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Why I Wrote Syd Arthur

I think I’ve always been searching. Granted, sometimes it was for my car keys, but the idea of finding my spiritual center has captivated me since I was a young child. Growing up though, I didn’t believe I could call myself a seeker, because I thought that description belonged to the great spiritual teachers of the past.  I didn’t think that I, a Jewish girl growing up in the suburbs, was entitled to navigate a path toward revelation, salvation or enlightenment. Let’s face it, half of the time I was just praying for a good hair day. But that stirring, that spiritual hunger, continued to growl in my stomach and no amount of my mother’s tender brisket was going to quell it. It craved some brown rice and tofu too, a little East meets West.

Long before the term Ju-Bu (Jewish-Buddhist) or Bu-Ju (Buddhist-Jew) was invented, my spiritual inclinations led me to seek balance with one foot in the synagogue and the other crossed over into a seated lotus position. Perhaps this is just my karma. Maybe in a past life I was a Buddhist nun, or maybe I was a butcher (hence my fondness for brisket) but my Jewish roots grounded me in the soil of my ancestors while my branches stretched to the mystical Shangri La where I longed to find my own Bodhi Tree and, like the Buddha, reach enlightenment.

The Buddha taught that everyone has the potential to become spiritually awake. Syd Arthur is the upshot of my contemplative musings as to what the path of the historical Buddha, born Prince Siddhartha, might look like today through the eyes of Syd Arthur, a middle-aged Jewish suburban woman. 

I Am Not Syd