Sunday, December 2, 2012

Changing Other People's Minds: My Shortest Post

You can't.
(the end)

p.s.  Really, that is the distillation of the efforts of an entire lifetime trying to get alcoholics (and other unpleasant people) to not drink so much or be so mean to me, to be more open to intimacy or see it my way, or keep up a meditation practice or pick up their clothes.  People do change but slowly and in our own time, and many psychotherapists and Teachers have wished they could help that change; sometimes they do, but it is in our own hands, and the mechanism that makes us deliberately walk out of our old ways is mysterious. 
Since that is still a very short post, I thought I'd kick in something else, a brief book review.  I've been given a number of review copies of Buddhist-themed books, and I've reviewed only a few because I am picky.  But I want to mention a book I am enjoying called Journeys on the Silk Road.  This is not an erotic memoir,  though it would be a good title, but a history subtitled "A desert explorer, Buddha's secret library, and the unearthing of the world's oldest book."
Aurel Stein expedition; that's Dash front and center
I read things like this slowly, and stop reading anything that bores me.  This book is not boring, though; the authors use the techniques of fiction well to create the landscape and sentient beings involved.  I was won over by page 11 when I read that the preparations for this high-risk mountain-and-desert expedition in 1906 included a custom-made fur coat for the explorer's dog, Dash.  Dash was one in a string of seven terriers, all given the same name, that accompanied the explorer and slept in his tent.  That's the kind of detail I enjoy in history or fiction.  The "oldest book" in question is the Diamond Sutra.  So if you know a Buddhist or an open-minded nonBuddhist who enjoys reading history, especially art history, this could be a good gift.

Other than that, I have few ideas about Christmas, except that it doesn't make sense for a celebration, especially if it's religious, to be stressful.  It's not for me anymore, now that my family of origin is out of the picture.  How I suffered trying to please them! always thinking maybe this will do it. That seems to circle back around to my title, trying to get people to love you that don't.  There you are.

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