A book one wants to love, but can't: Zen teacher Ezra Bayda's Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts).
The format: small, but with big whitespace, wide margins, gray decorations.
The length: by word count more booklet than book.
The language: flat, few metaphors, scant imagery, frequent non sequitur.
But faint, sporadic sparkles:
- "The basic paradox: everything is a mess yet all is well."
- "Our nature is connectedness and love—not the separateness to which our suffering clings."
- "We can't wake up simply by wishing to. Without specific, ongoing effort we will continue to sleepwalk through our self-centered dream. Genuine awakening requires bringing attention repeatedly to the present moment of our life. One laserlike tool to help us do this is the practice of continually asking ourselves, "What is this?" ... "
- "The spiritual practice of relationships is about working on ourselves only, freeing ourselves from the constricting grip of our own unhappiness. It is not the other person's job to take our unhappiness away: our discomfort is our own responsibility. ..."
- "Before we enter the path, we see our experiences in terms of "good" or "bad." Upon truly entering the path, we see them only as opportunities to awaken."
One lonely, twinkling star:
- "As the veil of separation begins to part, reality shimmers and the world is seen differently. Then, when the veil has disappeared completely, everything is the same again—but not exactly."
A flash of lightning:
|One of the most powerful tools for awakening truth in the midst of your chaotic daily life is to take frequent pauses. Simply stop for a moment and feel what your life is right now. Right now: stop reading and simply experience what this moment feels like.|
You can take these pauses anytime throughout the day. Sitting down to meditate is helpful but it's not necessary. Just settle into any moment and simply feel it. With whatever arises—anger, anxiety, restlessness—you don't have to "let it go" because, after all, that would just be more doing, more effort. Just let it be there. Remind yourself to feel this.
Overall: weak tea, though with great poetic potential.
(cf. Bursting the Bubble of Fear (2014-03-26), Being Zen (2014-05-26), ...) - ^z - 2014-07-08