Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Go Forward with Curiosity
I've been reading this one book in the car while I'm waiting for our daughter to come out of school everyday for the last many months. I just leave it on the front seat and it's there for me. I get to the school early, turn off the engine and pick up the book. It's probably one of the most useful things I've ever read, at least it would be if I could put it into practice, and I'm trying and will keep trying.
The book is Pema Chodron's No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva. Chodron is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. What she does in this text is work with The Way of the Bodhisattva by the eighth century sage, Shantideva. What blows the mind is that it is perfectly relevant today. In fact, I felt like my mind was being read in a certain way. There are all these things, people, that we come up against on a daily basis that can make us angry and Chodron shows us a way through via Shantideva. It's strangely comforting to know that the same problems, the same types of people all existed in the eighth century.
Okay, so I'm not a Buddhist, but this is a work that is for anyone. Practicing patience, compassion. How to cope with the troublemakers in our lives, the haughty and insolent creatures that cross our paths. These things are in No Time to Lose. Chodron also guides us to "just go forward with curiosity, wondering where this experiment will lead." What I most like about this book is that it's highly practical and readable. For me it really was a timely guide.
If you have a spare moment, it's also worthwhile reading the conversation with Pema Chodron and Alice Walker. You have to go to her site, then click on the Q&A.