Friday, March 8, 2013

Start Where You Are

I don't think I've ever blogged about religion, and I'm not about to start. (Despite the Buddhism book you see here.)

Start Where You Are by Pema Chödrön

Buddhism is a religion I associate closely with on a spiritual level, because it's about being nice to others and yourself. But I'm not Buddhist. I don't meditate, I don't believe the fables, and I don't pray to Buddha. But that doesn't mean I can't learn something from it.

I've read before about people leaving little reminder notes for themselves around the house. I've seen them on bathroom mirrors - things that say, "Smile! You are beautiful." It seemed kind of cheesy to me, but after I started this book and found so many well-articulated sentiments in it, I decided to give it a try. 

One of the sentiments in the early pages is, "Regard all dharmas as dreams." I always have a hard time grasping exactly what dharma is - no matter how many times I look it up - so I translated the phrase to "This too shall pass." 

It's beneficial for me to remember in every situation. Stuck in traffic? Going to be late for work? This too shall pass - things won't suck forever. Having a great time with good friends? This too shall pass - enjoy the moment while it lasts.

I also translated the idea that we are all connected - the idea that we are made of spirits, not bodies.

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." That's a much kinder thing for me to remember when I look in the mirror: beauty doesn't matter. I always knew Star Wars was full of wisdom. Thanks, Yoda.

Maybe this will be my next read: 

The Dharma of Star Wars by Matthew Bortolin

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