Thursday, July 30, 2009

This and That

I thought this journal page went well with my reading of Happiness is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life by Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D. So you get two for the price of one today!

Sylvia Boorstein is a co-founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and a senior teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She writes a regular column in Shambhala Sun and that is where I first *met* her. For many years now, I've enjoyed her columns and her books. I find her thoughtful, kind, funny and a wonderful teacher.

Happiness is an Inside Job is a small gem of a book. Using examples from her own life, she shows how the mind can fall out of its caring connection. "Opinions embedded in neurons take a long time to erase. Peace of mind derives in its own time." "Restoring caring connection when it is disrupted, and maintaining it when it is present, is happiness".

The book is divided into four parts: Equanimity, wisdom, and kindness; wise effort; wise mindfulness; and wise concentration (the last three being the three meditative steps on the Buddha's Eightfold Path).

I took my time reading this book. I wanted to fully digest each part. I keep finding little scraps of paper with quotes around the house -- nice little presents to myself. From Boorstein's friend Tamara "Worrying is futile! You don't know what to worry about first." "May I meet this moment fully. May I meet it as a friend."

She told a story about her uncle who, when he was talking about someone, if deceased would say "Uncle Clyde - May he rest in peace" or if the person was alive would say "may he live and be well" and then go on with "was sure cranky those last days" or "is sure cranky about his garage". Sort of like the Southern, "my neighbor, god bless him, ...". It reminded me of Mr. Spock on Star Trek and the Vulcan greeting "live long and prosper" !!! But, when her uncle died, no one had a bad thing to say about him because he meant - may he rest in peace or may he live and be well - even if they were cranky!

She also talks briefly about her teacher Sharon Salzberg - someone else I enjoy reading.

I'd like to leave you today with this quote--

"Here are the two formulas that I use for formal metta (friendliness or loving kindness) practice:

May I be free of enmity and danger.
May I have mental happiness.
May I have physical happiness.
May I have ease of well-being.


May I feel contented and safe
May I feel protected and pleased.
May my physical body support me with strength.
May my life unfold smoothly with ease. "

Remember to Breathe!

Joy to You!


Sharon said...

Thanks Snap! I needed that. I am still breathing. Hope your daughter is ok in this heat. Thanks for visiting me and the elk!Sharon PS rain dance scheduled for 10 PM tonight.....

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Sounds like a neat book, Snap... I may order that one not only for me, but for a good friend of mine I have a friend who just dwells in her own pity and bitterness. I get so depressed when talking to her --and don't want to keep encouraging this behavior. I have made suggestion after suggestion to help her pull herself up --but she has so many problems that her life just gets worse and worse. I hate to say this but I dread talking to her when she calls.

Sorry I dumped this on you, but this book might help her. Thanks for posting this for ME today.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Reminder to self: Breathe in. Breathe out.

Thanks; I needed this today.

Hugs, RIF

Barb said...

Thank you - I may look for this book.

Terri said...

Odd that we would have to be reminded to breathe, but it's so true. Thanks for this post.

周太太 said...

I will include this book on my reading list! Thanks for sharing! I enjoy reading your blog.

I'd also like to share my blog with you. Hope you like it :)

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Oh, so much to appreciate here! Love the new look too!

sherry lee said...

Something new to add to my tree of learning...I'm seeking out this book. Sounds like something I'd like to absorb!

BlueRidgeLady said...

Sounds interesting to me! So glad that you shared it with us all. I loved the poem and it is something I surely need to practice! I have an award for you on my blog sista!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

What great advice! Sounds like a great book and one I could use to read. I do need to keep breathing.

Debra W said...

I will definitely look into the book that you mentioned, as I am an voracious reader. I also consider myself a "BuJew" which a combination of Buddhist and Jewish, so I really enjoy reading anything that might increase my knowledge of the Buddhist philosophy.

I really enjoyed this post. I especially loved the quotes that you shared at the end. It is so important to remind ourselves that we are deserving of the things that we wish for other people.


Kim Mailhot said...

Oh Snap - I love it when the universe send you sweet gifts just when you need them...when you kind of send a little cry out, one that says "help me !" and the answer comes so gently and sweetly and promptly ! That you shared your love for this little book here today is no accident ! I needed it so. Thank you and Joy right back to you, Lovely Lovely Lady !

storyteller said...

How LOVELY ... just the thing I need to read. If you've been following my musings at Sacred Ruminations, you'll know I've got CLUTTER on my mind and can use all the help I can get ;--)
Hugs and blessings,