolves the new
age part of society came crawling out of
(nowhere)... most of them were rejects from the
60s that couldn't find their place in the
nineties... I remember two years after Dances
you I all these people say "I've walked the red
road for two years." Today I'm hearing a lot of
the same people saying "I was there at wounded
knee in 1973 walking the red road." It just
bothers me to see people trying to be something
that (they're) not." (Source: Jason, "Re: Wierd
White Indians " alt.native, ).

Tony Marino treats it all with a pinch of salt:
"BONUS! For those who order early, you will
receive a phrase book that includes the proper
way to say, "Ayyyy!" with the appropriate head
movements and some slang from the Nation of
your choice. The book also includes fail-safe
vague references to the "rez" and some
handy-dandy pan-Indian sayings such as,
"walking the red road," "circle of life,"
"seven generations" and "all my relations" -at
no extra cost!" (Source: Toni Marino, "Re: Way
tooo funny, (Sorry here's the msg)" alt.native The
rest of the post, regarding Indian wannabes, is
also very funny.

Further Reading

Aspen_, by Milton Lewis, University of

Rainbow Tribe, Ed (Eagle Man) McGaa _Ordinary
People Journeying on the Red Road_

by Ben Marra. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 100 Fifth
Ave., N.Y., NY 10011, (800) 345-1359, FAX:
(212) 645-8437.

I hope that answered your question. I have
searched Google for "walking the red way", and
also used my knowledge in the Sociology of
Religion. If you need any clarifications on
this answer, please let me know. I'd be pleased
to clarify the answer before you rate it.

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
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