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Zen mind, beginner’s mind

What’s the most important thing I can do today to bring kindness and clarity to our world? Soften my gaze, take a deep breath, and try to find my beginner’s mind.

The famous book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki is worth turning back to. I just did.. Here is what I read, here’s the setup:

“I do not feel like speaking after zazen [zen sitting, a most simple meditation]. I feel the practice of zazen is enough. But if I must say something I think I would like to talk about how wonderful it is to practice zazen….

Here’s the part that helped me:

“It is our human nature to be active and the nature of every existence.. As long as we are alive, we are always doing something. But as long as you think, ‘I am doing this,,’ or ‘I have to do this,’ or ‘I must attain something special,’ you are actually not doing anything. When you give up,, when you no longer want something, or when you do not try to do something special, then you do something. When there is no gaining idea in what you do, then you do something…..”

So here I am tonight. Charlottesville, Barcelona, Boston Common and all of us… What to do.. near tears.. breath. read Shunyu.. go forward.. actively, committed, enraged really…..not at today but at the broader picture of ignorance and hatred….in the face of our beautiful, complicated, tender lives….

Quiet Power

Here is a quiet and quick review of a wonderful book, Quiet Power by Susan Cain with Gregory Mone and Erica Moroz. I assume you have read Susan Cain’s book for grownups, Quiet. The grownup book, Quiet, is truly wonderful–I found it a lifeline. Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert is not important.. What is important is that we live in a society with a particularly damaging ideal of personality and performance….and this book can help you stand your ground and nature what is precious to you about yourself.

Quiet Power is a complementary book for kids, subtitle, “The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids”

Oh yes, and its not just for kids. For me, I need an occasional reminder and encouragement..and for this purpose I like the kids book much better than its big cousin….less text, nice little stories!