Yesterday, Elephant Journal surprised me by including me in its list of 'Best Female Buddhist Bloggers of 2009'. Of course I delight in this honor. I also can't help but wonder about the juxtaposition of the two words 'best' and 'Buddhist'. Seems to me like an oxymoron, similar to the claim made of Tibetan monk Matthieu Ricard as 'happiest man in the world'. Nothing can escape our competitive culture, not even its antithesis, the Buddhist path.
The real question, when bestowed such an honor, is what to do with it? Again, mindfulness becomes of the utmost importance, as in paying attention to the ego's reaction. Do I identify with the idea of being one of best female Buddhist bloggers in America, or do I renounce that identification, which is after all, very relative and temporary? If I choose the latter route, I will, as Ayya Khema explains in her talk about renunciation, keep my ego in check and unencumbered by spurious associations:
To renounce this identification is a very important step: only if one stands alone can one actually practice the path. That doesn't mean one has to throw everyone out of one's house. but as long as one is dependent upon what somebody else says, thinks or does, how can one practice for one's own freedom? Without this identification the ego returns to its normal size, just one 'me' and that's all. it doesn't mean that the ego has been eliminated, but it has become more manageable again. One body, one mind, without owning or identifying with a whole lot of people and things.
And last but not least, congratulations to the other sisters on the list, many of whom I discovered during a search for '15 Great Women Buddhist Blogs', a few weeks ago.