Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Packing and Friends

The packing never seems to end. I went and bought 25 more boxes because I have used about 20 for packing my books. My library is mostly clear now. Pretty soon, I’ll need to clear out the computer area of stuff. I plan on driving my machines down as I don’t trust them in a shipping crate. I’ll also be driving down the Tibetan Thangkas that I have and some of the other art.

Last night, Rubylou and I went out for the evening. She and I have known each other for about 13 years now (and probably had met on and off during a few before that). We dated at one point and she’s been one of my best friends for the past seven or so years. Her wedding to her first husband was one of the two places where I ran into R, my wife, during the month where she and I started seeing one another. I’d already run into her at an OTO gathering but seeing her at Rubylou’s wedding reminded me that she was out there… Rubylou and R have known each other for at least seven years but I’m not sure entirely how long.

In any case, Rubylou and I decided to go down to Wallingford for our nearly final night out together. We wound up at the Mandalay Cafe, which is one of the best curry places in Seattle. I’d been there a few years ago and the food was as wonderful as I remember. They make all of their own curry dishes from scratch there. Following the dinner, Rubylou and I went over to Cafe Ladro in Fremont for coffee.

Rubylou is one of the friends that I have who have gone from being Christian, to being a pagan, and then effectively back to being Christian, at least of a Gnostic sort, without ever quite leaving the pagan behind. Since I grew up Catholic, used to be Wiccan and Asatru, and then wound up involved in Vajrayana Buddhism, it makes for interesting conversation. Christians have the advantage in this culture that all of their cultural metaphors, legends, sacred texts, etc. are immediately familiar to most people, even non-Christians. One does not have to explain who Abraham, Moses, or Jesus are normally. One of the issues that I struggle the most with in Buddhist practice is that the Buddhism that I practice is not Western or, more specifically, American at this point. It is a constant process of translating concepts from one culture to another. When one meets a Japanese or Thai (ethnic) Buddhist, even if they don’t practice much, they grew up in a culture where Buddhist stories and concepts are as deeply embedded as Christian ones are in ours. This means that a Christian, even Gnostic, practitioner in America, is immediately in a more comfortable zone and can more easily move past the requirement to assimilate basic ways of viewing the world.

Rubylou joined the e-mail list for the Apostolic Johannite Church recently and has been having some interest there. Sarastro has as well. If I was going to plug a Christian group for esoterically inclined Christians looking for more, that would be the group that I point people to. Rubylou also speaks quite highly of the local Fremont Church of the Apostles, which is technically an Episcopalian church but has a much more open structure and process for its members. We drove by their building and she pointed out that they are in the process of buying it so I would suppose that the group is doing well.

I’m going to miss Rubylou quite a bit. It is something that we both danced around conversationally because it makes both of us upset. That’s the biggest downside to moving away. I do have a lot of good friends here and I am leaving them behind, except for online interactions and the occasional visit.