Sunday, 23 March 2014

Day 73: Reading

What went well? 

  1. Woke up with more ideas for my Buddhism paper. The various strands are really starting to come together now. I think the idea of interconnectedness is going to be central - mindfulness could not have become popularised without the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn with his MBSR program, and he wouldn't have created it if it weren't for a series of events in his own life, including becoming involved in Zen Buddhism while at MIT, but then that couldn't have happened if Buddhism hadn't first been introduced to the West, and you know, the Buddhist word sati had to be translated to "mindfulness", a choice that was influenced by previous uses of "mindfulness" in the English language, and the way it was described by certain writers influenced Jon Kabat-Zinn's understanding of it and therefore his portrayal of it which has been foundational to the way that Western Psychology now uses it...etc etc.
  2. Got a really thoughtful and supportive message from a friend this morning. I so appreciate it. Thank you :)
  3. Caught up with a friend over dinner and had a great conversation. It was so good to connect.
  4. Got lots of reading done: close reading of two more articles on discussions of mindfulness by Buddhist scholars, and two articles for my sociology of education class.
  5. Also read another chapter for leisure from Stephen Batchelor's Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist. It's his very fascinating memoir of his journey as a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan, then Zen traditions, with his struggles and issues with the elaborate and obscure meditational practices and belief systems, which later drove him to write his landmark book, Buddhism Without Beliefs. The latter book is basically about Buddhism as an ethical system/philosophy about how to make the most of this life, without any metaphysical beliefs about rebirth etc., or appeals to esoteric doctrines and authorities.

What did I learn?

  • Quora is addictive! I got back to my room more than an hour ago, intending to write my blog and go to sleep, but ended up answering a couple of questions on Quora. Woops.

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