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Reading a dharma book

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

I’ve found that when I’ve been reading a dharma book like an anthology of sutras or the dhamma talks of a teacher, I adopted some very different habits. It’s like reading itself becomes a meditative endeavour, it becomes slower, and I remember more. I think about it more as well as I read.

I used to read a lot of science fiction, and I had gotten into the habit of reading quite quickly and sometimes skip-reading, and I am finding that after some years of reading almost exclusively dharma books I recently picked up The Lord of the Rings in order to re-read it, and i was reading it like a dharma book! Fascinating.

Bunksrocalaコチシカ

Comments

  • rocalarocala Explorer

    Then there is hope for me yet. I have a terrible habit of skimming as I read and so far nothing has even dented it.

    Kerome
  • Everything is dharma/medicine/meaningful. The two sides of such are wisdom and madness. This is why magic imposes order and mystics accept chaos.

    ... and now back to the books

    rocala
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Everything is dharma/medicine/meaningful. The two sides of such are wisdom and madness. This is why magic imposes order and mystics accept chaos.

    I reckon the reason why my reading slowed down was because of what I was doing in reading the dhamma books... you expect the wisdom in these books to do something for you so you take time to digest as you read. A good novel on the other hand is much less impactful, so as far as books are concerned I’m not sure everything is dharma.

    Certainly the thing that happened with me with The Lord of the Rings was that I kept referencing the movies in my mind’s eye. It was like a three way tug of war between my own impressions, the visualisation of the movies and the Allan Lee illustrations in the book. It’s the first time I’ve really gone back to the book since seeing the films multiple times.

  • Regarding reading, my teacher said that if one continues reading when coming upon a question, one is still looking outside and not being ones own authority. So now I try to look within first whenever coming upon a question in a dharma text. And yes, that slows things down considerably, but makes it much more worthwhile.

    Keromelobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well said @marcitko. I think reading is a process where one can easily fall into habitual absorbing, where you just take in a continuous stream of concepts. To read slowly, and to take the time to formulate your own answers to a series of questions being asked in a book, is a very good thing.

    Personally I tend to meditate briefly over the questions instead of thinking over the answers, but if you were to ask me whether it was better or worse I am sure I wouldn’t know.

    lobstermarcitko
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