November 1st, 2002

don't fear death

The Friday Five

1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith?
yep, roman catholic. sadistic nuns, patent leather shoes and all.

2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not?
no. i woke up around my freshman year in college to find that, at least scientifically, many of the things i was taught in catholic school had no basis on fact. i wrote a paper on Siddhartha for a theology class and was utterly shocked to find there was a religion/philosophy that subscribed to everything i always believed but was too afraid to question as a kid.

3. What do you think happens after death?
rebirth, depending upon your karma. recently i have discovered that i take more comfort than i ever thought in the laws of cause and effect.

4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)?
both. observing Monlam, the great prayer festival, and listening to HH Dalai Lama's teachings in India was an incredible experience.
participating in my own private practice and studying the teachings of Buddha give me great peace both on a spiritual and intellectual level.

5. Do you believe people are basically good?
i like to think so. at least that we start that way and then become products of our environment. this isn't to say genetics don't play a part, but environmental factors can outweigh them.

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don't fear death

34

in about 2 1/2 hours i will turn 34. why do we make such a big deal of birthdays? in india only the males celebrate birthdays, even as children. every year i try to cancel mine....or try to slide by hoping no one remembers. i forget everyone's birthday, why can't they do the same for me? our parents should get the celebration....after all, they did the work, no? i am eternally 24 anyway. i don't know why i got stuck in that year. a friend of mine sends me a card on my birthday wishing me a happy whatever anniversary of my 24th birthday. ;)
i think this year i will be 12 again.
in the great scope of things 34 isn't that old at all. i don't know what i expected my life to be like at 34. i've never been one to think about the future....it is too abstract for my thought process. i like to think of things more concrete....like world peace ;)
so here goes another year and another day that really isn't any different from any other day.


my horoscope:
"So many poets have the courage to look into the abyss," wrote Kenneth Koch in describing Nobel Prize-winning poet Saint-John Perse. "But Perse had the courage to look into happiness." It's a radical departure from what traditional astrologers say about you Scorpios, but I'd like to name Perse your patron saint for November. More than ever before, you now possess the capacity to set aside your fascination with darkness and gaze smartly into the complex depths of sweetness and light. Halloween costume suggestions: angel carrying a clipboard, cheery clown wearing a stethoscope and white doctor's coat, a bride with a blow-up doll of the Dalai Lama.
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