I've been reading about Ruth Denison, a Buddhist teacher who died Feb. 26. I'd picked up a book about her, Dancing in the Dharma, because I liked the title. I had not heard of her. That's a shame, because Denison's work deeply influenced how Buddhism is taught in the west.
I pride myself on being well-informed. I pride myself on having good taste. I judge myself so harshly and berate myself so aggressively that I'm left to wonder how this rigorous humility might serve me. Perhaps it saves me the trouble of taking on some of the work I want to do, that I could be doing.
I had plans last night to go into the city and meet a dear friend to see a very special performance. So many things went wrong that I could easily have had an terrible time. Instead -- thanks to practice -- it was full of extraordinary lessons and beauty.
I hate to bother you, but I have a book recommendation. You'd never think such a brisk, poppy work would have so much to say about the passive-aggressive communication we buy into, but you might be surprised! Besides, it's only about 100 pages! Of course, you don't, like, have to read it, unless you want to. Whatever.
In the movie "The Babadook," there's a moment when the viewer knows the evil spirit has infiltrated the main character. Until this point, she has been the embodiment of sweet patience -- responding gently and evenly to everyone, never with a hint of tension or irritation. But at this moment, as her son comes into the bedroom where she's trying to sleep and starts talking, we see her eyes narrow and shift as she lies with her back to him, not turning to respond. She snaps.
I sat down to write a post about my grandmother, and as I started to look for photos to use, I got sidetracked by other photos. Then, I attempted to organize the pictures so that I could come back to them at a later point and ended up scrapping the whole show for a different – but not entirely removed from my grandmother’s influence – post about things my family makes.
It’s almost impossible to find content for my children that isn’t focused on the female body. Everywhere I look – whether it be in classic children’s literature, movies, toy store shelves, or catalogues from major retailers – girls and women are presented as objects.
When I conceived this video, I felt an enormous, burdensome weight of self doubt, judgment, and anxiety. I questioned whether shooting it was the right thing to do. Did its content fall in line with the message I want to share with others? Did it reflect poorly on my ethics and my compassion and lack thereof? I felt, in sitting down to make it, that I was crossing a derisive line; one in which I worked hard to dissolve.