Samstag, 5. Oktober 2013

2 books I recently read and wanted to bring to your attention

I thought this was a great book and it brought me back to meditate every day and see, that the day to day practice of ordinary things is important and the core of all spiritual practice. Dainin Katagiri is clear and uncomplicated - my favourite quote: "The changes that occur through spiritual practice are not really your business, if you make them your business, you will try to change your life directly. If you try to change your life directly, no matter how long you work at it, you will not satisfy yourself. So if you truly want to change your life, you should just form the routine of doing small things day by day. Then your life will be changed beyond your expectations . If you practice continuously, day after day, you will become a peaceful, gentle and harmonious person. There is no explanation for this." 
I always meant to read one of his books since I first heard about him via Natalie Goldberg, one of my writing teachers, whose zen teacher he was. She mentioned him so often in her books. Now I am glad I finally did read him and will pretty soon start his other book "Returning to silence"

Blue Pastures is a compilation of essays, some of them published previously someplace else. They are all about nature, poetry, Mary Oliver and after reading them all, I understood, that she led us into her deepest laboratory of crafting poems. She showed us, where she does it - mostly in nature. She takes walks every morning at dusk and watches nature unfold its beauty, accompanied by her dog and a small notebook with pen. In it she makes notes, and some of those become poems, maybe after 10 years or so. "Creative work needs solitude. It needs concentration, without interruptions. It needs the whole sky to fly in, and no eye watching it until it comes to that certainty which it aspires to, but does not necessarily have at once. Privacy, then. A place apart - to pace, to chew pencils, to scribble and erase and scribble again." I loved the book. It made me really think about poetry a lot and what my sources of it are and it made me wonder if I should start taking walks every morning. But I make Yoga every morning, I meditate, I even write - all of it before I go to work - so I decided I also need some sleep and will take walks when I am old and have more time. The book at times reminded me of Annie Dillards "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek". The same depth, the same respect for everything surrounding us, knowing, that we are all just part of a vaster thing called nature: not more, not less.

© Susanne Becker

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