Buddhism: Religion for the Hopeless

A teacher of mine once commented that Buddhism had no room for hope – and he grounded this accusation on the understanding that hope is wanting things to be different than they are, and that Buddhist practice is about accepting things as they are.

Explained in that way it seems reasonable enough, but something about adhering to a hopeless religion seems iffy, especially when Buddhism has so many things which look like hope, but my own misgivings were much more personal.

I remember that when I first heard that from my teacher I felt very disappointed, because I had adopted a language of hope. I hoped others had nice days, I hope that people got good restful nights of sleep, as well as excellent hockey tickets and doubles from vending machines. Most importantly though, I hoped that good things happened to others, because I desperately wanted to stop wishing people “good luck.”

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Making Time: Renunciation for Resourcefulness

Dearest Dharma Folk Readers –
[Cute community nickname pending]
I would love to tell you much more about God and his creation of Buddha statues, as indeed I will, but I’ve been extremely swamped at work as of late and the `ol writing machine isn’t working like it used to at the moment.

However, in an extremely precedented occasion, I would like to take such a moment and try to turn it into something to ponder about, and it is this: When there is too much going on in your life, and something has to give, what is the first thing to give?

Earlier I was thinking of asking such a question about Buddhist practice specifically, but I think that the larger question is a lot more interesting and a lot more indicative of Buddhist lives anyway.

For me the first thing to go, when time is not enough, is often reading, which was a bit of an alarming thing to me. I suppose it has to do with the fact that information and ideas can do very well to simmer for a bit instead of being constantly and consistently piled on.

So, when something has to give in life, what do you give up first?