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Friday, July 29, 2011

I've got an enlightening library book I would like to share

The book that I would like to recommend is "Coming To Our Senses--Healing Ourselves And The World Through Mindfulness" by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn
Introduction--The Challenge of a life's time and a lifetime

It may be when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.

Wendell Berry

     I don't know about you, but for myself, it feels like we are at a critical juncture of life on this planet. It could go any number of different ways. It seems that the world is on fire and so are our hearts, inflamed with fear and uncertainty, lacking all conviction, and often filled with passionate but unwise intensity. How we manage to see ourselves and the world at this juncture will make a huge difference in the way things unfold. What emerges for us as individuals and as a society in future moments will be shaped in large measure by whether and how we make use of our innate and incomparable capacity for awareness in this moment. It will be shaped by what we choose to do to heal the underlying distress, dissatisfaction and outright dis-ease of our lives, even as we nourish and protect all that is good and beautiful and healthy in ourselves and in the world .
     The challenge is one of coming to our senses, both individually and as a species. I think it is fair to say that there is considerable movement in that direction world wide, with little noticed and even less understood rivulets and stream of human creativity and goodness and caring feeding into growing rivers of openhearted wakefulness and compassion and wisdom.  Where the adventure is taking us as a species, and in our iindividual private lives, even from one day to the next, is unknown. The destination of this collective journey we are caught up in is neither fixed nor predetermined, which is to say there is no destination, only the journey itself. What we are facing now and how we hold and understand this moment shapes what might emerge in the next moment, and the next, and shapes it in ays that are undetermined and, when all is said and done, undeterminable, mysterious. . . . .

That was only a small part of the introduction of what, IMHO a very fascinating, thought provoking, inspiring. IMHO gives this reader much to think about, which is why I am recommending it, but no one has to hear and obey me.

     Years ago, a meditaion teacher opened an interview with me on a ten-day, almost entirely silent retreat by asking, "How is the world treating you?" I mumbled some response or other to the effect that thing were going OK. Then he asked me, "And how are you treating the world?"

Personally, I find that a very profound question--"How am I treating the world?" I confess I do not treat the world all that well. Granted every once in a while, I get my mind off of my own life, a show for a moment or two, compassion for others, but all in all, I confess I am too wrapped up in my own life to treat the world very well: which for me, something to think about and hopefully and prayerfully, change.