Friday, April 21, 2006

Oy, Friday

I don't know how your week was, but after mine I need a laugh. I hope this will give you one.



Meditation

Last night's meditation was the best for me yet. I've been drifting aimlessly in my post-Catholicism life. I've dallied with the Quakers, the Episcopalians, and the Unitarians. All terrific groups with many merits, but none a perfect fit. My relief at having found what feels like a refuge cannot be described.

Relief often gives way to joy, which is the case with me. It was in the spirit of joy that I wrote yesterday's entry. I was therefore a bit perturbed by the anonymous (aren't they always?) comment that I was belittling a spiritual practice.

I am devoted to exploring this philosophy, but I do not equate devotion with either gloom or a self-consciously serious tone. My teachers and fellow students approach their practices with hefty doses of humor and this is one of the reasons I feel so at home in my sangha.

As for Buddhist meditation leading to a trance, which Anonymous informs me is not the point, "trance" is the word used in three of my study guides and by two of my teachers as the state of mind that comes from successful meditation. As a novice, I can but use the vocabulary I've been given.

Read carefully before writing, Anonymous. Snap judgements are not indicative of mindfulness.

Namaste, y'all.

79 comments:

Kathy Merrick said...

Franklin, cher, I'm suggesting a title for your next entry: "Where To Buy a Sense Of Humor, CHEAP".

Anybody disses you, bro, I'll jab 'em with a hat pin.

Tracy said...

I agree -- one of the things that I've enjoyed most about my (admittedly limited) exposure to Buddhism and meditation is that a sense of humor usually seems to come with the territory :)
After all, when you watch what the mind does, you find that it often does very funny things.

Aidan said...

I was having tea this morning with the Laughing Buddha, and he said that, while he has registered a trademark on humor, you may feel free to use it in a non-commercial manner.

Namaste, Babycakes!

Cheryl said...

The cartoon is adorable, and it sooo like a child... my son's downfall is tags...he about goes nuts till they are all cut out of everything...

Sally said...

I loved the cartoon! I am sure you will ignore Anon, as she/he so richly deserves. Life is too short to be so uptight.

Joanne said...

That cartoon is so funny. I think I need to start a little file on my computer with the cartoons in it, and when things are getting tough and I need a laugh, I'll open up the Franklin file! So, when's your book of knitting cartoons coming out? Hint..hint.

DianeS said...

Life is too short to take seriously...thank goodness you're in it, Franklin!

meg said...

The itchy lamb is wonderful. And you're right; let's consign this past week to the dustheap.

David said...

Love the cartoon.

Jill Smith said...

Good grief. I am constantly surprised by the plethora of humorless idiots in the universe. Luckily, I am never surprised by your gentle grace and style in the face of such idiocy.

Mom said...

I can remember you saying those same words to me when I made you a few T-shirts as a kid. I got a good laugh out of the cartoon. Keep your sense of humor, live is to short to not laugh.

neoerik said...

namaste to you my unknown friend

Lisa said...

Well said, Franklin. To share one of my favorite quotes:
"Life is too important to be taken serioursly."
Oscar Wilde

Jax said...

Yes, yes, must have cartoon book!!!

This one is dear to me--this week, as temperatures reach the 80s, my toddler is refusing to wear short sleeve shirts. Don't ask me, I'm only his mother...

Nelly O said...

It didn't make your list of dalliances, but one recalls that you also once dallied with a Baptist.

Are you doing anything special today in observance of the Queen's birthday? With her birthday today and Bill Shakespeare's on Sunday, it seems one ought to do something.

Paul said...

Awesome drawing today, Franklin. Thanks for the chuckle!

Why is it the ones who have negative thing to say are always named "anonymous"?

pacalaga said...

I love the cartoon. It really did make me laugh out loud, and while you did the same with your FOM (put THAT on your socks) yesterday, turns out I still needed it. Gracias.
Regarding the Om socks, it makes me wonder if that group was one of "those" groups who are perpetually outraged. It would be interesting to get the opinion of some average Indians.
Windsornot - I call myself a recovering Catholic too. Once recently I almost fell off the wagon and went to church, but I stayed strong and had a coffee instead.

Yvonne said...

Today has been one of the worst days ever in the day job - I'd just made a coffee and sat down to blog read before facing the London rush hour - what can I say - your cartoon now means I Have to dry my keyboard, clean the screen and mop up my desk - Thank you!!

AuntyNin said...

Love the sketch! Not so overly pleased with the "anonymous"es of the world who take themselves so dratted seriously...

All the Way With Knitting said...

Oh I just sqealed out loud and Holly came running to see what was so funny..brilliant Franklin..you cheer up my day quite often and Holly's too.Thanks.

All the Way With Knitting said...

Oh my typos get worse ..hadn't seen your Mum's post ..that is lovely .We all had that experience ,mum's who knitted.Your son is a star Mrs Habit ..I think?

Anonymous said...

cheryl said: "it sooo like a child... my son's downfall is tags...he about goes nuts till they are all cut out of everything..."

I am an adult, but also hate tags; they are bloody itchy on my oh-so-sensitive skin.

this week certainly belongs in the toilet of hell - my cat was diagnosed a diabetic, I need a new washer/dryer, no sleep, day job too damn busy.

then franklin draws his sheepies and all is right with the world.

perhaps dolores and I could tie one on tonight....I need it bad!

anne marie in philly

Liz said...

Awesome cartoon! As for the criticism: let it roll off you like water off a duck's back. You know it doesn't apply.

steve said...

Welcome to the sane sensible world of Lord Buddha! I have trouble with the word 'trance' however. We are meditating to obtain total awareness, the rest of our mental state is a trance.

Cynthia said...

Catholic Survivor, part-time Eastern dabbler....

When I meditate, my mind tends to send the following message--This is Cynthia meditating, meditate Cynthia, meditate.

I acknowledge the thoughts, giggle a little, and bring my mind back to my breath (kind of like paper training a puppy).

Tonight I suspect my thoughts will wander to sheep in sheep clothing--

stella said...

My first comment on a blog of someone other than family or friend… intimidating…

I read your most recent entry and felt compelled to speak…

my sister is a Buddhist, and while I know little about the religion I do know quite a bit about my sister. I know that she is funny, and smart, and insightful. I know that she has a wonderful sense of irony, and sarcasm, and tells a wonderful story. I know that she’s been happier and found her balance since becoming Buddhist. I also know that if she can still be her wonderful self, and a “good” Buddhist, anyone can. Good luck on your journey!

Jessica said...

Thank you for that cartoon. I laughed so hard I woke up the cat. She's a little pissed off now...which is somehow also funny.

Julie said...

I once knew a Buddhist monk who said that humor is the key to enlightenment, because the same ability you use to step back and see the humor in a situation, you use to fix your own faults.

Dolores should lead you right to enlightenment. Follow the trail of cigarette ashes.

anmiryam said...

That is truly a fabulous friday pick-me-up. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard that line from my own offspring.

Thanks!

Geogrrl said...

Ugh. Don't listen to that prig, "Anonymous". Some people want to suck the fun and life out of everything--I've also found that true with certain yoga instructors.

You don't HAVE to meditate sitting up. Lying down is fine too (although you're more likely to just fall asleep). As far as I can tell, with my imperfect knowledge, what you HAVE said is correct.

In case anyone was wondering, I think the "Om" socks caused offense because the words were on the soles of the feet. In the Indian community the "Om Mani Padme Hum" is sacred, while the soles of the feet... are definitely not. In a culture/country where people are traditionally barefoot, it is considered an insult to sit so that the soles of your feet are pointing toward another person. Walking on "Om" with the soles of your feet is a gross insult.

Geogrrl said...

You might enjoy Swami Beyondananda's "wisdom" at the links below. I think my favourite quote is:

"If you're looking to find the key to the Universe, I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is: there is no key to the Universe. The good news is: it has been left unlocked."

http://www.fred.net/tds/swami.beyondananda.html

http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/

mary e. said...

Franklin, the cartoon is fab! and pooh on those who don't appreciate, nor have any humor to call their own, and so in order to make themselves feel better downgrade any examples of joy and playfulness they come across. Ya'll keep right on meditating - your insights are fascinating!! Namaste back atcha!

--Deb said...

Love the cartoon . . . as always! Was it Dolores' idea? It's got a hint of cynical edge in there . . .

Daphne said...

Dear Franklin,

I like the copyright notices best of all.

thanks for your blog!

Anonymous said...

Your post on meditation led me to realize that I do a sort of meditation when I go for a walk and when I relax on my rock (it's on the walk tour).

I also meditated (in my own, non-disciplined way) through the birth of my second child and felt no pain until he actually crowned. The doctors and nurses were amazed.

I'm totally on my own, and it is a totally an unstructured practice, but I respect what meditation has given me in my life. And I respect that humor in meditation is part of your life.

I don't respect people who try to bring others down or box them in!

LaurieM

June said...

I saw the Dalai Lama speak on Monday. (Link to see the webcast of the talk is on the Mayoclinic.org site.) What a wonderful experience! He gave me a lot to think about.

Sarah R said...

Now this cartoon definitely belongs on a baby tee.

I love it.

Beth said...

Another great entry, my dear.
Someone yesterday mentioned the pattern in Folk Socks. These actually have the symbol for "Allah" knit into them around the ankle and foot. I did them for my Olympic project (www.k1yok2tog.blogspot.com) if anyone is interested in seeing them.

Julie said...

A thought for anyone considering knitting up some yoga socks. Instead of "ohm" on the bottom of your feet, you could try adapting a yantra of one form or other. (Do a google image search, there are dozens out there.) They're used as a focus for meditation, and they were once woven into carpets, so culturally it might not be so offensive to put it on a sock. Plus they look cool, which is always a plus.

Susan said...

I JUST now got why "Fruits of Meditation" is funny.

Kelly said...

love the cartoon!

eleni said...

Franklin! I just saw the Illinois State Lottery float in last year's Pride parade. It's hilarious. What a great state Illinois is.

Thanks for the wonderful picture.

Aubrey said...

I laughed, I cried, I giggled. I had to show my daughter as she wandered by my desk. She said, "That's just wrong." High words of praise from a snarky, but cute, 18yo. (Hmmm - I think she and Delores would get along famously...)

I'm a new convert to your blog, and am thoroughly enjoying traipsing through your observations on life and fiber. I hope to get to meet you at Stitches - I was there last year, but knew not of you.

Namaste, dearling.

Allison said...

Standing up to join the chorus in favor of a (respectful) sense of humor (which I find yours to be), and in favor of some lightness of being (incredible or otherwise)!

Liz said...

annoymous needs some zen

Of course, I'm the Dalai Mama, so my view on Zen corresponds a bit more closely with yours.

and I want a t-shirt of the latest and greatest...

Angelikaeleni said...

I am a 15 year + Diamondway ( Vajrayana ) Buddhism student. My teacher Lama Ole Nydal says that our mind ought consciously love, laugh, dance , be insightful and enjoy peace.....somehow that cannot be done while in trance.....
We also have a saying " Only small dogs bark a lot, big ones don't have to " and after reading your blog ( I am new to this ) I think you are a pretty big dog.....

Wishes for Peace Profound......and a terrific weekend.....

Angelika
Mexico City

Hockey Mom said...

Well said. You're a true gentleman, sir.

Lucia said...

A while ago I used to knit socks for soldiers via an online group; I've given them up for Dulaan, which, let's face it, needs me more. But I had the idea, contemplated but never executed, of knitting inconspicuous (e.g. dark green on black) peace symbols onto the soles of socks so that the soldier wearing them would leave little peaceprints wherever he went. I definitely think we're on a spiritual wavelength here.

Find a sense of humor and let it light your path, Anon. Else you will walk in darkness always.

Other Tracy said...

Someone was right about the soles of the feet, it would be rude to put Om on them. It was funny though, and if you work out a chart would you share? It would look good on the cuffs too. After you've been to a few meditation groups you'd be happy if the people wear clean socks. :-)

Lucy said...

I've been practicing Korean Zen for over a year now and I know what you mean about finding a great sangha. It's like you found your real home. BTW, have you read Buddhism for Sheep? Hillarious!
Kwanseumbosal!

marie in florida said...

i'm glad for you Franklin. you'll be at ease while others around you are angst ridden. thus they lash out and you , like His Holiness Dalai Lama IV, will smile. really, if you want an indication of what He is like, google images of him. SEE all the smiles? listen to Him. hear the good hearted humor and who can say anything about someone whos "religion" is loving kindness and who likes to play with wristwatches?
"the knitting sutra" by Sysan G Lyndon and the daily blog Zeneedle
gassho my friend

marylee said...

*relief often gives way to joy.*
What a lovely phrase. Thanks for my *mull* of the day.

Anna Marie said...

Some people just have to find the worm in everyone and everything. Dismiss anon...

I've accidentally (are there really accidents?) happened upon the book about meditative knitting. I am really getting a lot out of the authors ideas and extending the exercises beyond knit. So I think I know what you are getting out of your Buddhism practice. Go for it - you are a delight as you are and I would miss your humor terribly - you usually make my day.

Nerdy Knitter said...

Thanks for the great laugh--my week must have been like yours because I was soooo ready for a good giggle, and your little sheep always make me smile.

Hope your weekend is better than your week!

--Judy

Angelikaeleni said...

I think there is nothing rude about " OHM " socks.....as long as they are worn mindfully and a person treads lightly I can just see all the Buddhas and Bodisatthvas giving their blessing.......
After all, who really knows what's rude or not......it's all mind...isn't it ?

Angelika
Mexico City

Ann said...

Franklin, I would buy hangtags with that cartoon on them!

Necia said...

I've really enjoyed your blog, Franklin. Dolores makes me laugh, especially. I have an aunt like her, and an alter-ego, too, I suspect.

Jennifer said...

Franklin, you're a genius. If that little lamb was any cuter I'd eat him.

LornaJay said...

Franklin,
Strange how some folk equate "serious" with "important". Me, I'd settle for enjoyable any day.

I was just remembering that as a child you thought you ought to have been royalty (or priviledged anyway) when I saw the ad for this cruise in the local newspaper:

http://www.rsvpvacations.com/gay-lesbian-vacations-cruise-5.htm

Do tell me you're going...!

Deborah C. said...

Dear Franklin,

Don't listen to Anonymous. As was said before, only little people with little minds will not use their real names when saying such things. Hiding behind "anonymous" is for cowards!

Would you consider putting the latest and greatest on a t-shirt? I laughed so hard I cried...

Mhairi said...

Being Presbyterian , I adhere to seriousness with all matters religious -No smiling in church, and try to look miserable!! (Please read the sarcasm in this statement)
Who are these people who tick off Blog owners for their comments - if you don't like it don't come back to read anymore!
Its a personal Blog, not the Times newspaper!
(Am still giggling over the previous posting - thankfully not choking on my wine tho)

Riin said...

The Anonymous family sure has turned out more than its share of mean people.

I find I share a lot of Buddhist beliefs, but not all of them, so I'll stick to being a Pantheist. I confess I've found myself thinking if the US ever passes a law saying everyone has to declare a religion, you know, an organized religion that people have heard of, I'd probably pick Buddhism in that case. Um. Not that I'm paranoid or anything.

lori said...

I love tha cartoon!! laughed out loud. We all need to laugh so please keep the cartoons and the laughter of everyday life coming.

GAndyS said...

I like your cartoons terribly! Please do syndicate yourself somehow, more people would like to see them! Cheers!

Oh and spirituality, you are right on track as you are. Glad to see a bouyant and confident and self-possessed spiritual stand! Go for it.

Vintageme said...

Franklin..I posted a couple of pictures on my site for you..it's from Mum's new book ( a childrens illustrated one).The book is called "Russell the Sheep". We go to a book shop and I buy a history of Biba and she buysThis ! Ilove your "Fussy Lamb" Holly U.K

badmommy said...

Please, please, please, can we have this picture on some cards?

Sue

FiberQat said...

After reading anonymous's comment, I first thought, "Boy that's getting fussy." No anger, just being fussy. You responded well.

It sounds like the path you're seeking for wholeness has shown itself. May it provide much guidance and joy.

The toon would be perfect for kids clothes, hon. You're making quite a name for yourself, you and your toons. Think of what you'd be doing now if you didn't have your blog.

Blessings,
Duffy

Katherine Of It All said...

As a recovering Mormon, my spiritual path has taken me lots of similar places (Episcopalian, Unitarian, etc). These days, Buddhist meditation is what brings me closest to peace. My mantra in certain situations has become, "What would Buddha do?" At least it's helped me keep my mouth shut and listen a little more.

Rabbitch said...

That caroon made my husband gigglesnort.

Well yes, me too, but I would never admit to anything so undignified as gigglesnorting.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

All the clever things have been said. Or I am so pooped I can't think of a new clever thing. I'd like a book of Sheep drawings and would even spend cash for same. Surely Ms. Harlot's publisher might consider them and then YOU can go on a whirlwind tour of knit shops and rainbow bars.
I'm glad your Mom reads your blog. I read my kids' and other people think that's strange. (WE are strange, but reading blogs, isn't.)
Words are never precise, nor are accounts of transcendent experiences. Trance/aware. Enchanted/dis-illusioned. Living with intention. Staying focused. Any of that is better than believing in lies or mistaking myths for facts.
Hope this week is a lovely one for you.

Cheryl said...

Rabbitch won't admit to gigglesnorts but she'll admit to panties on her head....go figure.
Your sheep drawings are the cutest things -
your mama should be proud.

Cliff Dweller said...

Well, like the sign says:

"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You"

While we don't sit on the floor and chant, we do have a kick-ass coffee hour and we throw a mean pot-luck. Y'all come back anytime.

Anonymous said...

2nd wholeheartedly what Jill Smith wrote!

RoseM
p.s. your cartoons are the best - "itchy" is a new fav -- the expressions with so few lines ... you're very talented Mr. Franklin!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here - thanks for the clarifications. I still don't go for the word trance to describe a state of heightened awareness, but it sounds like you've got a great thing going.

Rainbow lotus sangha IS a fairly dippy name, btw, I must agree.

Thanks also for the post free of insults, quite unlike your dedicated readers' comments. ouch.

Donna Boucher said...

That is a brilliantly funny cartoon.

Thanks for the grin!

Donna

brewerburns said...

First-- that comic is hilarious. If you sold a book, I would buy it. Second, I'm happy to hear that you've been meditating and enjoying it.

sahara said...

It itches. THAT is the funniest cartoon I've seen in a while. Your sense of humor is sooo fab! Thanks for the pick me up!

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