A quotable quote for you that contains Buddha-like and Christian-like wisdom:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
You’ll find the quote repeated toward the end of today’s long posting containing all kinds of stream of consciousness thoughts from your favorite blawger here at the blawg that is saving the world with its wit, wisdom, provocations and stimulations while possibly (probably!) alienating whole towns, nations, cities and states, including Rush Limbaugh Dittoheads.
And for the record–I don’t excuse Bill Maher for his nastiness either.
I see him as the librul flip side of Rush Limbaugh himself.
They reflect each other.
Even Rush never used the “c-word” to attack a woman.
Bill Maher has used it in his nasty, nasty attacks on Palin and Bachmann–I grant you that, conservative readers—I grant you that!!!!!!!!!!!! OK?????
I regret, in fact, that I did not point that out in my last posting.
I do not condone the extremist Bill Maher anymore than I can condone and support Rush Limbaugh and his extreme pathologies and his sick obsessions with women and sex.
My problems with Bill Maher, in fact, begin with his sole mission in life, which is to destroy Christianity and every faith in the world.
Why my librul friends–some of my closest friends, and women friends, no less, who are librul and feminist to the bone and often Christian as well–promote him by posting something clever he had to say, or talking about something clever he had to say, is beyond me.
I ask them how they can excuse him and they just usually give me the, “Oh, come on McKay, he’s nasty sometimes but he’s smart.” Or he’s funny and smart and gets it so right.
OK, I say. Whatever you say.
We have to agree to disagree.
But I just needed to speak my truth–your “Truth shall set you free” regardless of what anybody thinks of you–on Bill Maher and other loud-mouth librul nasty boys on TV and radio like him–before I move on here to what I hope are happier and more pleasant thoughts to put in your head today.
Starting with a precious baby.
See this picture and say it.
BABYCAKE RHYS (REESE) McKAY RODRIGUEZ, BORN WITH JITTERBUG FEET LIKE HIS PAW PAW MCKAY AND PAW PAW MCKAY'S DADDY: He will be, as old Paw Paw Deanie McKay (R.I.P.) would say, "A dancin' jessie."
First off, a personal message to my second grandson, little brother to my beloved grandson Jorge Rodriguez (“You can call me Trey) Rodriguez III:
Welcome to the world, baby Rhys McKay Rodriguez, born March 7, 2012, at 2:22 a.m., in College Station, Texas. Paw Paw can’t wait to see you, beautiful baby, but that meeting will be as soon as Paw Paw can get to College Station tonight.
I love this passage from a poem by his greatness the Sufi (Muslim) mystic Rumi, but then, I never saw anything writ by the great Persian that I didn’t love:
Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
and opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere!
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop.
Now there’s a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins
Suddenly he’s wealthy.
But don’t be satisfied with stories,
how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth,
without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you. . . .
from The Essential Rumi, © 1995, Coleman Barks, translator
Check out the whole enchilada at the blawg of my good buddy and colleague in clergy life at her blawg.
(Click it right here.)
Regarding that 13.1 mile half-marathon footrace I’m running against Dallas legend Troy Aikman and thousands of other foot racers in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon Foot Race here in Dallas, Texas, on Sunday, March 25–the race that I entered to improve my own health and diet but also to raise $$$ and awareness of the crushing effects of the epidemic of diabetes that is destroying lives and the national treasury every day:
Yes, I’m still running my hindquarters off training for the aforementioned footrace.
To update, I’ve lost 15 pounds, maybe 16 pounds since I even starting thinking about training for and entering this footrace, back before Christmas. In fact, I lost 4 pounds during the holidays when I was adding a little time and distance on the treadmill every day at the fitness center and fasting from the usual holiday bloating. That’s when I was first mulling the idea of just finishing in the rigorous challenge of a half marathon.
I’m proud to say I’ve never been so fit, and felt so good and healthy, in my life, as when I started training very intensely and intentionally for the race–with a lot of help and advice from doctors, nutritionists and trainers I know from my ministry at one of the best hospital systems in the world.
Looking back over my journal entries documenting all my daily progress in losing weight and getting into serious shape, I think I’m as proud of myself for losing that 4 pounds during the holiday season as anything. It wasn’t like I didn’t make a couple of holiday parties a week for weeks on end, where the usual mouth watering fats and sweets of the holiday season were calling my name. I was so determined to get past my bad food habits that I didn’t really want the usual bad food, and will never go back to my awful eating habits.
I have changed my lifestyle and my diet for the rest of my days–my idea of a tasty sweet now is a savory, sweet, organic apple from Whole Foods Market, and like I’ve acknowledged–that’s a pricey supermarket.
So is a big platter of Mexican food with chips and quesa and a couple Margaritas to sip on, on a Friday or Saturday night, as was my customary and typical weekend meal for, oh, about 40 years.
Those days are over. A healthy diet is not expensive if you take a good hard look at what you’re spending on eating out, eating without even being hungry, all that.
I think this transformation in my life–this radical change in lifestyle in my early sixties, can be attributed to a couple of related spiritual factors:
1.) It’s part of my life of faith in God and growth as a Christ loving, Christ serving man.
“I can do all things with him, who strengthens me.”
2.) Believe it or not, my abiding interest in Zen Buddhism helped enormously.
Inevitably when I post something favorable about Buddhism I get negative reactions from ultra conservative Christians who know squat about Buddhism telling me how misguided I am and wondering how one who purports to be a Christian man of God can lead the dumb masses astray from the one true faith that is Christianity.
(A quick prayer: “Lord, when will you deliver me from these gutless people who send me these emails anonymously and aren’t willing to be public in their opinions as I am public with mine? How long, O Lord, How Long?” I love you, God, but. . . I love you God. Amen.)
Buddhism is largely about “mindfulness,” being completely and totally in the moment, every moment of your life.
That’s actually a very Christian concept as well–it’s one reason there have been whole books, volumes of them, writ about the similarities between the teachings of the original Buddha and Christ Jesus.
Jesus taught and preached and practiced mindfulness as well, as did Psalmists and so many others in the Bible.
See, especially, Matt.6:25-34, for evidence I want to hold up to support my argument here. That lovely, pastoral poem of a scripture is a call to mindfulness, to living wholly and completely in the present moment, where we can hear God speaking to us through what we Christians in our faith language describe as “the Holy Spirit.”
And anyway, that’s one of my favorite Bible scriptures if only because of the beauty of the language: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they neither toil, nor spin.”
We go through life “toiling and spinning” and worrying about the future or dwelling on our own haunting histories. Jesus and the Buddha agree: let it all go; detach from those cravings and habits and all the junk you’re attached to in life; ask how your habits are serving you, because most of them are probably keeping you “toiling and spinning” in stress and inner turmoil rather than the inner peace and acceptance of the moment by the still waters. That peace is available in every moment–or as a great Zen Buddhist leader (Thich Nhat Hanh puts it: ‘Peace is every step.’” Be mindful and aware of every step you take in life, the small steps, not the overwhelming and steep stairways we strain against.
Here and now is all you have, so be here–be engaged with the one in front of you, be it family or the unfriendly clerk at the store–smile at her or hm and give her or him a compliment and see what happens in that moment.
Nine times out of ten it will turn into a Holy moment, a magical moment, in which you connect with that stranger in front of you. That’s very Buddhist. Very Christian.
So to circle back to where I started on this thought: Buddhists practice mindful eating, where you actually chew, savor, relish every bite of your food, aware and intensely aware of what nourishment (or lack of it) that you are putting into your body.
I used to joke to people when there was tempting food around–”None of that junk for me! this body is a temple!”
I still joke about it but the difference is that I really don’t consume the junk anymore.
This body really is a temple of God.
That’s no joke anymore.
Well, to update on the diabetes awareness and fund raising:
I’m still training–looking forward to running 12 miles this Saturday on my weekly “long run” training day (put in 11 miles last week at the beautiful oasis of nature that is White Rock Lake in Dallas.
After that long run this Saturday I start tapering off, running fewer miles in keeping with the typical training program I’ve been on for a first-time half marathon runner.
There are training programs aplenty on the Web to teach one how to train without killing one’s self and with gradually getting strong enough and fit enough simply to finish a 13.1 mile run with energy to spare.
I still have visions of passing up the Cowboys great Troy Aikman, who breezed through the Dallas Rock and Roll Half Marathon Foot Race with ease last year, although, my belief that I will run by Aikman and embarrass him in front of all his adoring Dallas fans may be self delusion, I’ll grant you.
And as for raising money for charity in the awareness of diabetes, here’s the skinny–I’ve been so busy in my life that I’ve not even had time to raise funds here for my footrace, but this will be the first of many footraces, I’m sure. Don’t be surprised if I’m entered in another half marathon footrace in Dallas or some other city somewhere soon enough, hopefully to raise money and greater awareness about diabetes next time here at my blawg and my Facebook. (Friend me up, reader; I’m there under Paul David Mckay with a small ‘K,’ which makes my youngest daughter Meggles completely crazy. She sends me Facebook messages demanding (!!!!!) that I correct my name on my own Facebook page. I think it embarrasses her. This is payback for the times she was embarrassed to be seen with dad in public and if you’re a longtime parent you know that family dynamic.)
Seriously, as I said here before, it pains me every day to see people in the hospital dying, suffering, having body parts amputated, in bondage to a dialysis machine to buy a few more good years even though dialysis takes an excruciating toll on the body every time, limiting the life span a little more.
Diabetes is a nasty, costly disease–and so often preventable with even moderate but sensible diet and exercise. That’s the sad thing. It doesn’t have to be an epidemic that is wiping us out in this country.
By no means do I want or expect people to follow my example and enter a long distance run.
I would hope that I might inspire you to walk around the block today, and every day possible for a week, and then an extra block next week, if that’s your starting point for fitness. Build a baseline one easy goal after another.
And I would hope I might inspire with my lifestyle change to have an apple instead of a giant Snickers bar at work today. And then pick up an easy and new healthy eating habit next week or tomorrow. Just take baby steps.
Take it one small new habit at a time and stay with that habit and take up another healthy habit.
Changing your lifestyle takes time and baby steps or else your will to get fit and eat healthy wilts in a hurry.
Just do it–slow and steady, aware of what you’re eating.
Feed the temple, not the belly of the beast of cravings.
And there’s holiness, wholeness, healing power and good health in it.
Read Full Post »