As a member of a quarter Jewish, half Atheist, and a quarter Theraveda Vipassana Buddhist household (there’s only two of us in my household – me and Amy – you figure out the math), I found the following email on Zen Judaism hysterical. I post it as an ode to my favorite Buddha loving retired VC, Jerry Colonna.
If there is no self … Then whose arthritis is this?
Be here now. Be someplace else later … Is that so complicated?
Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip, joy. With the second, satisfaction. With the third, peace … With the fourth, a danish.
Wherever you go, there you are … Your luggage is another story.
Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health or a life without problems … What would you talk about?
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single “oy.” … And a lot of travel arrangements.
There is no escaping karma … In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?
Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? … Bupkes.
The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others … The Tao is not Jewish. The Tao is also not your mother.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out … Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.
Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen … And sit up straight. You’ll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.
Be patient and achieve all things … Be impatient and achieve all things faster.
To Find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals … You might want to see a specialist.
To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following … Get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?
Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions … Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.
The Torah says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Buddha says there is no “self.” … So, maybe you are off the hook.
The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings … Still, would it kill you to find a nice sentient being who happens to be Jewish?
Though only your skin, sinews, and bones remain, though your blood and flesh dry up and wither away, yet shall you meditate and not stir until you have attained full Enlightenment … But, first, a little nosh.