ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Zen of Retardation

Updated on January 18, 2020

Please note: from Wikipedia "As of 2013, "intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder)" is the term that has come into common use by among educational, psychiatric, and other professionals over the past two decades. Because of its specificity and lack of confusion with other conditions, the term "mental retardation" is still sometimes used in professional medical settings around the world, such as formal scientific research and health insurance paperwork."


The amazing thing about our society is that we have certain types of people that have a natural propensity for enlightenment. I'm not talking about the monks among us who strive for enlightenment until they are able to attain it and their striving ends. I'm talking about mentally retarded people.

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that teaches enlightenment can be attained through meditation, intuition, and self-analysis. I don't know about that. I do know that enlightenment is a concept that needs defining.

I define enlightenment as being totally in the present moment, with none of the connections that usually hold the mind to this world. Examples of those connections are thoughts in the back of your head, -bills, opinions, self-concepts, etc. When those are gone, or temporarily disconnected from the mind, peace enters. When it does, the relief it brings creates the joy that surrounds it. Bada Bing! Enlightenment.

Words are symbols of other things. C, A, and T are the letters that form a word that symbolizes a small carnivorous animal. It isn't that animal. In the same way enlightenment is a word that symbolizes the condition of the mind I've just described. So I can't do more with words than symbolize this condition. You, however, can induce it within your mind by using my symbols as stepping stones to reach that condition of mind, in an instant. (I think you should try it right now).

Sometimes it helps to focus on a peaceful, natural setting. Use the one below. Put yourself in my place, alone in the middle of a 10,000 acre forest, at rest and at peace, self-assured and totally free.


Buddy's View of Things
Buddy's View of Things

If you've ever gotten to know a mentally retarded person, the thing that strikes you is their natural propensity for happiness. They hardly ever focus on that problem from last week or that upcoming challenge. They focus intently on the bowl of ice cream in front of them or the balloon they got at the festival. They live mostly in the present moment.

Within that present moment is the key to enlightenment. I don't know if they attain it on occasion. I sure hope so. I've had my ego boundaries dissolve on occasion and united with Unity, and I know that's what I was made for. I wish this for them.

I also wish it for you!

I once heard a story about a Zen Master who was chased by a bear. He came to a cliff and had a choice between jumping off the cliff or being eaten by the bear. He jumped, and grabbed a protruding bush on the way down, which saved him. As he hung from the bush, high enough for a fall to be fatal, a gopher popped its head out from a hole in the side of the cliff and began to gnaw at the roots of the bush. The Master noticed a small strawberry plant growing out of the side of the cliff and picked a strawberry. As he ate it he thought, "So sweet and delicious!"

If my own enlightenment didn't come and go, I suppose I'd be eating the strawberry and enjoying it just as much. But I would have tangled with the bear and tried like hell to shove him over the cliff before I'd jump. At the very least we'd go over together, and on the way down I'd be trying to stay on top so he could break my fall.

So it is obvious to me that I have a long way to go on this road to enlightenment. And it looks like I get passed by mentally retarded people on a regular basis. But if I let that worry me, I'd be interfering with my enlightenment.

I didn't mean to offend anyone, Zen Buddhist or Mentally Retarded or bear or whatever. Accept my apologies in advance. Don't get pissed, I don't want to delay your enlightenment.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 

      12 years ago

      "Maybe mentally challenged or canine minds are happy because they aren't weighed-down by over-thinking. Maybe I'm over-thinking..."

      lol - I would say yes and yes. But over-thinking is a big part of what makes us human. Dang that brain-thingy; always gets in the way. :)

    • Buddy Watchman profile imageAUTHOR

      Buddy Watchman 

      12 years ago from Townsend Delaware

      Hi Feline Prophet! All is not illusion. Something must be real enough to generate the illusions. All matter seems to be illusion, which seems to be in agreement with Indian philosophy, but I'm no expert. Love is real. Absolutely.

      The answer to your question "So I am a cat but I am not that?" is yes. Thanks for your comments!

      Hello Shibashake: My dogs are the same. Whatever they are doing they do whole-heartedly. I am glad for their example. Never mind your speed or stumbling. I know the joy they bring you.

      Maybe mentally challenged or canine minds are happy because they aren't weighed-down by over-thinking. Maybe I'm over-thinking...

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      12 years ago

      So I am a cat but I am not that? :P Interesting point of view. Indian philosophy also says all is illusion...

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 

      12 years ago

      My dogs are way ahead of me in the enlightenment department. I try to follow their paw-prints but I am very slow and stumble a lot.

    • Buddy Watchman profile imageAUTHOR

      Buddy Watchman 

      12 years ago from Townsend Delaware

      CS Lewis wasn't talking about the mentally handicapped when he said this, but he hit the nail on the head, "They go straight for happiness like experienced travelers go for the best seats on a train."

      Thanks for your kind comments, Whitkat!

    • profile image

      Whikat 

      12 years ago

      Hi Buddy Watchman, I really enjoyed this story. I have worked with the mentally handicapped and have been jealous of them on a number of occasions, they are like little children who find joy and pleasure at the littlest things in life all of the time. I have to work hard at those emotions to achieve it for just a little while. Thanks for the great hub.

    • Buddy Watchman profile imageAUTHOR

      Buddy Watchman 

      12 years ago from Townsend Delaware

      Perhaps you have confused a release of pressure with enlightenment, Grasshopper.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 

      12 years ago from Free and running....

      there's other activities in there that do

    • Buddy Watchman profile imageAUTHOR

      Buddy Watchman 

      12 years ago from Townsend Delaware

      I floss, on occasion. It never brings on enlightenment.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 

      12 years ago from Free and running....

      I'm a bit mentally challenged, so I can find zen like moments on occasion, usually its in the bathroom where I find it, but I'm not going to tell you what I do in there.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)