Is Andy Rooney Becoming a Buddhist?

by Ben Hoffman

My wife and I usually watch 60 Minutes after dinner on Sunday nights. We don’t watch a whole lot of TV. It seems like 6:00 in the evening is our most typical time to watch something: 60 Minutes on Sundays and The News Hour on weekdays. Other than some sports and specials, we usually just watch movies if we’re going to watch something.

This evening on 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney talked about desires and craving. He said he craved a cookie after his lunch. (Have you ever noticed that Andy Rooney sometimes fills his segment up with some of the most mundane events?) He wished there was a pill he could take to eliminate his cravings.

Talking about craving wouldn’t be of interest by itself, but last week Rooney talked about living in the present. He talked about how sometimes he looked forward to the next month or to something in the future, but he was going to try to just appreciate this month and live more in the present.

Eliminating cravings and living in the present are two main tenets of Buddhism. The Buddha believed that the cause of all suffering is craving and the way to achieve nirvana is by the elimination of craving. Those are the 2nd and 3rd Noble Truths.

Living in the present is also called mindfulness, which is part of the Noble Eightfold Path to eliminate suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path is the Fourth Noble Truth.

As a Buddhist and a Jew (sometimes called a Jubu), I had to do a search to see if Andy is a Buddhist. I couldn’t find any evidence of that, but I did find out that he’s an atheist, which makes me feel somewhat connected to him now. People who don’t believe in the supernatural are a minority in our country, which seems a little weird, but that’s how it is in a lot of countries. Take away belief in the supernatural and you take away a lot of reasons to hate.

Why am I writing about Andy Rooney and Buddhism? Who knows? Have you ever noticed that sometimes something seems like a good idea at the time, but then when you start writing you realize that your time could have been better spent?

6 Comments to “Is Andy Rooney Becoming a Buddhist?”

  1. No worries, Ben. Just live in the moment. 🙂

  2. As people get older – if they’re lucky – serenity creeps into their persona. Perhaps that way we all die as Buddhists!

    • Some people are scared to death of death. Probably because they have serious doubts about their beliefs in the afterlife.

      • Does it seem to you that of all the posited possibilities re afterlife, the only one we have any evidence at all for is reincarnation. It’s questionable evidence but there’s really nothing else out there that comes close.

      • I don’t believe in reincarnation but you’ve piqued my interest in it. I’ll have to do a little research. It could be we inherit some memories from our parents.

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