Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


teaching the teacher: a roller coaster ride, reprised ~

More than a year ago, I was offered this amazing (but intimidating!) opportunity: write a blog for a national website. On Buddhism. I felt (still feel) woefully inadequate to the task.

But I figured, I can just tell folks: I’m no expert. And I’m a pretty good looker-upper :). So I took a deep breath and jumped in.

One year later, I have learned so much. Which is, of course, what happens when we teach. We learn far more than we give. I’ve learned about Buddhism, certainly — about Buddhist holidays, temples, rituals, beliefs, teachings I didn’t know, and a hundred other things.

I learned a LOT about blogging :). And still am!

But mostly, I learned about myself. I learned that no matter how long I write — for how many years — it’s always a bit scary. I learned that when I can’t write, I can’t think. I learned that my sense of humour doesn’t always strike folks as funny…:) And I learned how very much I have to learn.

It’s the perfect metaphor for Buddhism, of course, not that I don’t find Buddhism in most things :). But learning is particularly apt. Because in Buddhism, the more I study, the less I feel I know. And the more I believe I have to, as I tell my writing students, just do it. I have to practice, in other words. Such a lovely word — a license to mess up, to get it wrong, to let go of the idea there’s only ‘right.’

So today I offer you this: if you want to know more about something, tell someone you’ll teach it. And then watch out: the ride is crazy!



Previous Posts

form, poetry, and the empty cup
I spent the day researching obscure poetic forms.  And it was enormous fun -- thinking about what to pour into those elegant white cups of structure. Along the way, I wrote this poem for my sisters (the least structured of women). But we'll get to the poem in a moment. Because what's important i

posted 3:41:38pm Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

poetry, structure, and creative beginner's heart
Last night, discussing structure and writing with my elder son, I said I couldn't write w/ too much structure. That writing is -- for me -- a discovery process. Structure, I told him, can actually kill my ide

posted 3:03:47pm Apr. 16, 2014 | read full post »

what a difference a day makes (and other ways I wish I was like my grandson)
My grandson burnt his hands Sunday. Not horribly, but badly enough that he cried inconsolably for hours. Today? He's his usual sunny self: slapping the Cheerios on the highchair

posted 3:01:12pm Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

in the flash of a moment
My grandson hurt himself today. Not horribly, but bad enough that he's been crying for two+ hours. On a lovely spring day -- temps in the lower 70s -- he was on the deck w/ his folks, crawling happily around

posted 4:45:55pm Apr. 13, 2014 | read full post »

the poetry of every day
It's easy to forget that every day holds poetry. Especially if you're hectic: packing, moving, cleaning a new house, unpacking... Soothing a disolocated dog, holding a curious baby. Eating out of cartons while you locate the dishes and pans. All of this can make you forget the whole point of the

posted 2:46:45pm Apr. 12, 2014 | read full post »




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