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Lions Roar : July 2015
Southside Buddhist continued from page 73 Once the Southside me emerged and crashed a Southside party with other Southsiders, and the South- side me delivered the best line of the night; when asked if he felt tough tonight, he said, ‘I’m tough every night.” The Good Side The truth is the Southside me could be fun to be around. Find him at a party. Notice how the party gravitates around him. Listen to his laughter, a joyous sound. Watch how his face wears a permanent smile. During these moments he is not conscious of his deficiencies. He does not worry about what he looks like to others. He doesn’t care what people say about him. He does not concern himself about being a good son, husband, friend, dog-father, writer, teacher, and all the other roles he plays. He simply exists. This is his most natural Bud- dhist state. Aging In the last few months, I’ve seen less and less of him. As I get older, so does he, and perhaps, he knows there’s not much need for him anymore. He’s not there when someone cuts me off or when the neighbor’s house alarm goes off at six in the morning. I miss him, but I would never say it to his face. I miss him like how we miss our memories—a nostalgic longing, a yearning to have time back. I miss him in that he provided access to a rarely known side of me, and at times, it was liberating, despite the trouble he caused. Trouble can be, as he says, a source of comfort. Now, he comes in those quiet times, baseball cap turned backwards in stone faded jeans and a Just Do Me T-shirt. He taps my shoulder. He nods. He says, “Yo.” He says, “You forget about me?” And I tell him in the sweetest voice I can muster, “How can I?” ♦ From Southside Buddhist: Essays by Ira Sukrun- gruang. © 2014 by Ira Sukrungruang. Reprinted by arrangement with University of Tampa Press. THREE TREASURES ZEN CENTER 14 Wayman Dr, Otego, NY 13825. (607) 988-7966, abbot@ thethreetreasures.org, www.thethreetreasures.org/8501.html • Clear teaching, clear mind. Please join us for regularly sched- uled practice and retreats. A Kwan Um School Zen Center. TSEGYALGAR / DZOGCHEN COMMUNITY IN AMERICA PO Box 479, Conway, MA 01341. (413) 369-4153; secretary@ tsegyalgar.org; www.tsegyalgar.org • North American seat of the Dzogchen Community, founded by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Please contact us for information. VILLAGE ZENDO (Dotoku-ji True Expression Temple) 588 Broadway, Ste 1108, New York, NY 10012.