This was the fortune I found in my cookie from lunch today:
Yup - the cookie was empty. That's two weeks in a row I've received an empty cookie! So instead, I'll present this qoute from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Zen Living:
"Do your duty without attachment and without resentment or obsession. Practice personal discipline so you can better maintain a sense of control, well-being, and good health for your own body and your own mind. Devote yourself with compassion to the world and the people and things in it - without attaching to them, without needing them, without desiring them, but simply by loving them."
Now that's some great advice!
I know I've already mentioned this book in the past, but I think it's worth repeating. There is a great deal of good advice in there and it gives a nice overview of the whole concept of Zen. And if I had to pick one thing that has had the most positive influence in my adult life, it would be Zen. I wish more people could learn about Zen. However, I think one false impression many people may have regarding Zen needs to be overcome. Zen does not have to replace an existing religious faith - the two can coexist. To quote another part of the Zen Living book:
"If you have a religious faith that involves a higher power, you can still look within yourself to find the gifts you have been given. You can still immerse yourself in the present moment to fully appreciate and savor the life you have been given and the world that has been created and grows and breathes and lives all around you. Buddhism doesn't say you are God. It doesn't really talk about God, leaving that for other faiths, or the individual, to contemplate. That's why Zen doesn't contradict other religions."
Anyhow, if you ever get the chance, read a bit of this book. It's definitely time well spent.