A Buddhist for about half my life now, this year I’m celebrating Easter along with all the rest of the Christians who are celebrating.
I may be celebrating it in a slightly different way than they are in terms of the literal theology of the Ressurection of Christ, but nonetheless I am going to attend two church services this weekend.
An Easter Vigil on Saturday night and a Celebration service on Sunday morning.
I haven’t been to church in about a quarter of a century, but I’m on a little exploration adventure spiritually right now. Bear with me.
The writer Anne Lamott says we are Easter people living in a Good Friday world. My root Buddhist teacher says a similiar thing– he says, we are living in a world of Setting Sun mentality and view and that our practice is to exert into a Great Eastern Sun mentality and view.
I don’t think we can get enough of the death and re-birth theme in our lives.
I’ve had to let a lot of things die this year and there are claw marks where I let go.
The story of Jesus’ betrayal by his close friends, his aloneness devoid of human comfort and loyalty where he clings to his connection to God, his having to face the next chapter of his life that he felt was unbearable, accepting his death, letting his own will go for something greater, holding his seat and not striking back at the ignorance and aggression of people, and then rising again from the ashes into something greater, these are all incredible themes of personal power and of the open heart that we are engaging in various ways in our lives.
I’m not really a Good Friday kind of person. I mostly want to be silly all the time and feel annoyed that I can’t. I’m more of an Easter person, but life keeps getting in the way of my plans.
The tricky and sticky emotional thing for me about the Ressurection is that Jesus only had to wait two days. I for one, think that’s about a good amount of time to wait for things to change and get better. Jesus only had to wait two days to feel better–me too?
But it mostly doesn’t work that way does it? It can take weeks, months, even years for us to feel better, fall in love again, give someone another chance, find a job, have our kids get off heroin and our partners to stop drinking, to lose the weight, to have someone’s mind change about us, to want to try again, if ever.
Isn’t it wonderful that in the northern hemisphere Easter and Passover correlate with Spring?
A fresh start is always available to us. We might have nail marks in the palms of our hearts, but we can truly rise again.
One thing I have found that helps is to sing. Which is what I will be doing on Sunday morning. Singing my little heart out that I am still here and that the miracle can occur at anytime in our lives, even though I am old, and broken down and broken hearted, and my feet ache and I’ve mostly screwed it up over and over again.