While listening to the Dharma, 

simply absorb it. 

Looking back fondly, or not, getting ready to start another year at school invariably entailed getting new supplies. A big decision was—the notebook. What size? Color? Two-hole? Three? How many dividers? Such decisions were crucial because some serious note-taking was about to be undertaken. 

Older now, notes are possibly even more important because increasingly anything we want to learn or remember needs to be written down.

And so, at a Dharma lecture, we whip out pen and paper, determined to take copious notes. But the first thing we hear is, “Don’t take notes.”

No notes? Seriously? How will I remember what he said?

Relax. For one thing, when you’re writing, you’re not listening. Even more important, when concentrating on what is being said, we will hear what we need and are ready to. Keep attending the talks or listening to the recordings. Each time, our understanding will deepen and solidify.

And each time we listen, we will absorb what we need.



In the daily rush to arrive, 

are you sure you’re going 

in the right direction? 

Work. Family. Community. Scrambling to meet multiple duties and accomplish our goals, from places to be to plans to be made, we’re so often in a hurry. Hearing of the counter-productivity of multitasking on the news, we continue writing that text on our smartphones while mentally noting what we need from the grocery store on the way home.

Much of the time, most of us are so busy doing and going in hopes of arriving, that we don’t stop to consider the direction we’re heading.

Maybe we chose it due to others’ expectations.

Maybe we just ended up heading there because everyone else was.

Whatever the reason, we’re on the move. But wait a minute. Where are we going?

And when we finally arrive, will we look back with bewilderment? Regret? Or a sense of a life well-lived? A life in which, we didn’t aimlessly rush off with the crowd, but had made sure we were headed in the right direction.