We all have things that affect us, that have brought us to where we are here and now. This is far from being a thorough autobiography, just a highlights real.
When I was a child, my father had a little statue of a meditating Buddha in a terrarium.
I was fascinated by it. Drawn to it. I wanted to understand who, what, where, and why it was. I held to the picture of this in my head until I was old enough to read. When I had learned how to read I went from the Cat In The Hat to the Dhammapada. My mother even made me a cushion to sit on.
I knew it was important. But I did not understand it. How could I? I had a relatively comfortable life. What was suffering? What was attachment? What were Greed, anger, and delusion?
My father encouraged this study though and eventually I read “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”
I really did not get it. Not grasping the core concepts by the time I was a teenager I moved on. I examined other ancient religions and even explored some aspects of Christianity. Going so far to be confirmed as a Lutheran. This did not hold with my undisciplined mind very long either and soon I began to experience suffering without even knowing it. I embraced the “burnouts” and dead ender’s who had no beliefs but chasing after their next pleasure. I now think of this point in space in time as my life as a hungry ghost.
Always wanting more. More pleasure, more friends, more money, more to drink, more girls, more music, more, more, more, more. Never being fulfilled. This time caused a lot of trouble for my parents and I. Eventually, and luckily, I got caught doing something stupid. I had to change my paradigm. I resolved to clean myself up.
Be well and happy