Look Ma, no dog!

OK, so I played a little word jumble here to come up with an interesting title today. I’m stretching I know, but I needed a lead in to discussing dogma’s.

Dogma: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true:the dogmas of faith [mass noun] :the rejection of political dogma
It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioner or believers. The term derives from Greek δόγμα “that which seems to one, opinion or belief”

dogmaI realized recently how these dogma’s only serve to separate us from one another. Whether they are religious or political, they are cause for separation. This can be just as true of Buddhism as it is of any religion or political party.
Even if I were to look at another person in my community, and make a statement like “that wasn’t very Buddhist of them!”, I have asserted a dogma. What is a Buddhist? Who is the perfect person? Who of us does not have dogma’s?
We are all raised in an environment that influences are thoughts and behaviors. Cultural, political and religious influences are imprinted upon each of us from the time we are born. And I often wonder if we are ever truly separated from these psychological imprints.
Again, I am reminded of Bhante’s words to me… Accept, be Mindful, and Cultivate.
These words hold such deep meaning and truth. To accept, completely, means to have no judgement or expectation on another. Regardless if you are a Republican, Christian, Communist or Ex-Con. Each of us is still a human being. We each deserve forgiveness and compassion. Equanimity (Upekkha) is a mind in balance, free of discrimination, above distinction, and rooted in insight.
I think that being mindful of this is a good beginning to letting go of dogma’s and judgements, and cultivates the seeds of equanimity.
I do not have to agree with you to accept you. And by listening to you with a loving heart and open mind, I can see your true nature and intention.
What a peaceful World we can live in if we can simply accept and celebrate our differences.

So the next time someone from a different political, socioeconomic, or religious persuasion presents their thoughts or ideas to you, try and welcome them with love and acceptance. Do not judge or criticize. Do not put the “self” in front of your mind.

May you be at peace and harmony with others, and may you be kind and loving to yourself.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.