Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Slow Reads

I got myself into this situation again...reading several books at once, but these are slow, deliberative reads.

Great Expectations Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

For a library classics book group, I will begin Great Expectations, starting Sunday. I meant to start this week, but the time is already getting away from me. I hope you will be inspired to read along with me...I have one person who has said she will. I will blog about it as I'm reading, though not so much as I did with Moby Dick. I vaguely recall perhaps reading this in junior high or high school, but I remember nothing. I have not been able to watch any of the movies. After the slow read of A Tale of Two Cities, however, I am looking forward to this.

My schedule (which comes to about 14 pages/day):

  • April 19 to April 25: Chapters 1-12
  • April 26 to May 2: Chapters 13-23 (thru Vol. 2, Chapter 4)
  • May 3 to May 9: Chapters 24-36 (thru Vol. 2, Chapter 17)
  • May 10 to May 16: Chapters 37-47 (thru Vol. 3, Chapter 8)
  • May 17 to May 23: Chapters 48 to 59 (to the end)
If you can't get your hands on a book right away, you can read it at Project Gutenberg, or Google books, or a variety of other free spots with ads of varying degrees of annoyance factor.

Zen Center classes
Buddhist Wisdom: The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra
Buddhist Wisdom: The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra

For some reason Goodreads has this book by Judith Simmer-Brown, but it's not. She wrote the preface only. It's a 50+ year old translation and commentary by Edward Conze.

This will be my second reading. I took the class too long ago to be able to complete the paper, so here I go. This will complete my class requirements for our seminary.

Here's my schedule, sort of. The page numbers are inexact though, due to my teacher's old edition of the book:
  • April 14 — Diamond Sutra, p. 9-24
  • April 21 — Diamond Sutra, p. 25-50
  • April 28 — Diamond Sutra, p. 51-64
  • May 5 — Diamond Sutra, p. 65-74
  • May 19 — Heart Sutra, p. 77-93
  • May 26 — Heart Sutra, p. 93-107

The Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom The Diamond Sutra
by Red Pine

I discovered in the first class that several people also have the Red Pine translation and commentary, and it sounds much more personable, so I'm going to use that too. This is because Conze drew from Indian and Tibetan commentaries, which are rather analytical, and Red Pine from Chinese commentaries, which are based more in everyday life, or in practical application. I've also sent for Red Pine's Heart Sutra. (Thanks to Amazon Prime, they will arrive in 2 days.)

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

by Tara Brach

I'm reading this one for an open class at the Zen Center. (non-seminary, no paper)
  • April 1 — Prologue through Chapter 2 . The trance of unworthiness, strategies to manage the pain, awakening from the trance, the wings of acceptance, what radical acceptance is not.
  • April 8 — Chapters 3, 4. The sacred pause, unconditional friendliness.
  • April 15 — Chapters 5, 6. Coming home to the body, desire.
  • April 22 — Chapter 7. Fear.
  • April 29 — Chapters 8, 9. Developing compassion for ourselves and others.
  • May 6 — Chapters 10, 11, 12. Forgiveness, Radical Acceptance in Relationship, Realizing our True Nature.
There are audio podcasts of the classes, but I'm not going to link to them. If you really really want to listen to them to get more out of these books, contact me privately. The podcasts are there for the Dharma Rain community, but if you consider yourself part of my community, you could be extended family of sorts.

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