"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Story about the differences in culture (part three)

*******************************Where we come from************************* ********************************************************************** Part three on my thoughts about India and a very different culture. Before turning to this page I was just reading Boyd's Parktown Progress blog. I really enjoy what that guy has to say.... Boyd is a former resident at Benares and I have listened to him long enough to be able to say he is and adult, emotionally as well as chronologically. He takes no public stand on spirituality in that post, and/or the existence of supreme beings, (always a wise move), whereas all who spend any amount of time around me usually figure out where I stand. My experiences in India were the culmination of a spiritual and emotional journey that started in 1956. It took me two days in Delhi to finally still most of my racing western thoughts. The road trip to Agra gave me time to sit and watch the country and the people, and to allow both to go by without my judgement. The final step to being a part of India was the 500 km train ride from Agra to Varanasi. Indian trains, even express trains take their time and one gets a chance to be Indian. India is approximately one third the area of my country, the Unites States. It has just under ten times the population, and a culture that goes back well over 3000 years not 400. Once I allowed myself to immerse in the moment... to absorb almost by osmosis the Indian thought, I gained a feeling of peace... a feeling that everything was as it's supposed to be... even the passing of friends and family. I realise that likely most that read this don't share my spiritual beliefs and that is fine. I have had a lot of experience in explaining to people over the years that as Buddhists we don't get excited about anyone else's spirituality or lack thereof. India is a not a Buddhist country... Buddhism started there yes, but India is primarily Hindu and has a large Muslim population as well. Perhaps many other countries, including my own, could take a page from the tolerance of India in all things.

I will return again to that wonderful land... I find a peace there I've found nowhere else. I am a pragmatist... I don't intend to move there.. at least not yet. But someday I hope to end up on the steps of the Manikarnika Ghat at Varanasi..... one last time. And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

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