Dharma the Cat is David Lourie and friends’ blog “on the rocky road to nirvana with a Buddhist cat, a novice monk and a mouse hell-bent on cheese.” Their spiritual cartoons and commentary have made it into books, e-books and bedtime stories (in several languages).
On the subject of Coolness, here’s Dharma the Cat’s comment: “It’s always so much fun making [monk] Bodhi say “Aarghhh!” Then, writer Lourie’s rather earnest, personal commentary:
“I have come to understand the meaning of ‘coolness’ in spiritual terms. A person is `cool’ when he or she is free from pressing desires (grasping) which always produce dissonant emotions (uncoolness). An uncool person squirms with needs, waiting for the next coffee or cigarette or chance to break into the conversation, and thus is a state called ‘senseless agitation,’ like Bodhi in the cartoon here. On the other hand, a cool person is free of cravings and repulsions, and is thus in an empowered state of equanimity.
Being cool and detached is not being cold and uncaring. I’ve noticed that when I’m feeling cool and requiring nothing from the situation, it seems to clarify my thoughts, and in this state I tend to respond to other people’s agendas more, instead of my head being full of my own agenda.
To me, coolness means more compassion and less self-ness—the opposite of being heated.
Interestingly, the ultra-cool Buddhist who has realized nirvana is often referred to as “fully blown out,” referring to the flame of desire he has extinguished within himself.
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