Thursday, March 31, 2011

Petal to the metal

Petal to the Metal

There were 2 movies that very much influenced my early thinking, that I saw as a prepubescent impressionable child. One is Animal House. I wanted to go to college because of Animal House. Peer pressure was another reason. Everyone I knew was going. Of course when I went off to college, I was anti-frat, and Animal House didn’t have any meaning for me. I guess it’s a sense of playfulness that I really liked about Animal House. I think play is really important. But I digress.

The second movie that influenced my impressionable mind was Smokey and The Bandit. In this movie, Burt Reynolds plays a foot loose and fancy free man who has a fast car. They get paid to make a quick truck delivery and he runs a distraction from the truck. Police go after him and thus the truck gets to keep speeding. The Reynolds character drives a Trans Am. I still think that’s a cool car, maybe some day I will try driving one. I wonder if I could rent one for a week. I don’t really need to own one, it’s probably a gas guzzler. Anyway, I digress.

One of the ideas in Smokey and the Bandit is, “put the petal to the metal,” meaning put the accelerator to the ground of the car. In those days I suppose carpeting wasn’t standard the way it is now.

So for me putting the petal to the metal in my spiritual practice is an interesting idea. I always think about Bhante’s point that a little effort is like stretching a rubber band. It just snaps back. Be he also talks about trying to split a bolder in half. If you hit it 19 times, do those times not count, when it splits on the 20th? So in another way, I wonder if you can’t make real progress as a worldling. Can I take advantage to what has been given to me. Some spiritual leaders will say ordinary life provides good opportunities for practice.

I say, put the petal to the metal.

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