Saturday, May 12, 2012

On not having much to say...or being older...

Well, it seems the Buddhist blogosphere is becoming a little thinner of late.  The Precious Metal blog is closing up shop.   The Reformed Buddhist is really kind of dormant.

And this blog hasn't had that many posts of late.  My rate of posting has gone from a deterministic constant rate process to one more bursty and Poisson-like.   That's my way of saying though it's been 6 days since I wrote a post on this blog it might be that tomorrow you might find thirty or forty posts here, but don't bet your life savings on it.

I'm not  running out of things to write about, but rather these days there are higher priorities.  My 10 year old  is becoming slowly but surely a rather skilled young violinist who knows about Shakespeare.   My wife is doing several things business related. I've got major work things to do, bursts of creativity.  Plus sitting practice, swimming, and 詠春券.

And I could be writing  posts not just on Buddhism.  If you look at the early pages of this blog, way back some 8 years ago (yes, this is one of the oldest, still functioning blogs by an American Buddhist of European descent) it had many political pages.   I don't write many political blog posts anymore, on this blog, and when I do, it might appear on Daily Kos instead of here.  (I've been meaning to do a post over there on Russia Today; remind me to do so.  The post would be about how come the English language version can talk about problems in the US, and how come they don't talk the same way about problems in Russia, and how propaganda is propaganda is propaganda.  But, despite its propaganda issues, RT is a guilty pleasure, unlike the BBC or Fox News or CCTV-9.)

The thing is, there's much I could write about but various things prevent me from doing so.  For example,  much of my current work is practice more and more, but much of it I am not at liberty to do so because of commitments to my employer.  It's because of those commitments that I feel a bit frustrated at times, because I can't tell folks how Buddhism in the marketplace is really like and practiced. Maybe when I retire I can write a book about it. 

But I for one, for now, plan to continue writing on this blog; I think there are important things that should be said, and it seems as long as no one else is doing it, and as long as I can do so without treading on other commitments I've made, I might as well be the guy.   I wouldn't deign to call the perspective I've acquired some kind of "wisdom," because I had to wade through quite a lot of my own stupidity to get where I am now.  A grandfather of mine was reputed to have said, "You'd have to sit three days up a donkey's ass to know what I know," or something like that.   It wasn't quite a boast, but an admission of the kind Zimmerman sang:

An' here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice.

I especially think those things need to be said when I see a raft of posts in the Buddhist blogosphere that tend toward the uninformed - at least uninformed by what I've been informed by.   It is a cliche that experience brings perspective, and I hate to trot out that cliche as any kind of an argument from authority.   But it remains a fact that so many of those with less experience just don't get "it" -  they don't know what they don't know, and I, myself, know so damned little myself, including, but not limited to the fact that I don't know what I don't know.
I do hope those who are continuing in the Buddhist blogosphere continue to continue - I need to hear others' perspectives, too.  If anyone knows of any blogs to be added to my list of blogs to read please let me know. 


Petteri Sulonen said...

I haven't had all that much to say about things Buddhisty lately. I'm not qualified to say anything much about the dharma, and I've gotten heartily sick of the drama. Perhaps I'll get inspired to do some reading of the classics and blog about that at some time, like I did with Vasubandhu's seven works (I never did blog about the very last ones, although I did read them). But not so much now. So I blog about coffee, or Europe, or whatever else I happen to be dabbling in. There might be something about saving the planet with LED lighting, or housework.

I've also gotten increasingly jaded reading Buddhist blogs, the few that remain that is. Most of it is fluffy New Age pap. Most of the rest is terribly self-absorbed, or drama, or just very trite and clichéd or Establishment, or just relatively unoriginal.

A couple I do enjoy that aren't featured in your blogroll:

Meaningness, David Chapman's cluster of blogs about tantra and criticizing "Consensus Buddhism"

Sujato's blog, by Bhante Sujato

Mumon said...

Petteri: I should do another sutra series myself. I too am bored about the drama & the fluffy new age stuff. And I'll definitely check out those two blogs.

Angulimala said...


Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain
That could hold you dear lady from going insane
That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain
Of your useless and pointless knowledge

Of late I have been easing no mind in the rereading of one of my favorites:

William Faulkner ~As I Lay Dying~

"In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not. And when you were filled with sleep, you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not. Jewel knows he is, because he does not know that he doesnt not know whether he is or not. He cannot empty himself for sleep because he is not what he is and he is what he is not. Beyond the unlamped wall I can hear the rain shaping the wagon that is ours, the load that is no longer theirs that felled and sawed it nor yet theirs that bought it and which is not ours either, lie on our wagon though it does, since only the wind and the rain shape it only to Jewel and me, that are not asleep. And since sleep is is-not and rain and wind are 'was', it is not. Yet the wagon is, because when the wagon is 'was', Addie Bundren will not be. And Jewel is , so Addie Bundren must be. And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not emptied yet, I am 'is'.

How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home."

Mumon said...


Nice quotes. I might read that book by Faulkner...

~JJ Runnion said...

please continue ... however intermittently. i am no expert or roshi, genpo, guru, etc. ... i have spent most of my years just slogging along doing my meditation alone, sans teacher or sangha (though i do have a community of recovering folks that seems to work). i've looked for teachers, but in my very rural locale, the distances have been prohibitive. Then i think, perhaps a reliance on my own experience internally is better for me.
i enjoy your perspective and information, expertise and wisdom. i keep thinking that i will blog one day, though i don't have that much to say.