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Selections from Donít Just Do Something, Sit There by Sylvia Boorstein, Copyright © 1996 by Sylvia Boorstein.  Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Practicing mindfulness does not mean becoming a Buddhist. It means living like a Buddha."

Sylvia Boorstein, Donít Just Do Something, Sit There
Part 4

"Nobodyís Grandmother Is a Buddhist"

My friend Jean told me that she had discovered a large hornetsí nest under the eaves of her roof. Her eight-year-old granddaughter, Courtney, who was with her at the time, was frightened and didnít want to stay outside. Jean, too, was dismayed by the presence of so many hornets and paused to consider possible remedial alternatives.

Sensing her grandmotherís reluctance to take immediate action, Courtney asked, "What are you waiting for?"

"Iím thinking," Jean replied. "I donít like having these hornets here either, but the Buddhists donít like to harm living beingsÖ"

Courtney looked up at Jean with the sideward, skeptical look children have when they think someone might be teasing them. Finally, she shook her head in disbelief. "Naah," she said. "Nobodyís grandmother is a Buddhist."

I think what Courtney meant was, "Hey, you canít change cultural contexts on me all of a sudden!" Practicing mindfulness does not mean becoming a Buddhist. It means living like a Buddha.

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