My wife picked out a book for me a few months ago, “Faithfully Religionless” by Timber Hawkeye. It is a memoir about his life which includes some philosophies he picked up along the way, I can best describe the book as Buddhist-centric. I have to admit, there are times when I just don’t have the attention span for books (even though I seem to have read hundreds in the past few years). I normally don’t mark up my books but while reading “Faithfully Religionless”, my yellow highlighter was next to the book full time. I just highlighted the things that made sense to me. My purpose in writing today’s blog is to start parsing some of what I highlighted.

I brought the book along with me to an event I was attending and a friend noticed the familiar picture (The featured image) on the cover of the book. She mentioned she had read “Buddhist Boot Camp” and asked if I had read it yet. I had not. She asked for details on “Faithfully Religionless” and while I couldn’t give her a complete description of the book, I let her know that so far with all the highlighting I have done, it seems like a great book. Upon completing the book, I started checking the reviews on “Buddhist Boot Camp”.  The reviews were pretty positive, there were a few readers who felt that one book had similar quotes, similar stories of his life and they felt disappointed by that. There were a handful of people who commented about Hawkeye giving up everything and with no money and no job, he relocated to Hawaii. Yeah, I know this is also not a possibility for me but that’s not going to effect my enjoyment of a book!

Despite those few people and because I had thoroughly enjoyed “Faithfully Religonless”, I picked up “Buddhist Boot Camp”. The layout of the book is completely different. “Faithfully…” is a normal book, goes chapter to chapter. “Buddhist Boot Camp” breaks things down to a simple page or two..maybe three for each topic. I have to be honest, I sometimes lose focus when reading long chapters and if I have to put down a book, I forget what I was reading and have to start from the beginning of the chapter again. This book was prefect for me and if you are similarly easily distracted, it will be for you too. Yes, some of the story-line of his life continued in this book, sure there was a handful of quotes or thoughts that were the same but as long as you are learning something from the book, so what. Every Buddhist book I read, normally covers the same Buddhist principles.

Here are some things that resonated with me, I strung together some quotes that may jump from paragraph to paragraph and may even be in different chapters..

“I’ve discovered that a great calm and inner peace can be derived from letting go of our compulsive need to know…. Beliefs are based on personal choices and experiences, often founded on subjective feelings…Having faith, however , is not about knowing anything with absolute certainty ((and I am going to italicize and bold this one, I love it!)) …and that we allow others to explore and experience the divine in whatever form resonates with them the most (even if it’s completely different from our own, because different isn’t wrong.) … To accept a new truth, we must be willing to let go of an old one. …the beauty of finding our own truth is that there is no need to convince other people of it, and there is no reason to nullify someone else’s reality in order to validate our own.

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional… Don’t believe everything you think!… the mind is strangely capable of believing anything in order to avoid internal conflict and dissonance…. It is important to constantly reevaluate our beliefs, and, if need be, let go of them…..Nobody can “make us feel” anything… you can make yourself happy or you can make yourself miserable; The amount of work is the same.”

I was only up to the third chapter with the above quotes I pulled from the book, lol. When I completed reading the book, I re-read what I highlighted and it really gave me a glimpse of who I am and how I think, maybe even who I want to be.

The italicized and bold quote above appeals to me because sometimes I feel I am alone in my worldview. It’s kind of hard to just let go, put your guard down, be the person you wish to be… what would people think if one day you were “Ebeneezer Scrooge” and the next day… err… a post, three ghost, Ebeneezer Scrooge!

Be the change 🙂

(Edited! I really need to proof read!)