All is One, unless you have a camera

“There are ideas within Buddhism that are so incredible as to render the dogma of the virgin birth plausible by comparison.”

– Sam Harris

Hanauma Bay

 

1998 was an amazing year. I had turned 18, got rid of the crazy boyfriend and I was going to Hawaii for a week with my mentor. Jackie was a wonderful person to invite two teenagers into her home and made it her mission to make sure I used the “vision” and “gifts” I had.

On our way to Hawaii I read a book about Buddhism provided by the airline. By the time we had landed in Hawaii I was converted. I was suppose to be a Buddhist!

Hawaii is an amazing place to visit. People from all over the world live there. The International Market place was filled with booths, many of the vendors selling similar items and they were all ready to make a deal. I got a silver ring from a fast-talking Japanese woman. Beaches are like nothing I’ve ever seen in the States. I spent a day snorkeling and being one with the fish… until an ugly one bit me. I communed with nature and paid my respects to those lost at Pearl Harbor. I was reborn. I knew I was suppose to be in Hawaii. We learned about pineapples from the Dole plantation. We had good karma.  We even picked up a hitchhiker.

In bed, I would wonder about my past lives and wonder who I would be in my next. I would attribute all of my bad luck and decisions to karma from a past self. I must have been a real asshole. But in this life I had a chance to balance my karma out. I was aware. I was enlightened.

Temple

We located a beautiful Buddhist temple with gardens and koi fish ponds. It was breathtaking. I approached the main temple building and removed my shoes. A funny thought run through my head… What if Buddha broke my camera?

Then it happened. I pointed my cheap disposable camera at the Buddha statue to take a picture.

My camera broke.

I believed something magical happened to me, but I didn’t get rid of any of my worldly possessions when I got back to the mainland. Instead I started finding meaning in meaningless things. Worst of all, I started believing other people had past lives and the reason they had bad experiences was because… you know, karma.

 

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