I have a problem. I love books. I have slowly gathered books about one subject or another. For years, I trolled the used and new bookstores picking up one or two here and there, until I had amassed a large amount of reading material. Some lamented and sat untouched.
I realized the other day. Many of these books follow a pattern. They are mainly autobiographical and are usually first person account. Even my collection of Buddhist books seem to be larger than I would like. I often think I need to move to a Sailboat. So I am forced to conserve space and pick just the cream of the crop. But what criteria would I choose. I could get rid of a few if I choose books I have not read. But than does that mean I have stopped trying to learn. Or I could get rid of the books I have already enjoyed, but I would miss some of those books that have changed me.
But if I try to look at it in a different way, the books, the ones I enjoy and would want to keep and the ones I have yet to read, have a lot of things in common. I seem to be drawn to Buddhist teachers or people that have hit their rock bottom and than rebounded. Some are addicts. Some made Monster movies. So I can see myself definitely keeping most of Noah Levine’s books. I loved Dharma Punx, but was less than enthralled with his last one. I love all of Brad Warner’s books. Maybe that is the secret. I want people that feel like me, that I can relate to. I feel in many ways I have or I am about to hit bottom.
These books are not a guide book, but a map on my way to come back from where I have gotten myself. There are so many great books out there. And new ones come out everyday. But these need to speak to you. Some of them I just can’t relate.
I was never raised in a monastery, I was not able to shave my head as a child and become a monk. I am just me, a F**ked up guy trying to make sense of myself and my place in the world. But that is just me.
Some people like Chocolate and some like vanilla. We just all need to find that book or thing that speaks to us. Maybe that first place we went to for Meditation was not the right one. Maybe not even the second one we found. But we have to keep trying. To find that place we think we belong.
Funny thing was I found a new Buddhist temple right around the corner from my house. I had to take a back road to go get smokes and there it was. I have to call them this weekend. Maybe I have found my home. And I hope you find yours.