Sunday, October 13, 2013

am I a tool?

"Whether you like it or not, we book bloggers are marketers."

I do get books here, but I don't review a book when I don't like it, or just can't generate the interest in finishing a book. Most of my quotes and reviews are books that I have bought. I often turn down books I'm not interested in, or just don't actually have the time at the moment. I feel kind of guilty about not reading some books that look interesting, but I just haven't gotten to them, and the window of a timely review is gone.

In the end, this is my blog, and if I ignore it, or write a lot, it all comes from my heart.

I do like to say positive things about things I enjoy. I love love loved going to the opera and seeing Philip Glass' Satyagraha.

I get a lot of press releases for Christian content. It often looks interesting, and as time goes on, I lessen my antipathy for a religion that was shoved down my throat my for much of my life. I really like Thomas Merton. I sometimes think it would be easier to just go to the local church and secretly see it as sangha.

I like what transcends all religions. I like it that spirituality counters the materialism that is rampant in myself and the society I exist in. Getting a book free in the mail does make it more likely for me to read it. When I choose a book I have paid for it, and it is therefore more interesting to me.

I do really enjoy Tibetan and Zen culture, and I find these traditions endlessly fascinating. I think Sangharakshita's syncretic, inclusive and ecumenical approach to be the one that speaks to me most. His approach includes the Tibetan and Zen traditions. On the refuge tree there are Chan teachers as well. I imagine he sees a spiritual depth even if he doesn't so much wish us to exactly follow their leads. I think he changed the wording to refuge and inspiration. If you tried to blend all the ideas together of all the inspiration, you might not be able to make it coherent. What underlies all that though is what he's pointing to, I think. So that's what I want this blog to be about, and my efforts to connect with that.

Bhante Quote

"Some religious texts talk about the need to give up worldly pleasure or happiness, but I would personally like to see people give up their attachment to worldly misery. I would like to see them enjoying more of the simple pleasures of life. Many of those who are supposed to be wallowing in worldly pleasures, are who have everything at their command, tend to look miserable, gaunt and even miserable."

p. 90-91 Living Wisely: Further Advice from Nagarjuna's Precious Garland