Knowing our Beliefs

Knowing our Beliefs January 7, 2009

During discussion time at meditation last night, our hostess quoted Sister Helen Prijean from her “This I Believe” essay early last year:

“I watch what I do to see what I really believe.”

Wow. Meditate on that for a bit. As per the last post, we talked a bit about how we can sometimes think we hold high ideals of this or that sort, but then our actions are in discord with them.

What might this last year or so taught me about my beliefs?

  • It tells me that I believe in love, and that my greatest hook (Tibetan: shenpa) is perhaps the relationship hook, the egoic “high” of feeling as though I finally have it figured out in that department. I don’t, and I probably never will. And that’s okay.
  • It tells me I believe in knowledge, having great faith in my intelligence and ability as a student and teacher. This path is one I return to with great ease and joy.
  • It tells me I believe in Buddhism, a teaching and a way of life that, when I follow it, never fails to surprise and support me in my journeys.
  • It tells me I believe in friendship, having relied upon and shared so much with friends old and new from Missoula to Malta, London to Los Angeles and countless stops along the way.

It is interesting to me, in this mini-(discursive)-meditation, to find friendship coming up. It came up as I thought about the traveling I’ve done last year: following love, knowledge, and Buddhism. I have also traveled, perhaps even more, just to see and be with friends.

It’s interesting because I’ve long watched my triangular balancing act of love-philosophy-Buddhism tug me this way and that. I suppose it may be a sign that I’m getting older – or wiser – or something – but I think I’m taking friendship more seriously lately. Well, a bit more to meditate on.

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