Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Vows of the Airport Bodhisattva

Security checks are Interminable, I vow to pass through them all.
Airline gates are numberless, I vow to enter them.
Baggage claims are incomprehensible, I vow to pursue them.
Northwest's way is unsurpassable, I vow to realize it.

Ok, if you aren't a practicing buddhist, you aren't likely to get this without a little explanation, and even then I'm sure I'm killing off the humor by the explanation.  I am as much posting these because I want to be able to find them again.  Few jokes succeed which require this much explanation.

I, however, have been giggling all day.

There are as many versions of the Bodhisattva's vows as there are dharma teachers.

My teacher uses these:

I vow...

1. To save all sentient beings,  though they are numberless. 

2. To end all desires, though they are inexhaustible. 

3. To learn the Teachings,  though they are boundless. 

4. To live the Buddha Way, though it is unsurpassable.

If you'd like to hear my sangha singing (a slightly modified wording of) these, click here.

I regard this is sort of the "Our Father" for Buddhists, used in dozens of ceremonies, most practicing buddhists recite them daily, so they are very familiar.  Therefore, for me, "The Vows of the Airport Bodhisattva" are hilarious.  Think "Our Boarding Pass, who Art in Gate 3" or something (even funnier) like that.

They come from a dharma talk by Reb Anderson, a teacher from the San Francisco Zen Center, which he gave at Dharma Field Meditation and Learning Center, my teacher's center in Minneapolis, on May 4, 2008.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

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