Keeping with Reading Goals; Vesak

On April 17, some may recall that I committed myself to a certain reading goal. I’m quite pleased to report that I’ve surprised myself a bit.

My original intention was to read for at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes after work. For a multitude of reasons, this proves to be impractical at times, but I have found that I often (not always) get plenty of time to read after work. Overall, the average time I can spend reading at home is about 25 minutes a day, it just tends to happen at random intervals.

I have been augmenting this time by reading on breaks at work, so it looks like I’m dedicating closer to 40 minutes a day to my Dhamma reading. Quite frankly, now that I’m actually looking at it, this is the most significant amount of time I’ve dedicated to reading [anything] in years. All of the short reading breaks here and there really add up quickly.

And oddly, until I thought about it yesterday and assessed my progress compared to my goal, I thought I was falling behind!

Fact is, all of this reading has resulted in my finishing two books on which I had stalled, and in total, I have read nearly 250 pages in 18 days.  13-14 pages per day is amazing (for me), and while I’m not certain I can maintain that pace, I feel like it sets me up on a great start to what was otherwise a very lackluster reading routine.

In closing, I want to quickly recognize that some Buddhists are observing Vesak (or Wesak) today, occasionally referred to as “Buddha Day.” The observation commemorates the birth, enlightening, and death of the Buddha. However, keeping with the tradition that I have most closely adopted, including it’s calendar, I’m inclined to observe on June 4. The specific date probably doesn’t matter, but I wanted to make sure that I made note of it today.

I do hope you are at peace this Full Moon Uposatha. Be well, friends, and I will write again soon.

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2 comments

  1. You already know though · · Reply

    Hmm… no other way to write to you, so I leave a public comment…

    I’m a scholar of Pali (the ancient language of the Theravāda Buddhist canon) who returned to Canada one year ago, after 8 years in Asia.

    In Asia, I lived in Laos, Thailand, Yunnan, Cambodia, and elsewhere; there’s a sketch map at the bottom of my linguistic site, here:
    http://www.pali.pratyeka.org/#Mazard

    You might be interested in looking at some of my publications.
    https://profiles.google.com/eisel.mazard/about

    I also have a blog of my own (that I just started a few weeks ago) with more informal articles.
    http://a-bas-le-ciel.blogspot.ca/

    In glancing at your blog, two thoughts come immediately to mind:
    There is a serious need for a non-Christian website on home-schooling your children because, as you know, the home-schooling “movement” is dominated by Christians (and not only in the decadent west, but also within Asia, and within Buddhist countries!).
    • Do you know any other Buddhists (Western, Eastern or otherwise) who are either currently home-schooling, or who did so in the past? Seems like there must be some kind of unique opportunity here, even if it is just in throwing together book-lists, etc.

    1. Wow. Looking through your links, a lot of it is way over my head at the moment, but I’ll be looking through it to see if I might learn a bit. Sounds like you had an interesting 8-year pilgrimage of sorts!

      As for your home schooling questions, I’m not sure what I can suggest. I don’t know any Buddhist home-schoolers, and in fact only know a few Buddhists personally (most of whom are from Cambodia and don’t have children). Most of our home school planning is handled by my wife (who is Christian) and the K12 organization that develops most of the curriculum we are using. While her interest in home-schooling may have been fueled somewhat by her religious views, the subject doesn’t seem to be one of any particular dominance. Where any religious view comes up, I have tried to make certain that more than one viewpoint is explained in enough detail to offer the most impartiality possible.

      I think my own case would be a better example of an inter-faith marriage that isn’t in complete chaos more than anything else, if you get my meaning.

      Sorry if all that doesn’t help much. Thank you very much for replying and offering the reading material for me — learning Cambodian, and perhaps eventually Pali, has taken a place as a long-term goal for me — I just need an excuse (and a place) to get started.

      Be well, friend!

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