Friday, December 14, 2012

Bottom of The 12th -- Still Tied

Of all the books I've read, or reread, this year, I was sure that Shohaku Okumura's Realizing Genjokoan was going to be the best. I haven't finished it yet, but will soon, and even before reaching the end I know I'll reread it next year. Having said that, though, it fell off its pedestal today.

This morning I started reading Ram Dass' Paths To God: Living The Bhagavad Gita, and am blown away, head-over-heels in love. Between stints in the basement putting the finishing touches on some woodwork (picture tomorrow after the stain dries), I've done nothing but read all day, which means, unfortunately, that I'll finish it too soon.

"Paths" isn't another commentary on the Gita, but a commentary on what it means to live a life based on the Gita. What it means to get out of the way of Life so that it can manifest in you. What it means to see Life without a 'you' in it. What it means to see that you are Life. And while I have read other books by Ram Dass, each time I did, i ended by simply put the finished book on the shelf in the library and thinking something like, "Hmmm... Interesting ideas. What should I read now?" "Paths" is very, very different.

The question I'm considering now is a) is it because of the ideas he puts forth?, b) is it because of the way he wrote it, the way he's putting forth the ideas?, or c) have I just fallen helplessly in love with the Gita?

The Gita is such a beautiful book and each time through it I see so much more than I did previously. It's one of those books that's easy to read once and say, "Nope, doesn't apply to me, I'm not a Hindu." And if that's where you stop, you don't know what you're missing.

I haven't been writing much lately — there's this ongoing battle in the house between the desire to hash ideas out by getting them down on (virtual) paper, i.e., the blog, and simply enjoying silence and letting all the thoughts and ideas leave in a huff because I refuse to give them the attention they so crave. Lately the silence has been winning.

With the start of the year, though, I hope to force myself to be a little more vocal again, and I think I'll start by talking about these two books: "Paths" and "Realizing."

So with just a few weeks left (less if the 21st is the end), it's looking like I will never be able to choose one favorite book for the year. Oh well, I could have worse problems than having to choose between two great books.


Mystic Meandering said...

Wonderful post! I read Ram Dass' Be Here Now last year and remember when I opened the book I *felt* love on every page. Don't know how that's possible coming from a book! But it was there. So now I *must* read "Paths to God."

"Get out of the way of Life so that it can manifest in you." Just what I need to hear, as I find myself at a crossroads in my "spiritual path" lately. Am glad that "Silence is winning" for you :) me too. And am glad I found your blog! Sounds like you are on a wonderful journey into Truth!

Lao Bendan said...

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, read it, you won't be sorry.

If you are at one of those proverbial crossroads, this book will speak directly to you in some sections. But, to sum it all up what you'll hear is "Stop. Don't try and decide, just listen. Stop trying to be the decider, just accept what your wisdom is telling you to do."

Isn't that what our path is all about -- learning to sit back and simply watch as our ego continues the fantasy of trying to control the game? And then celebrating when it finally gives up?

Let me know what you thought after finishing the book.


Mystic Meandering said...

Thanks! The sentences that you put in quotes is exactly what I've been getting - basically - just stop - go deeper - listen... Thank you for your encouragement! I'll be in touch :)