Monday, February 05, 2007

Fortune of the Week (9) and My Zen Soapbox

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.


Berna said...

I'm starting to get worried here about what you might have done to anger the fates. Hopefully next week they will smile upon you again.

shiloh said...

hmmm......I'll have to contemplate that first quote. I have a hard time understanding how you can be "compassionate" about something or someone without being "attached" to it.To me it seems like empty love.......That's just my first thought...I'll have to think more on it.....

Big Kahuna said...

Forget the "something" or "someone" and think of "compassionate" as a state of mind in the same way that "happiness", "confidence", or "kindness" can be simply a feeling or choice. The attitude of compassion can be a personality trait and not dependant upon a "thing" or person responding in a favorable, or appreciative way. For instance, donating to a charity is an act of compassion though you may never witness the actual donation in action.

Linda said...

Chris just bought the book. I'll let you know what he thinks of it.