That first truth that life is suffering sure was a hard one for me to accept. From my man is that he might have joy upbringing. However, if you were to say life isn't fair, I'd readily agree with you. But, I'm coming to at least shake hands with the Buddhist concept. In a way I wish I'd been taught this more explicitly when I was growing up. 2009 was an extremely difficult year for me. It was the year when I had learned of a passion play among some major players in my life. A passion play that had a tragic outcome, an outcome that had me re-examining my own life. 2009 was a year when I heard over and over the atonement could heal my pain if I'd only repent. Thing is, my pain was something that other people had done that I couldn't control that had impacted me, nonetheless. There was no way I could repent. One day, I did hit on the idea that had I not been so attached to these two people, the pain wouldn't have been so accute. This thought shocked me. It just seemed wrong.
Recently, I was learning about how to open your chakras. Full disclosure: I don't know much about this and I'm skeptical, but they did say something I thought was interesting. Basically, opening the last chakra requires letting go of attachments, including to the people we love. They said that most people can't do this. I thought that very interesting, because there are branches of Buddhism that believe in chakras.
Jumping over to Christianity. Someone once said to me there are people who believe that Jesus was an incarnation of Buddha. Now, from a Buddhist perspective, I can see this making sense. I've also been considering how the atonement figures in here. This post was actually brought on by this month's visiting teaching lesson. Especially, this thought from Elder Christofferson's talk, Redemption.
As a reminder, Elder Christofferson has a brother who is gay. At first, I was simply thrilled to see this drop of a thought in the usual ocean of repentance rhetoric, but then I remembered the author and I'm wondering if he wrote that single line for his brother, because it there was ever a situation that wasn't fair, that would be it. In contemplating the idea of detaching, because our attachments make up miserable, I realized the beauty (or the sheer genius) of bringing the atonement into this idea. When I considered letting go of my attachment to my source of pain, just letting it go seems too cruel. However, by handing our pain to the Savior, we are turning over our attachments to the embodiment of love, perhaps to be rejoined with them someday. That is anything but cruel.The Atonement of Jesus Christ also satisfies the debt justice owes to us by healing and compensating us for any suffering we innocently endure. ‘For behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam’
Do I wish I'd been taught this perspective before those events? Yes! Would that have been helpful? Yes! The beauty of it is this could fit in our doctrine so easily. Just read someone who is suffering from an unfair situation to turn the pain over to the Savior. I haven't looked at the noble eightfold path, but if they need something constructive to focus on while they adjust, stating the same disciplines in Mormon language as a means of moving on would probably work.
Could it have been that Buddha was reincarnated to perform the atonement to make detachment easier for us? I don't know. I'm not really a fan of the idea of reincarnation. I prefer not to think about it too much, but if there is such a thing, I believe this could happen.
I've been entering into a phase where I am opening up communication with my ward. This factor of the atonement is something that could have helped me and could help others in our lives that still believe in the atonement. Even if I don't believe in the atonement, per say, I still find a tremendous amount of comfort in the idea of releasing painful attachments to a source of love.