Monday, October 29, 2007

The Ten Endowments (Part 2 of 2)

6. BEING BORN WHERE A BUDDHA HAS APPEARED
You sit atop the tabletop hockey game under the bed and wait for the click of a wet food can opening. But all you hear is the blotting wail of Merced's leaf-blower outside the bedroom window. This is the dark age, the dark eon. Dwell on the accomplishments of the leaf-blower. A vision of obscene chipmunk refugees fleeing the screech of blown leaves fills your heart with nectar.

7. BEING BORN WHERE A BUDDHA HAS TAUGHT
In the 1980s, before he became the Mayor of America, Rudy Giuliani narrowly escaped a death plot hatched by John Gotti, who ran the Gambino mafia family. Pravda newscaster Martha MacCallum asks viewers: "In terms of Rudy Giuliani and his presidential aspirations, does this help him, this story? Does it make him, you know, even more, sort of, invincible?" Just because Rudy Giuliani descends among us as Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future, he nevertheless might choose not to give verbal teachings. Instead he might work for sentient beings by sending beams of light from his holy body.

8. BEING BORN WHERE THE TEACHINGS EXIST
Solitary and wise on a branch of the Mayakovsky Tree, Sogyal Rinpoche says: "When one filthy squirrel has ceased and a future squirrel has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn't there a consciousness of the present moment, fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a a fur's breath of conceptual thought -- a luminous, naked awareness?"

9. BEING BORN WITH THE ABILITY TO FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS
I sniff a scrap of blue sunflower-seed corn chip under the couch after the "party" they threw last night in the living room. It is not yogurt or catnip, not the moth I injured in September. Lick it, just in case.

10. BEING BORN WHERE THE KINDNESS OF OTHERS SUPPORTS YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Mary is worried now that she's outside the 15-29 demographic group which the station classifies as "young," and the station's mailboy has called her "Ma'am." Rhoda persuades her into phoning an old boyfriend for a get-together. A football player turned insurance salesman applies for a job as a sportscaster and attaches himself to Mary. Mary and Rhoda discover that he hasn't had much success at anything and encourage him to pursue his dreams.

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