Short Vignettes and Other Snippets

by Fred Leeds

A Buddhist Think Aloud

Thoughts are reflexes of our attitudes and can be, at times, almost deliberately misgiven. If I am an angry person, for example, I may be manufacturing reasons for that anger while imagining that it comes from the other person. Rather than recycling this anger, I should reconsider my outlook and cultivate charity.

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I guess I mean that the mind has wings, can save itself through qualification and avoid tangling with the world like the body.

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The awe and wonder of the universe. That sounds right. If that is what God stands for, then it is something we should never lose.

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This is the problem with hostility – especially casually-expressed hostility – as I see it. It begins in the hearts of individuals, who “finish” it in group codes that cannot be retrieved. That is why group-think is such a problem – because it imprisons our living intentions in a self-justifying history, making repentance and self-reflection almost moot.

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This tends to destroy the context of our free choices, overgeneralizing whatever we do so that it seems to fit in with the mainstream.

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A Cup of Instant

The second I drink a cup of coffee, the coffee bean in its historicity vanishes. The proof is in the pudding, as they say-though in this case it is in the coffee.

We demand, as is only natural, that the flavor of one bean become the flavor of all beans, that the taste be consistent and up to standard. Yet in its lone heart the bean is still special.

As an advocate of beans, I must insist we see the coffee as a group venture, a concoction of sincere and fellow beans.

Now then, as humans, are we not as good as beans? Let us lift our shared cup in mutual appreciation, beyond what we offer to standard use.

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