As long as space endures, and as long as sentient beings exist, may I, too, remain to dispel the misery of the world. (Shantideva)
I picked up this book over two months ago expecting to zoom through it. It is, after all, practically a picture book: gigantic vistas partnered with a few lines of poetry or philosophy.
Boy, was I wrong.
Look within. Within is the fountain of good. (Marcus Aurelius)
At first, I did zoom through it. I got about half way through it and realized I had no idea what I’d read on the previous pages. I had completely missed the point of this book and Ricard’s reason for publishing it, I think.
So, I started over. Actually, I started over a few times. Many pages were read two, three, four or more times.
To expect happiness without giving up negative action is like holding your hand in a fire and hoping not to be burned. (Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche)
Because it’s beautiful.
And because it resonates with me at the deepest level differently depending on when I read it.
How marvelous human society would be if everyone added his own wood to the fire instead of crying over the ashes. (Alain)
For example, I read over half of it today. Yesterday was a very productive and relaxing day and I just found out that in a few hours I get to go to the opera (my friend’s husband changed his mind about his ticket; his loss, my gain!).
Going into this book in a positive state is different than, for example, a few weeks ago when I re-read the first part. Work has been stressful, home life has been stressful.
Anger, lust – these enemies of mine – are limbless and devoid of faculties. They have no bravery, no cleverness. How then have they made me their slave? (Shantideva)
I can’t describe it in words, but I think you understand me. I am not a Buddhist (yet!, as a friend would say) and I want to own this book and journal as I read it over and over again (very similar reaction to Pico Ayer’s The Art of Stillness).
Give it a read and let me know what you think!
The hand and other limbs are many and distinct, But all are one – one body to kept and guarded. Likewise, different beings in their joys and sorrows, Are, like me, all one in wanting happiness. (Shantideva)