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Mint Juleps
Friday, November 18, 2005  
I've been reading Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums about his search for meaning in life in hiking and contemplation. So ah-ha -- I jotted down a few words about Douglas's secret true Buddha nature. But I'd hardly finished a sentence when I realized I'd never be able to convince anyone that Douglas has a true Buddha nature.

The following day I've thought back on how it has happened that he lacks a secret true Buddha nature. I wondered if he used to have one and has lost it over time.

I tried to bring back my early memories of him; one that comes to mind is that he would never say "uncle", even though someone bigger might be sitting on top of him. Was that evidence of a Buddha nature perhaps not. Would a bodhisattva say "uncle" ? It is hard to tell for sure. But let's say a bodhisattva would not say uncle and that it was evidence of a Buddha nature.

As the decades have whizzed by, has Douglas followed that early impulse down the Dharmic path to its logical conclusion? Has he given up the hedonistic pleasures of food and drink? Or has he transferred from a love of chocolate milk to one of chardonnay? Has he taken to asceticism in all things? Or only those that polite society require. Has he eliminated his self or expanded it so as to be completely detached or in complete harmony with the rest of the world?

While, yes he has maintained a discipline and determination suggested by his early unwillingness to say "uncle", he has not in other ways sought to remove himself from the world at large in order to find inner quiet required for Buddha nature. And though we may debate tonight the benefits or drawbacks endlessly, we will not find that secret nature. Douglas is destined alas for many future lives.

However, it is to many future birthdays in THIS LIFE that I give my toast.

Friday, November 18, 2005



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