Saturday, September 24, 2022
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Here are some excerpts from The Dalai Lama's Cat.
"The purpose of Buddhism is not to convert people. It is to give them tools so they can create greater happiness."
"Most people think that their only option is to change their circumstances. But these are not the true causes of their unhappiness. It has more to do with the way they think about their circumstances."
"It is the wonderful paradox," he continued, "that the best way to achieve happiness for oneself is to give happiness to others."
"Turns out that it's not so much what you're doing that makes you happy. It's whether or not you're being mindful of what you're doing. The important thing is to be in the direct state, attending to the here and how. Not in the narrative state" -- he spun his index finger beside his temple -- "which means thinking about anything except what you're actually doing."
Words of wisdom, from a fun cat story.
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Last week I was bemoaning the fact that book publishers seem to ignore the category of "spiritual fiction" and how hard it was to find a book in that realm. But be happy, dear reader, because I found a very engaging book, and lucky for me, it is the first in a series. Huzzah!
The book I am talking about is David Michie's book The Dalai Lama's Cat. Since I love animals, this is doubly delightful because this is told from the point of view of a cat. A Himalayan cat, to be precise, who is saved from certain death by the Dalai Lama and is adopted by him. The cat, who goes by many names, has a rich interior life and is eager to understand and apply various Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
And author David Michie is a wonderful teacher. He has written other non-fiction books on Buddhism and mindfulness, and he knows how to interweave these teachings in a compelling story. Although I wish the copy editor had done a bit more thorough job, I still highly recommend this book. Enjoy!
Saturday, September 3, 2022
I was away for a few days and wanted a new book to read, so I did a quick search in the category of "spiritual fiction." I needed a break from some of the heavier reading I had been doing lately, and it sounded appealing. Sadly, book publishers do not seem to offer much in this realm.
It's a pity, really, since people seem hungry to explore spirituality in various forms, and the fictional realm lends itself to delve into how facets of spiritual traditions (or non-traditions) can work in various situations. Not only can the reader experience a different life in a different time and place, but also the character's belief system and how it helps or hinders them.
That's my reasoning, anyway, in why I decided to write The Gemini Bond. I wanted to see how various characters would react when confronted with unusual circumstances and how their belief system might evolve or change.
But book publishers don't seem to see the market for this and the choices were few. However, I was lucky enough to find a book that I have come to enjoy very much. I'll share that with you next week.