Last week, I read about the life of the Buddha. This week, I’m reading about Buddhist teachings. I have a friend who is a devout Buddhist and has been trying to get me to come to the Temple for some time now. I’m considering it even though I’m generally against organized religion. But anyway, here are my notes for this week’s first reading:

The Hare That Was Not Afraid to Die: I take great issue with the fact that the moral of the story is to sacrifice your entire life for someone walking by. Often, that is not the answer. When the time comes and there’s no other way, sure, but so often we’re taught that we have to give up everything of ourselves just to satisfy someone else and that’s total crap to be honest.

The Man Who Worked to Give Alms: The king was so intimidated by the philanthropist that he stole all his wealth just so he couldn’t give to charity anymore. Not only would he not give charity, he made it so that the charitable man could not give. That’s a whole next level of greed.

The King Who Saw the Truth: This one is interesting. It covers the joy of altruism and the concept that with sacrifice comes ultimate wisdom. Are eye transplants a thing? This man gave up his eyes to a blind man just out of the pure joy of giving, and he gained not regular sight, “but the eyes which see perfect and absolute Truth.” What would that look like? That would be a cool story.

The Bull That Proved His Gratitude: Now here’s one for real. GET PAID. Make sure you’re not getting screwed over! Take care of yourself and the people you love. That was a sweet story.

Bibliography. Eastern Stories and Legends by Marie L. Shedlock (1920).

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