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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2005-02-17 - 3:39 p.m.

I don't know if it counts as a "phase" if it only lasts one day, but from noon yesterday to 3:00 today, I had a brief musical obsession with Harold Budd. It's over now, thank god.

Ah, the problem of desire. Giving in means trouble, but resistance causes its own damage. Mark Epstein, everyone's favorite Buddhist psychologist, explores desire from a therapeutic point of view in the highly readable Open to Desire, which I've been sneaking reads from all day like a guilty cigarette.

And if you can't get enough of the topic, you might enjoy a collection of essays I recently read: Hooked!: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume, featuring, among others, Pema Chodron and Joseph Goldstein.

If you like your Buddhism old-skool, you will do well to pick up The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most. This classic Tibetan Buddhist text (Padampa Sangye's advice to the villagers of Tingri) is fun to read with the new commentary, or you can just skip ahead from one aphorism to the next, for gems like:

The very thing you feel attached to, let go of it, whatever--
People of Tingri, there isn't anything you need.

I've had that taped to my computer at work since the early fall. I should probably take it down in the spirit of the aphorism, but that "whatever" gets me every time.

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