Remembering who I wanted to be

Categories: Buddhism, Journal
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Published on: November 17, 2006

I was picking my daughter up at school the other day and noticed a bumper sticker on one of the other cars in the lot that read “Remember who you wanted to be”. I hadn’t thought about it in a long time but who I wanted to be most of all when I was a kid was Yoda. He wasn’t the rebel, he wasn’t the hero, he wasn’t the scoundrel or the villian. When I was eleven years old the person I most wanted to be was quiet, peaceful and wise.

Years later, it was pretty clear that Yoda and his philosophy was modeled after Buddhist and Vedantist thought. This was most obvious when I was watching the Empire Strikes Back with a group of Vedantist monks while staying at the Vedanta Society of Southern California. We clustered around a tiny color television in a small back room and watched as Yoda explained the Force to Luke. Huge smiles broke across the faces of the monks and one exclaimed “Do you hear that? That is Vedanta!”

A decade has passed and my spiritual disciplines are honored more in the breach than in the observance but I think of the little Jedi master more frequently. I’ve tried a number of times to re-establish myself in my meditative practice. I think I’ll do better if I take a page from the little green Jedi’s book and stop trying and start doing.

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