Tue 22 Feb 2011
I tried something new the other day. I wanted to read a good non-fiction book. Something spiritually oriented but how to find the right thing? I went to the library and found the “200’s”, the spirituality section, and just wandered around.
I found all kinds of stuff I had no interest in reading, but found some cool things too. I picked up Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions For An Ordinary Life. Miller writes like a normal person who happens to be a Zen Buddhist priest.
It’s a here’s-how-I-hit-bottom-and-found-buddhism book but totally lacking in any conversionary rah-rah sentiments that would make me drop the book in a heap on the floor. After her first marriage breaks up, she has this to say about fear:
We are unavailable for any truly loving and fulfiling relationship as long as we are trapped in a committed relationship with the most controlling part of our own mind — our fear. Our fear of what will happen and our fear of what will not.
Nearly everything we’re afraid will happen is going to happen anyway so what’s to fear? There is no secure or unchanging ground, and we make ourelves safe only when we see and accept the way life is. Utterly spontaneous and impermanent. When it is time to laugh, we laugh. When it is time to weep, we weep. We are cheated of nothing in life except that from which we withhold ourselves by ego’s narrow bounds. These bounds were made to break; indeed they must, if we ever hope to be whole again.
Karen Maezen Miller
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