Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Challenging myself

Latest vegan TEDx talk. Actually it came out in April 2018. I have been a vegetarian on and off in my life since I learned you don't need to eat meat in a nutrition class at the University of Wisconsin. I've been a vegan off and on since my best friend, and my life partner converted. The three main reasons for veganism, for the environment, for health and for ethical reasons are perhaps the best way for me to enact my ethical hopes.

Meanwhile in Burma there's a monk who preaches war: The Venerable W. And he's a Donald Trump fan! The NY Times has a review of the documentary. I didn't know anything about the 969 Movement.

I am really attracted to the ideals of Buddhism. The reality of a Buddhist nation can be different. Living in a Christian country, I dream of living in a Buddhist country.

I believe this is why Pema Chodron beats on the drum "start where you are." We've got to keep our eyes wide open. Where are we really. Let's be honest.

There was a recent article about William James and Josiah Royce. It said that James believed that we know so little about the world that we should be tolerant of others. I thought that was pretty cool. Royce said that loyalties mark out being. I'd like to read more about this. Ever since I read that article, I've been asking myself what am I really loyal to?

It's a bit like the refuge question. What do you take refuge in. Really, not just what I wish I was taking refuge in. When I'm exhausted working through the night, I meditate. It is so hard to meditate in exhaustion and being more mindful of exhaustion can be painful. But I emerge from meditation more mindful and integrated. It is worth it.

When I buy a hamburger on the way to work because I'm hungry and that is a cheap option, I am not being loyal to my vegan ideas. This is a deeply held belief of mine, allegedly, but the reality is that I slip from time to time. "I am not enlightened yet" is a great moral excuse, but I need to challenge myself to ask why. I must not hold the belief too closely.

I believe we will make the most hay by challenging our own lack of integrity. The land mines inside me are what I need to watch out for. The lack of tolerance inside me is what I look out for. The lack of integrity inside me, is what I need to look out for.

I don't mean we can't criticize others and play out this internal battle in the large stage.

I don't know why ethical struggling isn't the main conversation. I think people hide their struggle with living up to their ideals because if others knew their struggles, they would be giving away negative self information.

Never mind that a 10 year old has figured it out about veganism.

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