Monday, July 03, 2017


I love writing, and that's why I do this blog. If anyone reads it or gets something positive out of it, it's a bonus. My first blog was called "Howling Into The Void", and I suppose I think that's what my blog does.

Along the lines of writing, there is a lovely new book about the healing power of journaling and writing called The Story You Need To Tell. Sometimes to progress in the spiritual life you have to clear away some of the underbrush and while I've just started this book, I think it has lots of potential and will update.

Another interesting book is The End Of Your Life Book Club. It's really a memoir by someone who worked in publishing, of his time after his mother's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Some cancers are curable, and some are no so much. But she does get some time, and the portrait that emerges of Mary Ann Schwalbe is that of a Bodhisattva. The book delves into mindfulness and Buddhism a little bit, but Ms. Schwalbe worked for refuge organizations, worked at schools, and at the end of her life she worked to get a library built in Kabul. She is friendly, energetic, smart and humble. I found some books I want to read, but it really wasn't that interesting about books in the end. It made me want to call my mom.

The book review in the Times clearly didn't read the book because it calls her "Marry AnnE Schwalbe", which book points out was not her name, there was no E and the end of Ann. That makes me feel so superior and then ashamed that I like to feel superior.

The mother was trying to convert her son to the spiritual life, but she was really cute, she thought God would like a prayer from a heathen better than the faithful because they are more rare. Her son doesn't really feel it, but the closeness of the relationship to my mind was a kind of mettaful relationship. I find heathens can often be much more spiritual than the religious. They certainly do better on religious quizzes. I can't find the source of that, but I swear I read it somewhere.

Contemplating the realness of our impending death, is one of the thoughts to help one focus energy into the path of Buddhism, and this book helped. It's also a book about the love of reading. This book came out in 2013, but I love to review books that were not just published. Makes me feel less like a shill for publishers.

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