With many Americans eager for a source of refuge but a little over the "God thing", an increasing number of people have been turning to a lighter, more user-friendly form of Buddhism, a.k.a. Bud-light, which, like traditional Buddhist philosophy, mentions mindfulness, but isn’t overly adamant about it.
“We’re certainly in favor of mindfulness in moderation,” said Bud-light founder Marcus Orwellius. “But like anything else, it shouldn’t be taken to extremes.”
Other user-enhancing tweaks to the ancient spiritual tradition include modification of the First Noble Truth of Buddhism from the concept that suffering exists to the Bud-light tenet that suffering exists for other people but it sucks that it’s happening to you. The Second Noble Truth of Buddhism, that the cause of suffering is craving, has been very slightly edited to the Bud-light truth that the cause of suffering is unsatisfied craving.
“And so on,” said Orwellius. “The point is, we wanted to make it accessible to the average American. The very average American.”
For that reason, Bud-light has likewise toned down other standard Buddhist doctrines, like the practice of renunciation, to mean "once in a while, on an as-needed basis, more or less." “We’re big fans of the term ‘the middle path,’” said Orwellius. “Boy, has that one come in handy. Again, everything in moderation – everything.”
Similarly, Bud-light has altered the first precept of Buddhism, which instructs to refrain from taking the life of any sentient being, by adding the clause “unless everyone else does it, or you’re just not in an emotional space to be fucking spiritual right now.”
“Pardon the language,” said Orwellius. “We use profanity to make clear that Bud-light isn’t fancy or esoteric. Anyone can do it.”
All told, while Bud-light does not promise enlightenment, cessation of suffering, or even consciousness, it does offer practitioners a means of occasionally checking in to the present moment – and it works, emphasized Orwellius. “Consciousness is not only tough to achieve but also a little overrated,” he said. “Semi-consciousness is where it’s at.”