The other day, I read a comment on a Buddhist bulletin board that said, more or less, "I don't care for hanging out with Buddhists." And I felt a jolt of agreement. Buddhists are often too damned "Buddhist" for my taste. It's not that I begrudge them their interests and efforts but ... how about them Red Sox? how about molecular biology? how about a birthday party for a five-year-old? how about a love for stamp collecting? how about cooking scrambled eggs? how about high-stakes poker? how about the intricacies of an automobile engine?
A while back, at a baseball game one of my sons was playing in, I was having a nice conversation with a doctor. I asked him several questions about his adventures in life -- how he came to be a doctor, how his older daughters and younger son were faring, what he thought of the health industry -- and he filled me in. But I noticed after a while that he didn't ask me a single question about my adventures. It struck me as odd. Not wounding, just odd. Most of us know about our own lives and longings and information and bias ... aren't we curious about how someone else sees and has seen things? Odd.
I suppose it's odd that I should see this as odd. People are interested in and sometimes consumed by their own lives. But doesn't it suggest anything else, a connection to some other interest or way of seeing things? Doesn't it get boring and somewhat confining?
What about ... well, what about those things that don't capture our interest, that don't dovetail with our current bias. What about playing polo with a human head?
Buddhism ... I'm probably the odd man out on all of this.