Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: Quiet Weekend

Monday, June 04, 2007

Quiet Weekend

The weekend was a quiet one for me. Took Friday off to relax and had an interesting morning--photoshoot for Aquarian Times. I've run photoshoots before, but being a model is VERY different. Harder than you think!

Then off to lunch with my friend Bhajan--commiserating at its best!

Finally an afternoon of bringing tea and goodies to a sick friend--and then contracting it myself the next day! Stomach flu. sigh.

The weekend started off with a group of women reading Sukhmani Sahib. We read it in English and it was a really beautiful practice. Very profound. Each voice reading in turn. It felt very healing. I realized in the space that I wanted to record Peace Lagoon, the original English Translation of many of the daily Sikh prayers. It was so beautiful to be singing it in English. Someone leaned over to me and said, You should record this--just as I was thinking the same thing. Synchronicity--it must be a sign.

By the time I got home I realized I had caught the bug that's been going around, so the weekend was very restful. I got to catch up on a lot of reading. So I now include a couple of book reviews--embedded journalism at its best (ha!).

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
This classic philosophy of love from the psychologist Erich Fromm does not age--it is timeless. I have been looking for a copy of The Art of Loving for years but it's been out of print and finding original copies is challenging. So imagine my delight when I found that a new 50th anniversary edition had been published recently. It's amazing to me how timeless this book actually is--especially given the period in which it was written (the 50s). It's incredibly concise and well-written. A meditation on human nature more than an "advice" or theory-driven thesis which the market has become since this initial attempt to describe love and the human psyche. There have only been a few books that match its simplicity, its direct philosophy and its humility in assessing the subject of love: All About Love by Brooks and Full Exposure by Bright, both by women.

Highly recommended!

Anger by Thich Nath Hanh
This book is a wonderful guidebook to technology and practices to help change our habits around anger in relationships. Over the years I've read a lot of Buddhist philosophy. Hanh has such a light touch--a delicate approach to the mind and the tyrany of its habits. Without knowing it, I had incorporated many of these teachings into the way I deal with my own 'demoting' habits--like anger. He talks about engaging with the habit--not rejecting it. Embracing it as an old familiar friend and in this way, you can lighten up--not be so hard on ourselves. Hello anger, my little old friend. When we greet our old habits in this way, we can smile at ourselves and through tenderness and compassion for ourselves, slowly change.

It was also a challenge to my consciousness. I've had a break in one of my major relationships recently--a friendship. And reading this book this weekend really challenged me to look at why I've been willing to allow this break to continue without making efforts to reconcile. On one hand I want to take care of myself and cultivate friendships that are supportive and have good boundaries. On the other hand, people are people and relationships are rare--so why throw away something that's been so meaningful to me? Why not forgive? Interesting.

Happy summer reading everyone!



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