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All is quiet on New Year’s Day.

Unless you’re in my head, of course, where the stream of consciousness moves relentlessly towards the sea of heartbreak. Or whatever.

Welcome to Tuesday. It is now 2013, and since I have some vacation days back, I am taking a couple days off. I have some errands to run tomorrow, and a road trip for Thursday. Maybe Friday too. I don’t know.

Today though, it’s me and thee. Or just me.

Making a resolution on New Year’s is cliche. So too, by the way, is not making a resolution on New Year’s. That’s the way of labels. You make one, strive to be different until that very difference becomes another label. I wrote a poem about that one lovely morning in Bookman’s. It ended up in Roadside Truckstop.

In any case, I will not be making a resolution per se. This morning was reading through Confessions Of A Buddhist Atheist (lovely book by the way, I highly recommend it.), and came upon a reference to something called the Kalama Sutta.

The Kalama Sutta is one of the Pali Canon, a set of Suttas (stories or parables) involving Buddha. These were passed through memorization for their first four centuries until written down in Pali in the first century BCE. Whether these various stories happened or not is really not the point–which you Christians could learn a HUGE lesson from by the way. The point is the lesson within.

The story goes that Buddha came among the Kalama people and gave a dhamma (dharma) talk. The question came up about various monks who pass through town explaining their own teachings and denigrating and insulting the teachings of others, which causes confusion among the people. How do they know which one is right?

Well Buddha being Buddha, he tells them to find their own way through.

“Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another’s seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, ‘The monk is our teacher.’ Kalamas, when you yourselves know: ‘These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,’ enter on and abide in them.” —Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry”, translated from the Pali by Soma Thera. Access to Insight, 7 June 2010, . Retrieved on 1 January 2013.

“Don’t listen to people talk, don’t listen to them selling souls. Don’t listen to me or words from men above.” That’s how Pete Townshend put the same idea in “Time Is Passing.” Who Came First is a brilliant little album.

The point is, you must figure out for yourself what feels right for you, and question everything–everything–without fear. I finally did it years ago as far as religious beliefs and began the journey which led me to where I am: A somewhat militant atheist–with a tinge of buddhist thinking. Yeah, buddhist with a small b.

But nothing was sacrosanct. Nothing was above scrutiny. Even the things that I figured were already decided upon, I would go back to and ponder again. It’s what led me once and for all out of anything remotely Christian and into atheism by way of Zen, since Zen is the most atheistic of the Buddhist strains, and most all of what you find in the Pali Canon and the Dhammapada are ultimately not supernatural at all. Going back to the Kalama Sutta, Buddha never claims he even knows of an afterlife. If there is or isn’t doesn’t matter, he says, as long as you can find solace and peace now.

So this all leads me to today, and resolutions.

I want to get more active. Easy enough–make some time. Get better shoes.

Just do it. Or not.

I want to meditate again. Meditation does not require candles and music. Those are for amateurs. You can meditate in the middle of the market–or in the middle of the call center if they’d leave you alone long enough. You’ve done this very thing before. Pick it up again. Shikan-frickin-taza. Or Thich Nhat Hanh’s walking meditation. Remember how good that felt.

Just do it. Or not.

I want to fall in love. No you don’t. Don’t waste your time with that anymore. If she shows up, she shows up. But do not waste your heart on waiting and wanting! 

Fuck that. Fuck all of that. Your dream lover is just a dream. What you cook up to make you feel better about yourself.

You know this.

Oh. You’re still here reading this? Cool. This is some of what runs through my head from time to time. Only with more occurrences of the word “fuck.” And tits.

I still love you lots though. Those other women mean nothing to me.


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