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Lions Roar : January 2003
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2003 71 Tawnee, plus become an ipso facto Buddhist at the same time. Sweet, no? And the real Buddhists can’t object, because they are enjoined to universal kindliness and have to keep on grinning that real-Buddhist grin. The next thing you have to do is decide on whether you’re going to say “BOOdist,” “BUUHdist” (rhymes with “WOODist”) or “BUDDist” (rhymes with “FUDDist” and also “DUDDist”). I have to say that for my money the first sounds low-rent, kind of Casper the Ghost, and the last sounds a little floral and also could be heard as “BUTTist,” so the second it is, even though in order to say it that way you have to purse your lips in a sissy manner. O.K .— you’re well on your way. The next thing you have to do is know some ter- minology or pretend to know it, so that you can use it when the conversational waters get heavy. Dharma: This is a great word to use in practically any sentence of gravity because it has so many meanings (I think). It’s something good, a good quality of a person or a regulation of how you act, if I’m not mistaken. When an NBA star, especially one of the very tall ones, reads to any group of fetching or marginal or, especially, reviled illiterate people, that is a possible example of dharma in action. If you’re still not sure what it means, be serene, be a Buddhist about it, and that could well be dharma in action, too. Helpful hint: The “h” in “dharma” is silent—and a good thing, too. Karma: This is the most-said amateur-Buddhist word by a long shot. You can apply it to absolutely anything that happens to a person. For instance, if you enjoy infomercials and decide to order Moving Men, those plastic discs with discs of orange foam set in them that you put furniture legs on so that you can push or pull heavy items from room to room, that becomes part of your karma, and might be one of the reasons you come back in your next life as a dray horse. “Karma” will fit an infi- nite number of occasions but is best used sparingly, lest it deteriorate into a synonym for “whatever.” To summa- rize: karma is the things you choose to do but don’t have any choice about, like throwing down with Tawnee and then not spending the night—it’s free will and fate all rolled into one hell of a