Jim Trainer

Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm

About the only good thing to come out of being raised Catholic was that it gave me all the reason I needed to hate myself.  Guilt, ablution, shame-these are great motivators if you want to be a career alcoholic.  You can hate yourself for not being godly or perfect and then punish yourself by drinking&smoking way too much.  Feeling like shit the next day is a perfect way for shame to infiltrate your entire being and the whole thing can start all over again.  It’s perfect.

I think I held onto religion allot longer than my atheist and iconoclastic friends out of respect for my mother.  When I was on my own, and after I read The Stranger for the first time, I realized that God didn’t need me to believe in him.  I could make that choice.  It’s been a dark fucking 15 years without God.  It’s been fun, too, depending on your definition of  fun.  I enjoyed doing the thing that they said could not be done.  I enjoyed burning it all down.  But I never escaped the guilt, the shame.

When my father died I met Bass Player X.  His name was Doug Kirchner and he was a sick upright bass player.  His name, Kirchner, betrays that he was a total East-Coast Pisan.  A real gangster, the kind of wiseguy you only find in the northeast.  I was looking for a teacher.  Doug told me that he had chanted for my father.  It really struck me that someone would pray for the dead.  I never considered that the dead would need our prayers and that my upright bass teacher would do that for my dad, completely unbidden, was just as remarkable.  Doug not only taught me upright bass, he began teaching me about Buddhism. 

Here is a religion that you are perfect for.  All you need is to step into it.  There is nothing to be done about the past and the future begins now.  The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra is that the future actually began in the past until it became the present.  And so it goes.  I know this blog will probably cause my iconoclastic friends to chuckle.  I’m not concerned with that right now.

I guess this is one way that I can thank the light and love that I have been a part of with all of you, and for all those who are no longer with us.  Being a drunk, while providing me with a surplus of material to write from over the years, just isn’t fun anymore.  The toxicity of my mind and body now only amounts to torture.  I don’t need these coping mechanisms or a crutch, and it’s simply because it’s not total War all the time anymore. 

We are survivors.  That’s why we’ve found each other, that’s where my love and respect for you lies.  We have survived.  I don’t want to exclude anyone; while well-adjusted, happy go getters used to be the bane of my existence, without War I’m learning to experience their Wisdom, too.  The fact that most of the beautiful people don’t want to look on the dirty side of life isn’t really a point of contention with me anymore.  I’m happy for my dark.  I’m happy that I survived.  I was living like I would be dead at 30 and it was because I would have preferred death over being that old.  Now I’m 35.  There comes a gratitude.  And a feeling that I want to give back, now.  I want to respect what the universe has done for me.  All those years that I felt like I blew it are behind me.  In fact, I can make the choice whether to blow it or not, now, and only now.  After all that War.  After all that burning down. 

I believe we can be set free.  I’m starting with these toxic chains.  It’s fucking ridiculous to be learning this lesson again.  After all the proof, all the suffering this lifestyle has only perpetuated.  But it is what it is.  I needed to learn that lesson as many times as I did and only until I was sure of the answer.

May we live in light.  May we embrace the dark, remembering those who live and have died there.

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  1. Clicking “like” is the biggest understatement I’ll make all month.

    • “Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”

      “I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

      “There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.”
      -Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama

  2. […] would not have taken my suitcase into town were it not for death&spirituality.  Death lays a heavy hand in every motion, every […]

  3. […]  I bow down.  I ring the bell again.  I rise.  I ring the bell to the beat and syllables of the Lotus Sutra. I ring the bell once for the dead who need our prayers, I ring the bell once for the living who […]

  4. […] a 6pack and a glass of Scotch might’ve worked when everything felt like War.  I’ve written about this before and plenty.  The sad news about Molina passing Saturday at the age of 39 […]

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