I just finished reading a copy of Mary Pipher’s, Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World. It showed up in my life, like many of the books I have read over the past three years of transition and transformation, at just the right time. (Sometimes, I think I must have a personal librarian in the sky and I’m deeply grateful for it.)
I recommend this book if you’re on any kind of personal journey, or life transition.
Pipher writes from a place of deep self-discovery and acceptance. By openly sharing her own tumultuous journey toward mindfulness she extends an invitation to us all to begin right where we are and embrace our imperfections along the way.
I’ve been on my own journey for the past three years, “seeking peace,” through 3 moves, a separation and divorce, and beginning a new business. And, I’ve come to realize that the path is actually a well-worn circle that has brought me back to myself. Much like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I’ve learned that we already have that which we seek inside of us; including the way back home.
As Mary Pipher writes,
“All transformations are returns. After setting forth on a voyage of discovery, being chased by monsters, encountering great suffering and beauty, getting lost and being pummeled by storms, we find our way back to our original place and realize that the truth has always been there waiting for us. We connect with that which we knew before we were born. We can resume our ordinary lives with eyes unclouded by longing.”
This does not discount the worth of asking the questions and going on the journey in the first place. When you return you most likely won’t be done. And, you will set out again.
Each time you return to yourself you will be stronger for it; and what you have learned along the way will be more fully integrated into your being.
It has been crucial for me to find those that are willing to share from the road ahead as I put one foot in front of the other on my path. I crave the friendly reminders from soul sisters and brothers, mothers and grandmothers.
“My questions about my life are all of our eternal questions: How can we best develop our gifts and use them to help others? How can we keep growing until we stop breathing? How can we stay present? How can we be happy? The answers are universal answers: Pay attention, tell the truth, be kind, and find things to appreciate and enjoy every day. Try to learn something from everyone. Be open to wonder. As I read this list, I realize that my mother or grandmother could have written it. Perhaps this is what most humans discover by the time their hair turns silver.”
–from Seeking Peace, by Mary Pipher
I am working on compiling a list of my favorite “guide books” for this journey. You can find the list here.
There are so many wonderful books out there but I can only speak to the ones that I have personally discovered along the way. I hope they will inspire you or provide a safe place to rest and replenish on your own soul journey.