Earthday ceremony on Sunday morning: Chanted the Loving Kindness Sutra and The Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo for protecting the life of our planet. Listed all of the endangered species (from plants to fish) too.
Later, in an overview class of Buddhism, we hear the stories- six tusked white elephant enters the womb, baby falls out of the side of his mother, clean and undefiled, never hits the ground, takes the seven steps, declares who he is.
Later, someone says, " I really liked this morning's ceremony- so real- chanting the names of endangered species. But then we get this stupid story. I guess all religions have this silly stuff."
I say, "I'm open to six tusked elephants and these stories. If this is conscious construction only, maybe consciousness was different in the Axial age, so projections were different. Buddha sees Buddha- if Buddha doesn't see Buddha, then maybe it is silly stuff."
She says, "Yeah, except when these stories support misogyny and patriarchy."
I say, "I don't think the stories are complete. We need more stories like Subu, who tore her eye out, only to have it grow back. We need more stories about the complete Sangha."
She gets teary eyed, I'm frustrated, because I mean I am open to eye balls growing back, not patriarchy. I'm open to milk squirting to the sky from the neck of Shi Shi Bodai.
And I question the complete enlightenment of the Buddha who refused Mahapajapati's request to ordain...either he wasn't complete, or men, who kept the stories, got it wrong. I think the latter is more true.
But what's really frustrating is that I don't feel like it's the same topic. What I want to talk about is Buddhism being a radical view of "reality." This isn't a refuge belief or disbelief, but the fertile ground of open hearted radical acceptance. I want to talk about the possibility of milk-blood.
A six tusked white elephant is a lot easier to see than the nature of emptiness or the nature of mind only!