Friday, August 24, 2007

Nothing Special: Living Zen

Finally finished Nothing Special: Living Zen this week. This book took me longer to read than any other book I can remember (even longer than Buddhism for Mothers!). I think I've been reading it since April. Not to mention the fact that I picked it up to read before that and decided maybe I should sell it instead because I couldn't get into it. Then, when I re-picked it up (since it wasn't worth much on Amazon and I decided not to sell it after all), it suddenly clicked in a major way and I now feel it is one of the most important and valuable books I've read in my life. The reason it took me so long to read was because it was so important that I had to digest it slowly and in very small bites. There were actually times when I would put down the book after a brief session and realize that I had actually made negative progress in the book (i.e. I'd gone back to re-read and then not made it past the point where I'd had the bookmark when I picked it up!). This is not because the book was literally difficult to read or because the concepts were difficult to understand, but because it was difficult to read what feels like truth presented so cleanly and boldly. Hmm. I think it may also be difficult to explain adequately what felt so meaningful to me about it. The basic message was just life is as it is, it is your opinions about it that make you happy or sad (or whatever) or cause trouble. There were just lots of simple and profound insights--like how much each of actually enjoys our own little personal drama (because it is self-centered and secretly we like life being all about ME, instead of being all at one with the oneness).

I also appreciated her analogy about how we are always looking for and endlessly running faucet to try to quench our thirst and each faucet eventually becomes dry and we're disappointed--we want everything to finally be satisfied (or to have all promises kept).

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