It’s become kind of a joke with myself, that I wind up teaching about Buddhism right when I myself need to hear about it the most. For the last four years, I’ve offered a Comparative Religions course, so it’s been my job to introduce high school students to the story of the Buddha and his Four Noble Truths, but it honestly ends it feeling more like a perfectly timed gift, every time.
As you probably already know, one of the core tenants of the Buddhist worldview is impermanence–essentially, that change is the only constant in the universe. My students and I discuss the extent to which such an understanding, though we can all affirm its truth from life experience, feels negative or like bad news. In a culture where we write “Never change!” in each other’s yearbooks, the notion that everything in our lives–ourselves included–is subject to change can feel a little scary.
Which is why, each year when the Buddhism unit appears on my lesson plan calendar, I think, “Oh man, I could really use this right now.” Because the truth is that I could really use it right about anytime.
I’m offering a new writing course for 2018 – Come What May: Navigating Transitions with Grace. Like my Buddhism unit, it’s a set of materials that I’m excited to share because I’m called to them in my own life.
My sense is that most of us are attentive to the major changes in our lives, the ones with clear outward manifestations–job changes, relationship status changes, births, deaths. But what of the more subtle changes? The shifts in self, in perspective, in being? The ways of thinking that no longer fit, the friendships that feel “off,” the sides of ourselves that we’re seeing for the first time–these are no less worthy of our attention.
I believe that we can learn a great deal by taking the time to examine the changes, both dramatic and subtle, unfolding in our lives and selves. And I believe that the more we practice this kind of looking, the more intuitive it will become.
Come What May is a weekly course that will run from January 6 – February 10, 2018. Each week, for six weeks, you’ll receive journal prompts, short readings, and supplementary materials designed to help you take stock of your present state. This course will also include the opportunity to discuss & share with other participants if you wish. Cost is $25.
What better way to start the new year than with some self reflection? I hope you’ll join me! You can sign up for the course here.