Just a heads-up to let everyone know what I've been up to lately. The books I'm reading right now are: Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?: Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties, by Ajahn Brahm; Invoking Reality: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen, by John Daido Loori; Only Don't Know, by Zen Master Seung Sahn, Don't Know Mind: The Spirit of Korean Zen, by Richard Shrobe, and The Inner Journey: Views from the Buddhist Tradition, which is an anthology of Buddhist writing edited by Philip Novak.
In Aikido, I've recently read Spirit of Aikido, which is a kind of spiritual treatise of the art, by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, and A Life in Aikido: The Biography of Founder Morihei Ueshiba, also by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I'm currently working my way through Aikido and the Harmony of Nature, a very heavily philosophical book by Mitsugi Saotome. If I wasn't writing a study guide for the dojo, I probably wouldn't bother to finish this one.
My priority is a manuscript sent to me by a close friend - I can't divulge much, but this is going to be one powerful book!
As for writing, Tristan has been relegated to a back burner for a while, and I haven't written a short story in a long time. It's hard to get into it, what with everything else going on - especially while facing a 100% rejection rate - LOL...
Considering becoming a monastic. This rat-race way of living isn't a very good fit for me, and I've been feeling compelled to check out the monastic lifestyle for a few years now. My interest was piqued at the Short Term Monastic Retreat in 2007, at Hsi Lai Temple; although I doubt I would be a monastic in the Fo Guang Shan order (I don't speak Chinese, for one thing). I'm not the greatest fit for zen, either; there's something about not having the foggiest clue what anyone is talking about, that would get to me. Actually leaning toward the Theravada tradition, to be honest. Something about it feels closer to what the Buddha intended for his monks. I could always be wrong about that, of course - I have to admit a certain amount of ignorance about the whole topic. But whichever tradition I choose (whichever tradition chooses me), the thing is, I'm not doing a very good job of cultivating the buddha mind while I'm trying to hold down a hostile job and doing combat with everyone from the government to the mortgage company. Bear in mind the monastic transition would take place over the next three or four years, while I attend some more retreats and begin to wind down my dependence on political and material crap. Lots of baggage to discard.
So what to y'all think? Is any of these your favorite book? And what do you think about me eventually being a monk?