Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Toddler Buddhist Lessons

So, this one time, at band camp...

Oh wait, it wasn't band camp. It was the Moscow, Idaho Public Library.

I heard the best Buddhist lesson EVER from a toddler.

Buddhists say that all suffering comes from attachment and I've been thinking about that lately.
When we are attached to things/people/plans/thoughts/habits it can cause suffering.
Part of simplifiying my life is trying to cut back on my attachment to crap (of course my biggest step in this was leaving most of it in Pam's basement which may not quite be what the Buddha was getting at).

So, back to the library. Last summer I was there and waiting in line to check out books (probably liberal diatribes, how to live off the land, and something by Kinky Friedman). I'm standing in line behind a mom with 2 kids. One was a baby and one was a toddler. The toddler had had enough of this standing around crap and went to get a sticker out of the little box of stickers on the counter (which they put there to amuse kids and to avoid handing out sugary treats). The kid liked her sticker and wandered over to the fish tank while admiring it. The mom was juggling the baby, stroller, about 100 books, and trying to deal with checking out all these books. There were questions, something on hold. It took a while.

Meanwhile, back at the fish tank, the toddler girl had taken the backing off her sticker, and stuck it to the tank. She admired her work. Then tried to pick the sticker off with her right index finger. It wouldn't come off. She came up with a sort of toddler rap that went like this:
I waaant myyyyy sticker back.
She repeated this over and over and over while picking at the sticker with her finger.
Her mother was trying to reserve books or something and still at the counter.
After a few minutes of the mantra: I waaaant myyyyy sticker back
The mom goes over and gets the toddler. They manage to finish the checking out process and leave.
All the while I hear: I waaaant myyyyy sticker back.
I can hear them going down the walk....down the block.

They forgot something and come back.
I waaaant myyyy sticker back

That toddler was suffering due to two attachments: Hers to the sticker and the sticker's to the tank.

Her mantra actually made me think of that.

And I still repeat the mantra (partly because it had a really funky beat to it. I've heard far worse on the radio).

OK, in case any of you are wondering if Kinky Friedman is a real dude...he is. He has a band called the Texas Jewboys and he ran for governor of Texas (hey, they've done worse!).
Here's a clip for those of you unfamiliar with his work:

The classic "I'm Proud to be an Asshole from El Paso" (WARNING: SATIRE!!)

And a campaign ad:


Fly Right said...

I love Kinky and Willie and all them wild Texas boys!

jonny said...

I want to move to Texas and vote for Kinky.

Jill said...


Pasifik said...

Well, I think we have to attach to something; goals, friends, plans, family, etc. These things make our life more colorful.... I guess.

Keep posting,