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25. Why I Am a Dudeist

Note - for some reason the line spacing on this blog has gone awry.  I will work on the HTML but for now, I am using "." to separate the paragraphs.  Apologies.
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I ended the previous blog post wanting to say something about why Dudeism is important to me.
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So, I'm just going to blurt it all out in no particular order.  Maybe, some of this resonates with you...
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For me, Dudeism is like a big reset button.
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And it does this in a way that other religions don't seem to.  Even if we consider Daoism, especially religious Daoism, it has largely lost touch with the Sage.  It has lost connection with the heart of Daoism, and it's all got confused with a mixture of other religious grandeur, pomp, and ceremony, and it is full of experts.
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How can you be an expert in something that is everything?
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Anyway, that's a question for another time.  Dudeism is a reminder to just chill the fuck out.  To step off the full-speed achiever train.  To ease back.  To notice when the mind is uptight, and to breathe out the bullshit.
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For me, it's like a compass that returns me to true North.  True Dude. 
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And I'm pretty mellow, man.  But still, my job is about serving people who want to achieve, want to make that cool million+, and can be pretty intense about doing so.  My home life can also be demanding.  And it's easy to get lost in the middle of it all, to start sinking in the sea of other people's demands and expectations.
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And Dudeism, well it reminds me to pull back.  To reduce the number of my clients if things are getting too tense.  To take less money, but have more time to support my family, and just to be there, man.  For them, and myself.
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And being self-employed makes it more difficult.  And Deadbeat Genius, well that's a fun thing for me.  I wear the Dudeist clothing myself, and it would be great if a little bit of cash comes from it, but I'm okay, no demands, no expectations.  It's a Dudeist blog with a clothes store attached to it.

Dudeism Vs Other Religions

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So, here's the score, and maybe you'll start to get why I dig Dudeism so much.
Back in 2007, I joined a Buddhist group.  It said it was a zen group, but I later realised it was more of a self-help place than zen.  And I didn't need self-help, I was just attracted to meditation, and zen practice to fit alongside my Aikido practice.
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In 2009, I experienced Awakening.  Completely out of the blue, and it turned my life on its head.  I suddenly experienced that I wasn't "me", that what I had thought of as being my "self" had in fact been a lie, and everything that I was looking at was exactly the same, it is actually all One.
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So, I was in this Buddhist group listening to people tell their woes when some of them really should have been going to therapy, and I was thinking, well that's not what Buddha was meaning.  I remember a woman grieving over the death of her father and saying that she couldn't abide with how Buddha explained that we should all accept change, and that change is inevitable, and if we can't abide with it, we will never have peace.
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So, she had a double-whammy: the pain of grief, and on top of that, feeling that her Buddhism was letting her down in her hour of need.  
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And I thought, how can I tell her that the Buddha was also referring to the point that nothing changes?  That the world before us is the apparent change of the Changeless.  That her father, was not her father but the Absolute appearing at that time as him?  That wouldn't help either.  And if that doesn't help, and all of the teachers teaching Buddhism here didn't know either, then what were we all blathering about?
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So, I gave this up.  I took a year out to study nature.
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And I joined a Daoist group and went on a few weekend retreats, but they got seriously uptight about my walking through a forest when I should have been doing meditation.  And they refused to let me return unless I spent around 5-hours a day in a closed up meditation hall.  What, when there are beautiful forest paths here?  How can you be teaching Daoism when you are getting bent out of shape by that, we are in the middle of countryside here.
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Then by chance, I met some Druids, and they seemed really quite chilled, and also into the whole underachieving, back-to-nature thing.  But I kept seeing Dudeism.  I watched The Big Lebowski movie, and I thought it was fun, but not much more.  Then later I became a Dudeist priest.
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But it's only this year that it has really meant something to me.
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And that's because of the old reset button.

Get Off That Train Lebowski

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We can talk about Oneness, we can use our religion to right the wrongs of our psychological difficulties, we can talk endlessly about the Dao, about universal Love, and we can have fun dancing around trees at Beltane, or looking amazing on a yoga mat.  But, this isn't a lot different than the commercial train that I mentioned in the previous post.  It is instead, a religious train.  And it can easily become another "me", another "how I should be".
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But Dudeism, although it can be like this if we try to emulate the Dude in the movies.  Dudeism, keeps it simple... Take it easy, have a limber mind, and abide.
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And it works.
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Here's to keeping things simple.
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The Reverend Thomo
 

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