03 December 2008

Ordering Off the Menu

On Tuesday nights, I go over to Santa Monica and chant with some fellow Buddhists. Yes, me. The opinionated, grumpy, snarky one is a Buddhist. Hey, enlightenment is a process. And judging me isn't going to help you get there. Ha ha. See, that's some Bodhisattva humor there for you. Buddhists are funny, in case you didn't know.

Anyway, the whole point of mentioning this was the fact that after our chant we chat. Share a little philosophy and whatnot. During the chat, one person brought up how sometimes you chant for something and you don't get it and you feel kind of gypped (though I believe the phrase "frustrated and confused" was used). This seems to perplex a lot of Buddhists (and "The Secret" users, though, they are more inclined to visualize), because I've heard this more than once (and from "Secret" fans, too). I even hear it from "traditional" prayer people. I have to say that I'm always a little stunned when people look at prayer/chanting/mediatation as a sort of wish list. Like Santa Claus is suddenly the Higher Power.

Don't get me wrong. I kind of dig the Law of Attraction (just don't get me started on the men it tends to bring me). However, I don't really "use" it as much as I sort of bump into it on accident. That's how my superpowers work -- accidentally. I put it out there, forget about it, then I sort of trip over it which reminds me of what I requested. On the flip-side of that coin, if I really focus (read: obsess) on something, I seem to drive it away. Kill it, even. Like George with the rabbit or over-watering a plant. (By the way, I no longer obsess.)

I do believe that you can will anything you want to you, whether that "anything" is good for you or bad. (This is where that saying, "Be careful what you wish for," should ring some bells.) So, when something I think I want doesn't come my way, I say Thank God or Rock it, Buddha! Because I have learned to respect the adage, "Man's rejection is God's protection." Can I have an Amen? It is so true. Sometimes you aren't getting what you want because someone is looking out for you. Say, "Thank you."

That's not always easy to do. Believe me. But, the way I figure it, God/Buddha/Brad Pitt isn't forgetful. If you let Him/Her/Brad Pitt know what you want once, it's duly noted. If you need it/it's good for you, it will come (not always overnight, but when the time is right). If it's not needed, you won't be bothered with it. Either way, it's a win. It just doesn't always feel that way. Trust me. I know. Right now, every aspect of my life is in flux. That's like trying to find a comfortable position on a bed of nails. But, this is when I have to take a look around and be reminded of all that I have, not all that I'm missing. Or, I simply go out with some friends and throw back a few. Either way, I win.

Life is a bowl of cherries, a smorgasbord or a cabaret. It is not, however, a fast-food joint where you can order off the menu and have it your way. Not all the time, anyway. Sometimes you have to peel off the pickles and remember that blessings can come in disguise.

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