You know how I blogged about traffic and driving in Albania on Thursday afternoon? Well something weirdly serendipitous happened the very next day. I dropped by a local bookshop to see if I could find anything interesting to take along to read on our vacation this week, and within a few minutes a book almost seemed to jump into my hands. This has happened to me on more than one occasion in my life, and these jumping books always bring radical changes. It's as if the Universe is conspiring to force me to read an important book. The few English books in the shop were not arranged in any particular order so I just let me eyes scan the shelves for intriguing titles.
"City Dharma" with it's bright yellow spine jumped into my hands and I read the subtitle "Keeping Your Cool in the Chaos". Hummm. I thumbed the pages inside the book and the read the chapter headings. Chapter 2: Road Rage, Dealing With Mad Max Within and Without. You know how you get the shivers when something just speaks to your heart? It's not the kind of book I was looking for but I had to buy it. And I'm so glad I did.
The word 'Dharma' means 'protection'. It's a Buddhist practise that helps protects us from suffering and pain. It's a particular path to peace and happiness. I had never heard this word before but I was intrigued by the idea. The author of this book, Arthur Jeon, shows us a way to stay calm amidst the chaos of city life by learning to follow Dharma. I love the chapter on raod rage and it just seemed perfectly appropriate that I would find this book and read it the day after blogging about the subject.
Here's an idea that can change the world: Inside everyone of us is a 'sleeping Buddha' who we must cherish above all else. It's more about cherishing this sleeping Buddha in other people than our own. Treat people with gentleness and kindness in all situations because each person contains this godness within. Christianity teaches (though not often enough!) that we should treat everyone with kindness because you may be 'entertaining angels unaware'. There's a slight difference in the Buddhist approach-- there is no 'may'; you ARE entertaining angels-- and be AWARE of it! This is a world changing idea!
Yesterday I talked with my Mother, who told me that her neighbour just had knee replacement surgery this week, and so my Mom baked a pie and took it to her. My Mom taught me to be kind. I grew up watching her treat everyone around her with great kindness and respect. I am so grateful for her example. (Of course Dad also has a very big heart!). Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone of us started to see the divine inside humanity? I think so. The concept of "Random Acts of Kindness" has been around for a few years now and I've always liked the idea. But now I challenge us to forget the 'random' part of the idea, and just start committing "ACTS OF KINDNESS" all the time, in every situation, to everyone we meet. Try it-- it will change the world!
And now.... I'm off to southern Turkey for a week of sunshine and bliss-full spa treatments (gotta take care of my 'waking Buddha'!). I'm already more than half way through my vacation book so I'll have to find something else to read, but I don't mind- I'm glad that "City Dharma" found me and made me read it! Now I've ordered a dozen books on Buddhism from Amazon and maybe they'll be waiting for me when I return.