Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer?

It is keeping peace and good relations between people,

as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.

- Prophet Mohammed


The Day before Buddhism

March 31, 2010

Today is my last day before starting this grand experiment and honestly, I’m just not sure how it’ll work out. This whole thing is supposed to last for a year. That’s twelve solid months of sacrifice, rituals and worship that is staring me down right now. Just this afternoon, I was out to lunch with my wife and we made a great new restaurant discovery. I live for new restaurant ad bar discoveries. This place is a real gem, too. It's got a great atmosphere, pretty cheap meat and an amazingly diverse booze list. The secular, heathen inside me immediately got excited about the great times we were sure to have this upcoming weekend, but then I realized that that kind of behavior will soon be inappropriate for me. 

Starting tomorrow and lasting until the end of the month (April 1st to April 30th) I will become a very pious and observant Buddhist. I've planned this for awhile and before deciding what my rules for the month were going to be, I researched the rituals of Buddhists the world over. Success in this project depends on my ability not to drift into the very common world of convenience, so I've opted to follow a very strict, self-created hybrid-model of Buddhism. I'm essentially combining variations of the religion that require the most of me. 

Perhaps I’m getting too worked up. How bad can it be? I can handle thirty simple days of anything. There are monks who do this shit their entire life and don’t seem to complain too much. I find myself now in a place between excitement and fear. Nah, fear’s not accurate. I’m somewhere between excitement and being able to add another failure to my long and ongoing list of things that I've quit. I’m almost anticipating myself failing to complete even a week as a Buddhist. I’m great at quitting things that inconvenience me, but horrible at actually sacrificing something for a cause.

I’ve quit a lot of things in my short life: sports; jobs; school; projects; organizations; religions; exercising; writing; hygiene, well, you get the point. However, if I were to list the things I’ve sacrificed for a cause, it would be much easier. Let's try it. Nothing.

Seriously, I can’t think of a single damn thing that I've given up for a greater cause. I almost quit smoking for my wife, but have continually fallen back into the warm, loving arms of tobacco.  Funny story really: I had mostly quit smoking for nearly two years before our wedding, but on the honeymoon we both decided that the beaches of the Philippines wouldn’t be the same without taking a few puffs in the sun. I’ve been on the wagon ever since.

Tonight, my final secular night for a year should be a wild one, right? I should go out and booze it up and stuff as much meat into my face as possible. That's what I should be doing, but I’m not though. Instead, I’ll be at home preparing my chants for the morning and getting my little Buddha statue ready to be worshiped.

I’m ready. Good-bye secular heathen George. Hello, pious follower.

Let the craziness begin.


I'm taking requests! Does anyone have a religion they want me to possibly follow? If so, please post it in the comments section and I'll take a look.

So far, I've gotten asked to follow...

The catch is that I only have a couple substitutable religions, so choose wisely. I'll put up a poll before the close of this month (June).