Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why Fat Free Buddha?

Fat free Buddha philosophy
Fat free Buddha's philosophy is in the name. It's awakening, with nothing extra, no fillers, no spiritual fluff, just direct awareness (It's just like this). Awakening to your life as it is, and responding to it as it is. To be a Buddha is to respond appropriately, and this starts with you, your life, your body , your mind. There's this image of the Buddha as this pudgy, sedentary, inactive, awakened being who promoted seated meditation and a spiritual life -- a life that seems to look nothing like the one in front of us right now. Would the Buddha have not treated his own body with as much compassion as he treated every other living organism?

One of the most common shared understandings is ,"being I have to lead a (house holders) life I don't have the time to give to a life of meditation, better luck next lifetime". What if the Buddha did not want to teach people how to be or what their lives should look like, but how to look at their life directly as it is. What if the Buddha did not teach how to be a good Buddhist, but how to awaken to the true nature of our existence. That becoming a "good Buddhist" is just a natural by product of gaining deeper understanding of ones life. Buddha means literally (the awakened one). What we can do is kill the Buddha or cut the fat off the Buddha, which means throw away the historical image of the Buddha and find the Buddha/awakened one in the very life we are living. What would it look like to cut the fat off the Buddha?

This would mean letting go of all concepts of how to be and not try to be like the Buddha or any historical enlightened being but do what the Buddha and others have done. Have a direct intimacy with our lives, get up close with every moment, objectively study ourselves. Two obvious factors of our experience are, one there is a body that functions voluntarily and involuntarily, two there is a mind that functions voluntarily and involuntarily. The third and not so obvious factor to our existence is this presence,this sense of being before the thought of being this or that , this that makes every thing alive, this that is aware of this body and mind. We can use awareness to get up close and study ourselves. How well do we understand our body's and minds? Have we ever really taken the time to look for ourselves what is happening right here, now, without an idea of what should be happening or what it should look like?

Fat Free Buddha is an invitation to take a look for yourself! Through tuning into the body we have the ability to gain deep insight into our lives. All to often we look to others to understand ourselves instead of looking deeply into the very moment in which what we are trying to understand is happening. We want someone to tell us whats going on so we can know how to respond to our lives appropriately. We want someone to tell us what to do to get the results that we want but we rarely want to become intimate with the proses. Imagine I asked someone for a map of the very territory I was walking on, and as I was walking I was looking at the map to try and figure out the easiest safest route to walk. Now imagine I couldn't interpret the map until after I was already on the territory because my mind could not keep up with my walking. I would be finding myself on unsafe territory and over correcting at times, which would send me right back onto more unsafe territory just repeating the same process. Now that just wouldn't work out to well would it, and for me in my lifetime it hasn't. Not that looking to others is not useful, sometimes others can give us good maps of the territory we are looking to understand. But we don't need to stop there we can use the map to see that we are already on the territory and experience it ourselves. In this case the map will lead you right back to your own life as it is in the very present moment. So start there or should I say start here. Your body, your mind, your life.

It takes a simple approach to find a simple truth, Good Day


L Alvarez said...

Thank you for posting this. It's interesting because I have spent my whole life looking elsewhere for direction, for a couple reasons. One, Time.. I manage a family of 4 with one on the way and find it really hard to seperate myself from that role even for a second to take time to look at myself. But above all of that I believe my biggest obstacle is trust. I have no trust in myself. However I guess it would take a while to basically re-train myself, it's just a matter of finding "time". :-)

Abijah C said...

Hi l alvarez,
Thank you for your comment. I can understand what you are saying here, I too had a very hard time trusting myself. I think this is the main obsticle for us moving and growing spiritualy. If we realy look at it we have all the time in the world to take a look at our selves, there is no time that we are not there. It realy comes down to trusting enough to take a look.

Abijah C said...

Continued comment,
So being trust is the main obstacle, how do we trust, and more importantly what do we trust in? I have found that having trust in the proses and "letting go" are one in the same. The proses, "your life " is always happening always unfolding. Can we relax into the proses? You are constantly changing, your understanding dictates the ways in which you change. You can let go of the idea you need to change, this idea prevents you from getting close and deepening your understanding. Even if you wanted to you could not prevent the inevitable truth that you are changing. All we need to do is take a good look at ourselves "objectively" without an idea of how we should or should not be and let the proses take care of the rest. You can start with looking at your speech, just look no judgment. When you look, look with every part of your being,"feel your speech". Relax and trust your life!