Tag Archives: book recommendations

Abiding With the Buddha & Books

A drawing of a joyful Buddha, arms raised over head, laughing.

“We realize that all the ways we’ve kept ourselves asleep have led nowhere.” – Sakyong Mipham

When I first tried to sit down and draw something again, since not trying to draw anything since high school, I drew a statue of the Buddha that I have. Drawing it just made me very happy.

I have some books, many of them with a Buddhist bent,  that I always turn to in times of trouble or depression or even just moments of feeling lost. Suddenly, while looking at my bookshelf, it occurred to me that I should share some of that list here, with the idea that we’re all looking for good books that can serve as a guide when things get rough or even if it’s just a particularly bad day.

Turning the Mind Into an Ally – Sakyong Mipham
Running With the Mind of Meditation – also by Mipham

The Not So Big Life – Sarah Susanka

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – also by Murakami

A Buddha Walks into a Bar –  A Guide to Life for a New Generation – Lodro Rinzler

The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets: A Self-Help Memoir – Jeffrey Skinner (I just discovered this and it’s a fantastic book – if you’re not a poet, like me,  just put in a different word for whatever kind of art or venture you’re engaged with and it still all makes sense.)

Just Kids – Patti Smith

The Freedom Manifesto – Tom Hodgkinson (kind of silly but also a breath of fresh air)


The Wednesday Outlook: Feb. 23, 2011

winter landscapeThis week I’m in denial. It did not snow 14 inches. It’s practically spring. So what if the back yard gate is snowed shut again, forcing me to walk around the block to get the garbage to the alley? So what if Freja and I have to mount and descend piles of snow on our walks? Pretty soon I’ll be in sandals and dresses, fanning myself and complaining about the heat. Right? Right?


The only consolation is that the birds are making noise in the mornings again, which always means that a change is going to happen even if we can’t immediately see/feel it.

Here’s what’s been holding my attention lately.


I’ve found that the best way to pretend everything is OK is to not go outside that often. What’s kept me going as I hide under a blanket is reading. I’m on a “rich lady” memoir jag. I’ve burned through Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden, Why Not Say What Happened by Ivana Lowell (descended from the Guinness family) and The World of Gloria Vanderbilt by Wendy Goodman and, although in a slightly different vein, Diana Vreeland by Eleanor Dwight. I’m fascinated by the wealthy who grow up emotionally and socially impoverished. Setting aside Diana “Fashion Savant” Vreeland, Gloria is by far the most interesting and accomplished, although I do have to question some of her interior design.
Continue reading The Wednesday Outlook: Feb. 23, 2011