The Taiko, used as a call to worship represents the commanding voice of Buddha.
We seem to be in a sort of seeking mood here at the Zimmerman/Ludwig home lately. Maybe spurred on by our eldest son's rejection of our faith (see blog below) or maybe by my own passion for yoga and the spiritual side of that physical practice, I'm not sure. But lately we've been trying all kinds of new eastern approaches and belief systems on for size and I have to say the results have been pretty good.
Now don't worry, I haven't gone all Tom Cruise Scientology on you but I have been taking Grace to see a Holistic doctor for her stomach aches. She has had chronic stomach aches for six years--ever since, hmm, yes ever since her baby sister was diagnosed with cancer. Gee, Dr. Fraud, do you think there's a connection?
We have tried everything...Tums, massage, herbal tea, Pepcid AC, wedge pillow, changes in diet, changes in bed-time, peppermint, meditation, and even, in desperation, a few visits to a gastroenterologist who prescribed Prevacid (a drug that keeps your stomach from producing acid which I feel, intuitively, can not be a long-term solution). None of these things have given her more than a few days' relief from the stomach-ache that strikes her every night at bed-time.
Finally, we decided to try something new. We went to see a holistic doctor. I would like to tell you about the visits but it sounds like voo-doo to those of us raised in a Western world but let me tell you, she has not had a single stomach-ache since our first visit. He works with energy, and blockages, and past traumas. Whatever. She has had four visits and not one stomach ache in two months.
At the same time that we've been seeing "Dr. Eat Pray Love" as we call him, our eldest son has been researching Buddhism. He's so interested that he got me to take him to a Buddhist temple last week.
I was jiggy wid dat. I was raised Christian (Methodist) but I'm not convinced that the religion of one's childhood is the only way to go. We went, we observed, we enjoyed. The message is a bit different. There is, of course, no talk of Jesus but talk of the Buddha (enlightened one) within us. The goal is to connect to that divine self and the divine in all other people for we are as one. There is more talk of wisdom and self-knowledge than of loving your neighbor. I was good with all of that. There's also an awesome hanging drum they bang on as a call to worship and that has a lot more drama than ringing the church bells.
When we got home, Jeff was anxious to hear about it. "So what does that mean to find the Buddha within? Is that like God within you?" he asked.
"No, Dad," Atticus said with some non-Buddhist impatience, "I think they mean there's a little gold statue of a fat man in your liver."
Atticus has declared he has found his spiritual home. It's in a temple in Wrigleyville (about a half hour from here). I guess that's better than at an ashram in Nepal. As for myself, I'm not sure I'm ready to give up on the Methodists and their potluck suppers and welcoming handshakes.
Wish us well on our spiritual journey. I send divine love from the Buddha in me to the Buddha in you.