I have been reading a book by Lama Surya Das called "Letting Go of the Person You Used To Be". Does that sound too "self-helpy"? I am always drawn to Dharma books that offer specific ideas for working with your life and this is one of them. It is true that we are fine just the way we are but we could all do a little better. That's what I like about Buddhist thought, these 2 seeming contradictions don't stand against each other. I thought I'd share some tidbits from the book that seemed helpful and uplifting in contemplating daily life.
In a chapter called "You Are The Hero of Your Own Life," he says: "Walking the spiritual path is inevitably an heroic journey. ... Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning and stumbling to the shower, requires a heros spirit. Trying to live a meaningful life requires a brave heart. Whenever we try to act in ways that correspond with our deepest beliefs and values, we will, by definition, face major challenges. ... How are we being called, and are we heeding our deeper call? In what ways are we being deceptive or truthful? How are we being brave or cowardly? As seekers we are climbing huge mountains, but we are climbing them step by step. ... We can rescue our heroic higher Self from our conflict-ridden and ego-driven self concepts. We can save ourselves from preoccupation, narcissism, indolence, hedonism and love of comfort."
Right now rain is lashing in, riding sideways on the wind from the south, from the ocean, just down the street. Winter in the Pacific Northwest: no snow, no below zero temperatures, just lots of grey and white sky, wetness and wind. Bone chilling, drenches you in minutes. Can you hear my comfort seeking behaviour! Perhaps I should try out the storm lovers stance? I have seen them out there, facing into the wind driven water, hanging out with the cleansing sea breezes and the powerful pounding waves. Where will your heros journey take you today?