“Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I came across an interesting article called, Why So Many Americans are Turning to Buddhism? For anyone who identifies as “spiritual but not religious,” you may find value in this piece.
I don’t currently identify as Buddhist per se, but meditation is one of the tools that Buddhist employ to bring about inner peace. I’m a meditation and mindfulness advocate who has entered into a daily sitting practice for over a year now. During this time, I’ve received wonderful and positive effects from meditation.
Initially, I took up meditation to relieve anxiety, reduce stress, and to basically become a kinder and more tolerant person. One of the things I discovered is that I really don’t need to strive to reach some wondrous state of being that I’m not currently in. Meditation isn’t a tool we whip out to help us achieve some goal off in the future – it’s taught me to be more accepting of myself and of others. It’s helped me to draw out what I see as my inherent nature which is already warm, open, and kind.
“Don’t meditate to fix yourself, to heal yourself, to improve yourself, to redeem yourself; rather, do it as an act of love, of deep warm friendship to yourself. In this way there is no longer any need for the subtle aggression of self-improvement, for the endless guilt of not doing enough. It offers the possibility of an end to the ceaseless round of trying so hard that wraps so many people’s lives in a knot. Instead there is now meditation as an act of love. How endlessly delightful and encouraging.”
– Bob Sharples, from Meditation: Calming the Mind
That being said, check out the video below if you are interested in the Scientific Power of Meditation.
Ultimately, the religion, non-religion, or lifestyle that works for you, is the one that best engages your heart and mind. It’s the one that provides you with the tools to deal with life on it’s own terms. If the other world religions no longer engage your heart and mind, then Buddhism may be a “religion” to investigate. Buddhist don’t attempt to coax anyone to abandon a successful belief system for another, which makes Buddhism unique among world religions. Instead, it encourages us to embrace any practice that helps to reduce suffering. This, I think, is part of its appeal.
More interesting reads:
Dad is Acting Strange
Apparently, this week marks the 100th Anniversary of Children’s Book Week, the nation’s longest-running literacy initiative, and I had no idea!
You might say, “But Marc, you’re a children’s book author and you didn’t know about Children’s Book Week?”
I know, lame of me right?
But I know now! Yay!!
So, in honor of this centennial celebration, we are excited to announce that Book #3 will be on the way really soon!
I’ve written many stories, so it was tough deciding which story to publish next. The team and I are pleased to have agreed to bring to you, Dad Is Acting Strange.
Dad Is Acting Strange, is about a father-daughter bond that is being threatened by the mental and emotional changes of the “strange” preteen years. Will they make it through these tumultuous times? Find out when Dad Is Acting Strange, is available this fall!
I will be keeping you abreast of all our publishing adventures. Stay tuned!
Stages of Independent Book Publishing
After you’ve written your book, there are several steps that lead to publishing a children’s picture book.
- Finding a good editor.
- Working with a qualified illustrator.
- A book cover designer and book interior designer is needed.
- Using a good printing and distribution company
- A marketing plan is very helpful.
These are the basic steps, plus there is more information out on how to go the indie publishing route. I will also be sharing nuggets of information with you about my publishing process.
For more information about Children’s Book Week, check out the links below.
This Week’s Pics
Flashbacks from our spring break road trip to KC and OK (and back again).
Stay tuned for the Oklahoma pics coming up next!