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The Lotus And The Mishpocheh: The Principles of Jewish Buddhism

Many a time have I alluded to the uncanny similarity between orthodox Jews and Indians, especially the orthodox Hindu Brahmins. My mother, for instance: If I had a nickel for every time my mother starts to quote the Vedas and, in the same breath, launches into how her blood pressure medication is really a diuretic, I’d be a bloody bzillionaire. Perhaps we are the lost tribe … apparently that left turn at Mounta Sinai put us in Madurai.

1. Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen.
And sit up straight. You’ll never meet the Buddha with such round shoulders.

2. There is no escaping karma.
In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited.
And whose fault was that?

3. Wherever you go, there you are.
Your luggage is another story.

4. To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following:
Get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?

5. Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions.
Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

6. If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

7. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others.
The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides.
The Tao is not Jewish.

8. Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip, joy. With the second, satisfaction.
With the third, Danish.

9. The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings.
Still, would it kill you to find a nice sentient being who happens to be Jewish?

10. To Find the Buddha, look within.
Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers.
Each flower blossoms ten thousand times.
Each blossom has ten thousand petals.
You might want to see a specialist.

11. Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

12. Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have? Bupkes.

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